For many weeks a group of pupils at Malet Lambert have attended after school workshops to develop and practice their creative writing skills.
The workshops were run by English teacher Mrs Thompson and First Story writer-in-residence, Joe Hakim.
Now, pupils’ hard work has paid off with the publication of their first printed book.
‘Bright Ideas’ is an anthology of 27 writings by 14 pupils from Years 7-11. They cover a range of themes and writing styles, from poems to short stories.
Pupils were given complete creative freedom, so each piece is as unique as the young person who wrote it.
One of the authors, Jazmin in Year 8, described how she felt about having her work published.
She said, “We knew what we were aiming for, to publish a book, we never knew that it would turn out this quick and would turn out to be this good.
“I can’t even describe how proud I feel - you’ve actually got your name in a book that anybody can read!”
When asked if any of her family had read the book, Jazmin responded, “My mum, grandma and granddad have read the book.
“They thought it was really good because most of my stories are personal and they understood why I had written them, so they know how I feel.”
Mrs Thompson added, “The students have worked extremely hard, and ‘Bright Ideas’ really showcases the talent that our students have.
“Working alongside Joe Hakim has been fantastic – he is a wonderful spoken word artist and really has inspired our cohort of students.
“I am looking forward to following the writing paths of the young poets and novelists as I am sure that it will not be the last time we hear from them.”
Two of the book’s authors, Reo and Zane, in Years 9 and 11 respectively, have earned the opportunity to attend a week-long writers’ retreat in West Yorkshire this summer with the Arvon Foundation.
The 18th-century cottage has a well-stocked library, and with spectacular views of the Pennines, local woods and rivers, it has many quiet places for writing.
‘Bright Ideas’ will be officially launched on 27th June to coincide with National Writing Day. Copies can be purchased from the First Story website on the following link – just request the Malet Lambert edition at the checkout: https://www.firststory.org.uk/product/first-story-anthology/