29 June 2017
Aspiring young writers saw the publication of the opening chapters of their first books in a new anthology, Birth of a Book, produced with the help of author Jon Stock.
Jon, who has recently released his latest novel Find Me* and a short story To Snare A Spy, has been the writer-in-residence at the school for the last year, running a series of sessions with the students exploring the writing process from initial ideas through to publication.
Impressed both by the boys’ ability and enthusiasm, Jon said, “I have loved working with the pupils, watching how they have all grown in confidence as writers. We've worked hard on everything from plot twists and characterisation to narrative arcs, writing style and unreliable narration. You only have to dip into Birth of a Book to see how good these guys are, and I bet my hat that quite a few of them will have full novels published one day.”
The nine students, aged 13-17, have published their work in the anthology and the subjects they have chosen to cover range from crime and revenge, to thrilling dystopia. The boys have not only been honing their writing skills but also following the build up to and launch of the author's own work.
Jon continues, “It's been fun giving them a ringside seat for the publication of my new thriller, Find Me, following it through in real time from initial cover design to publication and reviews.”
Speaking about the project, one of the contributors, Johan Nerlov, said “It has been one of the most enjoyable ways to learn about literature and the inner world of publishing. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in writing and English.”
Joanna Bridgeworth, Abingdon School’s Head of English added, “Jon has really inspired the boys, giving captivating and intriguing insights into writing. The boys are hugely motivated and I am looking forward to the day we see their work in the front window of a bookshop.”
The project was made possible by the support of the Annual Fund
The nine students' opening chapters:
Alasdair Czaplewski, aged 16 – The Call of the Air
Bryce Jersing, 17 – Phantom
Henry Wooding,14 – The Agency
James Magé, 15 – Cornered
James Sparkes, 14 – Explore
Johan Nerlov, 14 – Sweet Revenge
Lancelot Wilson, 15 – Infernal
Rahul Ghandinesen, 14 The Mysterious Murder
Sam Penrose, 13 – Left
* Find Me is written under the pseudonym of JS Monroe