Marcia Barton Award — Non-Fiction

Jessica Towns for “Paper Skin

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LSR:Paper Skin” reads highly authentic.

Jessica: I think of “Paper Skin” as my superhero origin story. After being wounded by a devastating mood disorder, I found a new identity and discovered an extraordinary source of strength and power— my words.

LSR: It’s like the theme of Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Where did you find the courage to share your story?

Jessica: I’ve been trying to get that story out for the better part of five years. To get it out in a way that satisfies me. I think it’s really important to write about tough stuff that happens. It’s a good path to healing and moving on.

I also want to connect with other people who might be experiencing difficulties in the same way. I hope that I can, in some way, give voice to those people, show them that they are not alone, and inspire them to share their own stories.