Creative Writing students publish short stories

Photographed by Ryan Berger
Cameron Webb, senior, discusses his short story, “Roommates,” with Andrew Parasch, senior. The Creative Writing book release party was held at North Cafe on Dec. 1.

After countless people directing him to publish his work, Stephen Naylor, senior, has finally followed those directions.

“The book I’ll be publishing actually began as a tenth grade timed write that my class yelled at me to publish,” Naylor said.

The Creative Writing course gave Naylor the ability to publish his story, “The Rainbow’s Treasures.”
Naylor still said there were challenges he faced in the publishing process, especially when dealing with the large number of people involved in revising the work and creating the cover.

“The back and forth [communication is toughest]” Naylor said. “We have sophomores as editors and sixth hour has a Graphic Design class as cover artists.”

Despite these challenges, Naylor is not deterred by the process and plans to write more because of the class.

“I loved being able to express myself and offer feedback to everyone,” Naylor said. “I’ll definitely be publishing more books soon.”

Rob Durham, Creative Writing teacher, said the students have taken to the process better than last year’s students.

“I think they’re taking a lot more pride in it this year because they know what the final product looks like,” Durham said. “They’ve been using their blogs more as well.”

Durham said the class faced a few more challenges than last year.

“This year I had a lot more students, so there was a lot more revising and things to handle,” Durham said. “The program is more complicated because we have more kids, more book covers to take care of, and more problems.”

Despite these issues, Durham said students receive a benefit in the money they make selling their books. He said they also learn to work with others.

“They get to experience feedback from people, then they get to give feedback to their cover artists as well,” Durham said. “So they’re on both sides of critiquing.”

For Devin Nelle, junior, one of the best aspects in his eyes is the ability to share his creative ideas with other people and explore who he is as a writer.

“I think it really just helps you discover your edge in your creative abilities, it helps you improve your writing,” Nelle said.

Nelle’s work, “Fading Memory,” tells the story of a war soldier who develops amnesia and tries to recover.

“It’s fun to write it, but it’s also stressful to revise and edit it,” Nelle said.

To perfect the story, he got help from several different sources.

“I had my parents help me, and Mr. Durham read over it,” he said.

He also sought assistance from his former Language Arts teacher, Emily Stockwell.

Despite the pressure, Nelle used the stress in a positive outlet: taking his writing to the next level.

“It taught me to push myself to achieve goals and get your writing out there for people to read,” he said.