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Students publish first novels after unique school seminar
Posted 03/11/2018 05:21PM

High school students often worry about writing the perfect paper for their history or English class. Five students at The Oakridge School recently completed an assignment for a different type of class and the results are debut fiction novels now available to the public at Amazon and Kindle. 

Brad DeBorde, the Upper School theatre director at The Oakridge School, taught the seminar, Indie Publishing, last fall. Half of the semester was devoted to writing. Students had the option of writing a 25,000-word novella or a full-length novel between 45,000-50,000 words.

Freshman Gracie Potter penned “Downpour,” a novel about a girl’s journey through two worlds: the seeing and the blind. Freshman Rylie Sims wrote “The Souls that Bind Us,” about a young girl’s experiences learning to trust others. Sophomore Raegan Lane authored “Let the Rain Pour Down,” which chronicles a teen’s survival and daring escape from a school for children who are atheists. “Transit” by senior Graham Stanush follows six teenagers determined to stop their corrupt government. Senior Ransom Swinney wrote “The Squire,” a story about a knight’s race to collect three ancient treasures in order to stop the rising darkness and save his kingdom.

During the second half of the semester, students learned how to edit, format and create their book for publishing on Amazon and Kindle. The last two weeks of the course revolved around launching the students' work for purchase and learning simple marketing strategies to further sell their work. To introduce the student body to the books and offer additional encouragement, Oakridge hosted a book launch party for the young authors at the school library.

“There are people who dream of writing the next great novel. What The Oakridge School has done is give its students the time and support to do just that," said DeBorde, who is also a playwright and author of the fantasy series, “Paydunor.”

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