Students’ Novel is a ‘Flutter’ Success

A group of Level Three Foundation Students at the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College have collaborated with White Water Writers to create and publish a novel, all in a single week! 

For many people, writing a novel is a lifetime ambition, a dream, but often is left unfinished or worse forgotten! For others, the ink never reaches the paper and the idea remains a pipedream hidden away from the masses- but not for students at the Sixth Form College. 

This innovative project, creates opportunities to turn dreams to reality as White Water Writers give groups of young people the opportunity to collaboratively write and publish a novel in a single week. Supported by Government-funded Higher Horizons, the aim of this project is to attract wider participation in writing across higher education. 

Delivered through writing camps, projects such as these have been shown to boost self-esteem across writers and create a sense of self belief. Not only that, but the writers learn collaborative techniques, idea generation, use of technology, proofreading skills and time-management- all of which will serve students well in the future.

During the week, the young writers sat down and planned their story, each creating a character for the novel that they would develop and lead on as the story evolved. The students then worked together to develop the rest of the plot. The intense week was fast-paced and demanding work which relied on teamwork, communication and determination for it to come together. 

From start to finish, the students initiated every idea and decision themselves, working together using their initiative and utilising the skills they have developed throughout the process, including proofreading with minimal guidance from one of White Water Writers facilitators. 

The Sixth Form Students worked together to create a beautifully constructed book entitled Butterfly Shards, which touches on the continuous human striving to be better versions of themselves. 

Richard Seymour, White Water Writers facilitator for this project commented,

“The group worked seamlessly together and supported one another right the way through. Every idea came from the writers themselves. They worked through all the proofreading themselves too. No one outside of the writers so much as touched a keyboard. They should be very proud of their achievements.”

 Lucy Twigg, English teacher at the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College expanded,

“I cannot express how proud I am of this group of students and what they have achieved in this short space of time. Not only have they collaboratively written and published a fantastic novel, exploring the journey of a group of friends as they search for answers in a storm and test the strength of their friendship. They have also developed essential skills that they will carry with them in the future”

Leah Cox, co-author of Butterfly Shards and student at the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College commented on her experience,

‘Having the opportunity to be part of this project was fantastic, I have learnt so many new skills in the process and have enjoyed experiencing what life as a writer is like. It was a long and very tiring week, but to see the novel complete and available for the public to purchase on amazon is incredible. I am so proud of what we achieved.’

Butterfly Shards is available now to buy on Amazon under the pen name TM Cooks.