IEGS to Publish Short Story Collection
Text and Communication student Lo Zachrisson Lagercrantz reports on an upcoming school publication.
Third year students at Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet Södermalm are this year creating a short story collection together with their teachers. The short stories are written by students taking Creative Writing and its Swedish twin course Litterär Gestaltning.
“The collection will be published and get its own ISBN code , making it searchable in the entire world and available at libraries.” Carro, a student taking the Litterär Gestaltning course, says.
Carro continues. “It is a collection of different short stories that all take place during the same day and time at the same airport. Even though frames are set for the story we all have written really different ones. My short story for example depicts the boundaries between men and women.”
The project was started by English teacher Mr. Frato who has earlier been involved in a similar project in Älvsjö.
“It was author Anthony Grooms who introduced me to the concept of story circles. It is an old way of writing which I had heard of before, but Anthony showed me the more modern version.”
More than just a normal course
Mr. Frato admits that the project takes a lot more work than classical school course.
“There are private courses where you learn the same things for lots of money, here the students learn it for free. The skills the students are taught here took me ages to gain - they are far better prepared for publishing than I was!”
“I think this is something unique which represents the international mix our school provides,” says Jenny, also in the Creative Writing class, adding: “It is really cool to get an insight into how authors work and to meet with a publisher and learn how books are printed.”
Jenny says her story is about growing up and leaving the known for the bigger world.
The students don’t only get to write their own short stories.
“We also get to edit each other texts, even the teachers’!” Jenny explains. “It really develops your knowledge when you see how other people have chosen to interpret the task.”
Both Carro and Jenny admit it is exciting to read the teachers’ texts. Several teachers are contributing as well as the assistant principal.
Not only students
Mr. Lidström, teacher for the Litterär Gestaltning group, admits it is a bit nervous to write something that the students will read. He believes however that it is important to participate in the project.
“A good teacher should be involved; I always do the same writing exercises as the students in my course. It makes the situation more relaxed and shy students feel more comfortable in contributing.” His short story will be about “Civil courage, or rather the lack of it.”
“The best thing about the project is that it is a unique experience, it’s not every day you get the chance to publish a book.” Jenny says.
Carro agrees, and adds: “It is a lot of work, we have to decide on everything from layout to cover. We really learn a lot, especially since it is us students who have to drive the project. We have met with the publisher, promoted the book and much more on our own.”
Jenny admits though that they have had a lot of support from their teachers. “Mr. Frato, the Creative Writing teacher, is a published author so he has a lot of valuable knowledge and contacts within the field.”
Carro agrees: “It is important to have teachers who know how writing and publishing works.”
When asked if she will continue writing after graduating Jenny answers “It isn’t anything I’ve planned but this has given me a feel for how publishing works. I believe it is an advantage for the future to have my name in print and it feels cool to take part of this project.”
There is a lot left to do on the project. As Carro says: “Now we have to focus on writing the best texts possible as well as making everyone buy the book!”