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Monday, December 10, 2018

Year 4 And A Book Launch!

Today was the day we launched the book of stories and poems by the group of wonderful Year 4 students I’ve been working with over the last several weeks, as a Writer In Residence.

The original plan was for us to go to the local library to present a copy of the book, tomorrow. The librarian had even offered us a tour of the library, a story time and forms for joining the library. Unfortunately there was a clash in the school timetable. That happens in schools. I remember when we had to reorganise our State Library Persian Exhibition excursion because there was suddenly a sports day nobody had mentioned, and my colleague came on a day she normally didn’t work. 

But this was the second last week of the school term, no time to reorganise a library excursion, so 
I suggested we have a book launch at the school a day before and they could do the library excursion next term. That suited everyone. Jemma, the classroom teacher, organised a morning tea for the kids, on the suggestion of Angela, the Ardoch rep, who also arranged some money for the goodies. 

I launch the book! 

Angela brought the box of books. I hadn’t it yet, as a book, but it had turned out well. The children’s drawings were bright, vibrant, the whole thing joyous. I’d alternated stories with poems and ended the volume with the authors’ headshots. 

Kaye, the volunteer art teacher who had helped me, and I both made short speeches and handed the books to the excited children. And they were excited! It had finally hit them that the stories, poems and art they had been doing by hand were in print! Published! They were published authors! 

I asked the children to autograph their pieces and that gave them the idea of autographing each other’s copies. There was a happy babble around the room as they munched on the goodies, flipped through their books and signed each other’s copies. Some of them asked Kaye, Angela and me to sign. 

I think there will be some proud parents tonight.


Cathy Kennedy said...


What a lovely project for the youngsters to dabble in the world of creative writing with their early works in print! Very cool idea!! Thanks for visiting. Have a joyful and blessed Christmas season!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Thanks, Cathy! This was my first go at Writer In Residence. Maybe next year I can do another one...

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Sue! Catching up with my return comments here.... :)

This is SO WONDERFUL!! That these kids now have the exciting experience of being published authors is just absolutely TERRIFIC!! :) :)

I've never heard ot this kind of thing being done. When I was in high school, our sophomore English teacher introduced us to "The Canterbury Tales", and then, as a class project, we created our own "Canterbury Tales". Each student had their own copy of this collectively-produced book, and we each had to design and color the cover of our own copy. However, this was a school project, and these books were never actually published. It would have been GREAT if they had been! But no..... :(

So this is something these students will not only NEVER forget, but that they can now point to with pride in the future! And I'm sure this will also launch quite a few of them into publishing more works in the future!


Sue Bursztynski said...

Hi Maria! Your class-produced Canterbury Tales sounds amazing, what a terrific teacher to think of it! To be honest, this little anthology is not much more. There really wasn’t money for more. The kids understood this - I heard one asking and having it explained by the teacher. The printers put together 35 copies - 18 for the kids, the rest for libraries - the school’s library and the local public library and possibly the State Library, which has been known to ask for a deposit copy of my school’s yearbook - and to be kept by the Ardoch Foundation and the Readings Foundation, run by a bookshop chain, which donated money to schools for this. But if you can look at a book and see your writing and art in print, it feels as good as a NYT bestseller! I rather think some will eventually have a go at publication. “A long light year ago there was a girl called Riley...” was the opening of a story about going to space. There was a very clever fan fiction and one about two girls climbing the fence of an abandoned house and finding...wonder... and a poem about lazing on the beach... Yes, I think they will continue.