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Students have book published on Amazon

Students have book published on Amazon

Ten of our year 9 students had the opportunity to collaboratively write and publish a full length novel in just one week.

The group started to plan out their novel at 9.15 on Monday 19th November 2018 and completed their last proofreading at 14.30 on Friday 23rd November 2018.

Always seeking ways to realise ambitions of our gifted and talented English students, Head of English Mrs J Clifton, secured the services of Richard Seymour from Keele University, funded by Higher Horizons.

Richard came in for his first day on 19th November, meeting 10 of our Year 9 students in the boardroom.

‘Within one week’, the students were told, ‘you will have written, proofread and published a book.’

‘What matters to you as young people today?’ was the germinating discussion for the book. Whilst a range of answers were batted around the table, one thought was reoccurring. The feeling that young people have no voice. With this as a common concern, the group set about exploring ideas of writing this into fiction. By the end of the day, students had a story-line, characters and a structure for the rest of the week’s writing.

By Day 2 it was clear that something very special was taking place in the Boardroom.

‘I have never come across a group who have taken such ownership of the project. They self organised, motivated each other and negotiated the inclusion of ideas in a very mature fashion. It was wonderful to see individuals grow in confidence as the week went on, to develop their own roles and responsibilities. I as the facilitator often had very little to do but watch and admire.’- Richard Seymour.

Staff and Richard watched as the students’ word count upped from 500 to 1500 to 25000.

Twenty-five thousand words put together for the first time to create a unique, collaborative story. Twenty-five thousand words which the students had to edit through their final proofreading.

Our young authors were outstanding. Demonstrating how embodied our Co-op values are, they assigned themselves their roles and were entirely self-governed and self-motivated.When decisions had to be made they made called ‘democracy – let’s vote’.

When asked what they had enjoyed about the week the response was unanimous and resounding:

‘A great experience.’

‘It was my first experience of collaborating with new people’

‘You can really see it growing and the desire to finish the book by the end of the week was strong.’

Mrs Clifton said: ‘We are incredibly proud to state that every word of the story, every idea, every chapter and yes, every mistake, is entirely their own work. No teachers, parents or other students touched a single key during this process, and we would ask readers to keep this in mind. We are sure you will agree that this is an incredible achievement. It has been a true delight and privilege to see this group of young people turn into professional novelists in front of our very eyes.’

The book will be on sale soon on Amazon. In January the students will be holding a book signing event for friends, family and staff where we will be celebrating the hard work that has gone into this book.

Richard said: ‘I’ve enjoyed every minute of working with this extraordinary group.’

The students are:

Georgia; Gharsanay; Naomi; Brandon; Kelisha; Jessica; Aaiza; Sanaa; Rahim and Amina.

The book can be purchased here.