Articles tagged "students"

High School Writers and Artists Team Up to Publish Anthology

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Foreign Visions, a new anthologyfeatures short stories and artwork from 25 students at Foran High School. The paperback book, published using the free online publishing tools at Lulu.com, contains 17 short stories and accompanying artwork. The stories were penned by students in Rick Raucci’s Creative Writing class. The artwork was created by students in Meghan Hudson’s Advanced Drawing/Painting and AP Studio Art classes.

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Foreign Vision’s writers and artists

 

This is Foran High School’s first published book and Raucci said he couldn’t be prouder of the students who contributed the material and worked tirelessly to publish the book. Students in his creative writing class worked throughout the 2015-16 school year on various types of writing spanning multiple genres.

Raucci pitched the idea of an advanced writing class that would produce a book of short stories. With a grant secured to cover initial costs, Raucci got approval to move forward with the pilot program, working with 11 high school seniors who were recruited for the first year’s class.

“They were students selected based on their writing ability in the hopes of creating an authentic authorship experience,” Raucci said. The class began with students studying the importance of writing techniques such as setting, dialogue and plot development. “Even the smallest of details can change the story,” Raucci said. “How does age, for example, affect how a person will speak?”

Each student wrote three short stories, working with artists from Hudson’s class: In one round the writers had to write a story based on artwork supplied by the illustrators. The stories were then distributed to a panel of judges to rank. The top scoring pieces were selected for publication. “Everyone got a story published and there are a few students with two stories,” Raucci said.

As part of this project, students honed writing, editing and revising skills. They also got a taste of professional life by working on a deadline, receiving constructive criticism and incorporating recommended changes to their project. “They got the full authorship experience,” Raucci said.

For the art students, it was a chance to work as they might on a job.“For my student artists, this book is a unique opportunity to bridge classroom learning to real-life learning,” Hudson said. “Student authors and artists paired up for this collaborative effort, which allowed my artists to work with a ‘client’ rather than making art for themselves.

Hudson said that when another stakeholder’s opinions and input are entwined in the creative process, it changes the game for the artist. “This was an exciting challenge for both the authors and artists,” she added.

Lulu is a self publishing company, but that doesn’t mean the student writers didn’t have to meet tough standards. The manuscript required several revisions to meet distribution requirements, but students didn’t balk. They were eager to put in the extra work with some students even working weekends to get the completed manuscript revised in time.

The original idea was that the class would be self-sustaining. Students developed a marking plan to sell the books for $20. Before the first shipment of books were even delivered, students had sold more than 300 copies. “Not only were we able to replenish the grant funds, we were also able to give away scholarships to students,” Raucci said, noting that three $500 scholarships were awarded at the end of the school year.

Principal Max Berkowitz said he looks forward to the continued success of the class. “Advanced Creative Writing provides students a unique and rigorous experience while allowing them to take ownership over their learning,” Berkowitz said. “The opportunity for our students to become published authors has been an exciting and proud experience for the entire school community.”

foreign-visions-bookcover“This is a huge accomplishment for our students to have published work at this level of their education,” said Hudson. “They are thrilled to see their work in print.”

Foreign Visions’ is available in both paperback and eBook formats and can be purchased in the Lulu bookstore as well as all major online retailers including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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Helping a New Generation of Authors

As authors out in the world, I bet most of you think about the changing publishing industry on a semi-daily basis. But, have you stopped to consider how those changes are sculpting future generation’s education?

Everyday, new stories pop up about students using e-versions of their text books to learn with, like those at Wilkes University and Northern Michigan University. Some schools, like Cushing Academy in Boston, have even gotten rid of their libraries completely in favor of e-readers.

Well, 12 year old Kyle Nelson, a student from Millennium Charter Academy in Mount Airy NC,  is living out these changes in his daily education. Nelson, wanting to know more about the companies shaking up the publishing industry and the technology behind them, went straight to the source.

On February 18th, Nelson came to Lulu and got the chance to interview our team members Tracey and Allison.

“He was so curious about the future of the industry,” says Allison. “He wanted to know all about eBooks and digital publishing.”

Tracey and Allison gave Nelson a tour, walked him through Lulu’s publishing process, and sent him home with a goodie bag and tons of information. Nelson plans to present to his classmates later this month.

“He was super smart and a sweet kid,” says Allison. “He was excited to get to pitch Lulu to a whole new generation of kids.”

Lulu is great for educators and their students too because it’s always free to make revisions and teachers get to set their own price for their content. This ensures that students always receive the most up-to-date information at a cost significantly lower than your average text book, but at the same great quality. Some teachers even offer supplementary materials as free eBooks to download. All of the control is in the teacher’s hands to provide a more structured learning experience. To learn more, head over to our education portal at www.lulu.com/education.

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