From education to employment

Students become published authors

An incredible writing project has turned 12 college students into published authors in less than a week!

The project came about when White Water Writers were invited to Barking & Dagenham College to run an initiative which sees students write and publish their own books in the space of a week.

Twelve students, who had not previously met each other and study different subjects at the College, were split into two groups.  Each group was then tasked to work together, to create one book per group. On the first day, they discussed possible plots, settings and characters before creating a timeline of events for each of the books. 

On days two and three, the students got writing! Each student allocated themselves a particular character and set about writing all the parts of the book in which that character appeared.  Days four and five focused on proof reading, front cover designs, book formatting, setting the price for their books and dealing with any corrections before the finished books were then submitted for publication!

The first group’s book is titled ‘The Yellowstone Disappearances’ and is a fantasy-based book about unbreakable family bonds intertwined with Native American mythology. The story is centred around Adam and Sebastian, who journey to Yellowstone Forest to grieve their father, but they have no idea about what is coming their way.  Confronted with a shapeshifting entity, the boys embark on a journey full of deceit, desperation and discovery. 

A thriller, entitled ‘Our lies will kill us’, is the second group’s book. The story is based around Sam, who spirals downwards after receiving the news about his sister’s illness.  In his desperation, Sam tries to blackmail an old acquaintance to pay for his sister’s treatments, however, this sinister mission starts a chain reaction of chaos with deadly consequences!

Shane Kirk, Barking & Dagenham College Esports student said: “We all had our own ideas coming into this project about what we’d like to see, so it was interesting to see these unique perspectives and how we could make them fit together.  It’s been such an amazing experience.”

Emmanuella Frempong, Barking & Dagenham College Health and Social Care student added: “This was something I didn’t actually think I would be able to do, but here I am. I’ll be a published author.  I find that quite an achievement.”

Madison Levey, Barking & Dagenham College Applied Science student also said: “All the team worked really hard in the week to put (the book) together and it’s a weird experience to be holding the physical thing you spent so much of your time working on!”

Mark Hyde, Head of Department, Teaching, Learning & Assessment at Barking & Dagenham College said: “Every single student was engaged throughout and worked so hard. The moment when their book was complete and Joe from White Water Writing hit the publish button was one of the best moments of my 11+ years in education!”

Joe Reddington, White Water Writers commented: “The students have gone from a blank page on Monday morning to by the end of the week watching us click submit on their final print ready manuscripts.  It was such a magical moment to have everyone cheering in the room for each other’s books.” 

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