Guess what? I got to do it again! Right after recently guest teaching a section of my big sis Ms. Sherrington’s Creative Writing class, I had the privilege of doing it once more with her colleague’s class as well. One of the best aspects of teaching is how much you learn, so instead of my lecture, you’re gonna hear what this second group of students taught us!
As a published author, my job that day was to encourage the students in defining and communicating a productive message arising from their unique experiences to share with the world via the written word. After a rapid-fire blitz through the process of publishing, I had talked quite long enough (most students I’ve worked with have experienced this with me at least once!). It was time for immediate hands-on application: the class had to accomplish every step of the publishing process in less than 20 minutes. Let’s see how they did, shall we?
Step 1: The Message
Taylor provided the core concept the class decided the world needed to know (and therefore became the author): “You Are Not Alone”. Obviously relevant in a world where the more smashed together and technologically connected we are, the more isolated we somehow feel.
Step 2: Research
How do we convey the message in a way others haven’t? The class collaborated during our research phase, concluding that existing literature about loneliness didn’t focus enough on realizing that so many people-even those you see all around you-experience the same kinds of loneliness that you do; they’re just really good at hiding it (Click to tweet).
Step 3: Writing
Now to put the finely-tuned idea into actual written words. With warm and easily-readable penmanship, Stephanie transcribed the original manuscript as you can see on the right page there. Preach it sister. So concise, so meaningful, and so written down!
Step 4: Editing
But not without at least a little room for improvement. Joelle, with a keen sense of how the audience might best accept and remember the message, rearranged the text and eliminated some redundancy to give Stephanie’s brief manuscript a little more pizazz. Undoubtedly, the message was now stated in its most effective form.
Step 5: Layout and Illustrations/Cover Design
Now to put the manuscript onto the book page! As you can see below, Madison beautifully formatted the manuscript, grabbing the reader’s attention with the bubble font and bold start. Cody worked diversity of ethnicity (and of finger number!) into the cover design, and Callan chose a wide field of white around his illustration to create a sense of isolation that was ironically shared with people close to us, as the nuanced message intended. “You’re Not Alone” was born!
Step 6: Launch
Wasting no time, the class decided the publication date would be that day, and Sam took over social media promotion, particularly Instagram, recruiting author Taylor to handle Facebook operations. Boom. “You’re Not Alone” is available worldwide!
Step 7: Marketing and Publicity
This is where I get to play a role! To extend the scope of the class’ published message beyond the social media circle of these accomplished students, I am using this blog and all of my social media and internet outlets to promote this book! Like, comment, and share liberally! Moreover, the book is free and as easy to access as downloading a picture. Literally! 🙂
So here’s my official shout out to the world: Enjoy “You’re Not Alone” by Taylor M. today! It’s one of the shortest books you’ll ever read, and yet its message will eventually find you in some lonely place to remind you that others around you can empathize and need you to reach out just as much as you need the same from them (Click to tweet). The wisdom of youth from the authorship of youth, published start to finish in less than 20 minutes! Well done Creative Writing students; keep sharing your message with the world!
Did you know that students created all the illustrations for the Healing Hereafter book series as well? Check out their fantastic works of art and the significant messages they convey; the series is available free and instantly here!