Monday, October 12, 2009

The Making of a Young Writer

Corey Heyward, a senior at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, first contacted me with questions about self-publishing. She had written and illustrated a children’s book for her graduation project and was trying to figure out how to proceed. I was intrigued with Corey’s interest and decided to interview her.

I found out that her children’s book was only one of four requirements which she needed to accomplish before graduation: Paper, Portfolio, Product, and Presentation. Corey chose to write a children's book because she loves to write. She said, “Since my topic, ‘The influence of the media on the environment’ talks a lot about green lifestyles in schools, I figured that writing a children's book about the environment would be perfect.”

When I asked her why she picked her topic, she replied, “I have always had a concern for the environment even when I was little. I used to want to grow up and be a part of the EPA. Plus, the environment is controversial enough to make my paper and project interesting.”

Corey’s book is titled, “The Birthday of Earth Day.” The two main characters are a squirrel and a rabbit who watch school children celebrate Earth Day.

These lines are from the perspective of a wise turtle who joins them:

“Every year, people are thankful for the Earth and all that it brings,
And they show their thanks,” croaked the turtle, “by doing nice things.

Like picking up trash,” he explained, “or saving a tree,
Or protecting the homes of little animals like you and me.”

By the end, the moral is clear:

“The squirrel, rabbit, and turtle watched until the kids finished their garden of green
And had given the plants water and picked up all trash they had seen.

All children and animals went home, the end of the day drawing near,
Wishing they could celebrate the Earth every day, instead of once a year."

Corey worked with Universal Printing who helped her decide things like size, color or non-color, the type of cover, stitching, etc. When she completed the book, she formatted it using InDesign and received instructions on how to upload it onto their website. To her delight, the proof was ready in less than a week.

I applaud Corey’s persistence in writing, illustrating, and self-publishing her first book. She’s planning on studying archeology in college next year, but we might want to watch for her name on Amazon in a few years!
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beccaww said...

As Corey's teacher and graduation project mentor, I am so proud of her initiative and creativity.

It gives me chills to see a student so on fire for writing and publishing!

Carol said...

You've obviously been a great inspiration to Corey! Carol

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