26 October 2016

Thriller, chiller, write

A scarily high number of Arthur Terry students – 159 – are starting a new creative chapter as published authors. The young writers have beaten off stiff competition from thousands of other children nationally to see their short stories appear in a new horror anthology.

‘Spine Chillers – the Spooky West Midlands’ which is due out in January 2017, saw (the then) year 7 and 8 students write a short horror story of 100 words or under.

More than 400 Arthur Terry students entered this competition, which was organised by ‘Young Writers’ and an astounding 159 have been accepted from the outstanding academy.  Many schools and students took part in this competition, with thousands of stories submitted from all over the UK. ‘Young Writers’ said that: ‘work has been selected for publication based on imagination, perception, expression and creative use of language.’

Elizabeth Feasey, an English Teacher at Arthur Terry used resources available on the ‘Young Writers’ website to plan a number of English lessons for the students, using their previous experience at Sci-fi writing to create tension, suspense and atmosphere in their work with the aim to becoming a published writer.

During lessons, once students had decided on an idea for their spine-chiller, they were asked to write a synopsis of the story in just two sentences, stripping away their ideas to the bare ‘bones’.  Next, as a class, students were asked to discuss their story, identifying where the atmosphere, tension and suspense are used.  Students were then asked to consider the use paranoia, guilt and fear to create their very own spine-chilling mini saga.  Some of the titles included ‘Soulless’, ‘Asylum’, ‘The Phantom’ and ‘The Harsh Reality of the Real world’ to name a few of the 159 entries.

Elizabeth Feasey said:

Our students were extremely enthusiastic about taking part in this writing project and we are thrilled to hear that so many of them have been awarded for their exemplary work. The Arthur Terry English Faculty continue to be extremely proud of all our students’ successes and cannot wait to see the published copy’.

Deputy headteacher Samantha Kibble added:

We are absolutely thrilled that so many of our talented students have been chosen to have their stories published. We foster a love of reading at Arthur Terry and this inspires the students to use their imagination in their creative writing. I am looking forward to receiving the book and then sharing it with all of the students at the school’.

A copy of the book, ‘Spine-Chillers – The Spooky West Midlands‘ will be sent to the British Library and further Libraries across the UK and Republic of Ireland, providing a lasting record of their achievement. This book is due to be published on the 31st of January 2017.