Book Launch

Valley Park School held its very first Book Launch in December, which was the culmination of months of hard work by Year 7 & 8 authors...

Holding in your hands a book you’ve spent a long time writing, editing and developing is a very special event for any author. It is your creative writing baby, and as such, you just want to show everybody how pleased you are with your creation. Now, imagine that author is only 12 years old, and you’ll get some idea just how excited the students were as they saw their books on sale for the very first time.Year 9 students were heavily involved in running the event: Kyle Siwek and Josephine Biggs hosted the evening, and Year 9 catering students supplied canapés and drinks.

Book Launch

The covers of all the students' first published books.

‘The hardest job was putting tiny cress leafs on the top of over 150 polenta we’d cooked,’ said Roddy Lucas. ‘After that was done, we carried the beverages over to the venue. The library looked amazing! The food went down very well and the night was incredible.'

Awards were given to students by Mr Ashdown and guest author, Anne Bryant, who made a speech about how she got into writing and publishing. 

'I had a great time,’ tweeted Anne after the event, 'What a lovely school - students, teachers, parents, plus lots of talent.’

'Anne Bryant gave an inspirational speech that uplifted the spirits of everyone in the room,’ said Isabelle Crow, who won an award for dedication and enthusiasm to writing, and published her own book titled ‘love, loss and lies’.

Budding authors also read extracts from their published work. 'I had a lot of fun reading an extract from my story,’ said Isabelle, 'and seeing my very own published book there in front of me!’

Students published their books through a self-publishing company called Blurb, based in the US, using proprietary software to design and upload their stories. Roughly 150 books were sold on the night, and the remainder are being sold to students who could not attend the evening.  

'Over 250 people attended the launch,’ said event organiser, Miss Newell. 'The numbers were initially at 120, but a few days before the launch they doubled. I was incredibly proud of the students’ achievements; from writing their stories all the way through to the launch, they’ve shown enthusiasm and diligence, and the work they’ve achieved is exceptional.

Following this success, year 7 will be taking part in the project this year, and the students who attend Creative Writing Club on a Wednesday after school are currently writing and publishing their own books.