Friday 18 January 2008

Project with Local Primary School

I am working with another school on an anthology of children’s writing. We have a title, “Friends Forever”. I’ve worked on two past occasions on writing and editing with the same school. But the really exciting session is where we have groups of children editing, designing, illustrating and marketing the book.
I think we’re going to end up with a book in the region of 200 pages. I’m now in the process of putting it together. I have to make the final editing decisions and do some copy-editing at the same time. I am astounded at how well crafted some of the work is and how moral and emotionally generous some of these children are. I was amused and touched to read on one piece “Note from editor: these two sections need connecting.” I was also pleased that the editors didn’t pick just the well-presented ones. They went for the ones which had really edgy or deep content. Sadly, I have had to edit a few pieces out as I can’t read them or they are incomplete. Yet the ones which remain are stunning.
The illustrations are fantastic, too. Children really can draw. They lack some techniques, but the content is so uninhibited.
Most of the design group worked on sorting out the order of the sections. I worked with the less focussed, less able students on the book cover design. They were insightful and became very enthusiastic.
The marketing group came up with some incredible ideas – ones that neither I nor Lisa, the teaching assistant who stayed with me, had thought of. And Lisa has a business studies degree!
A fantastic experience all in all.

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