February 16, 2022
Become a published author. Break a world record.
Phillips 66 is helping hundreds of children do both as lead sponsor of the I am Texas campaign, a project that aims to publish a 7-foot-tall book of children’s short stories, poems and illustrations that will break the Guinness World Record for the largest published book in the world.
The project is a collaboration with the nonprofit iWRITE organization and The Bryan Museum in Galveston, Texas.
“At Phillips 66, we invest in education and literacy because an educated workforce drives the world economy,” said Phillips 66 Manager of Social Impact Claudia Kreisle. “We’re excited to provide an opportunity for kids to share unique stories — and to break a world record while doing it.”
The I am Texas campaign is seeking submissions through March 2. The goal is to publish the work of 1,000 authors and artists from grades 3-12 who represent the next generation’s diverse perspective on the Lone Star State. The directive is simple: share your Texas story.
A select few writers and artists will also win cash prizes up to $2,000 and $20,000, four-year college scholarships to Schreiner University, a private university in central Texas.
The campaign also includes some stellar literary partners. The New York Times bestselling author and illustrator team, Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos, who collaborate on the popular “Ordinary People Change the World” series of biographies for children, will personally select some of the winners.
Eshaan Mani, a sophomore at the Kinkaid School in Houston, is planning to submit a poem to the I am Texas campaign that speaks to his city’s resilience in the face of a major winter storm last year.
Mani was first published by iWRITE when he was in fifth grade with a poem titled, “Hurricane Harvey, A Terrifying Tempest.” The theme is not tragedy, but resilience and a common human spirit, he said.
Mani, who is president of the iWRITE Youth Club, advises prospective authors to write with integrity, take risks and “just go for it.”
The I am Texas book will be revealed at a red-carpet gala in November before taking its place as a genuine piece of history in The Bryan Museum’s permanent exhibit.