On Wednesday 8th January, local author Matt Adcock was invited into The Priory School to meet ‘Students of Darkness’. In preparation for World Book Day 2020 (March the 5th), a group of budding authors and illustrators are working on an ambitious, student-led project that will see them publish an anthology of short stories on the theme of ‘Darkness and Dystopia’ which is also the working title.
The aspiring writers, from Year 7 to 13, have been hard at work creating dark tales and encouraging each other, collaborating through the Google Classroom platform. They are working on all stages of the process, including designing the cover page, editing and marketing of the book. All proceeds from the anthology will go towards buying more books for the school library, fuelling the desire for more diverse and interesting fiction.
The project is being overseen by Mr Mayers, a Lead Practitioner of Media and Computing, who is also a children’s author. He helped publish Matt Adcock’s debut novel: Complete Darkness, which was released in October 2019 and has topped several Amazon bestsellers charts since. Mr Mayers said, “I invited Matt in to speak to the students because they demonstrated a real interest in stories based around the theme of crime, horror, and darkness. It’s pleasing to see so much talent in the school, I thought ‘what better way to enhance students’ love of reading than to encourage them to publish their own work to a global audience’. I just didn’t expect them to lean so heavily into the dark side, so it was only natural that Matt, whose book is set in a dystopian London hellscape, would be a good person to take notes from and inspire their writing…”
The author Q&A session allowed the young people to ask questions about writing fiction, discuss their own ideas, learn about the creative process and get some writing tips and insight from Matt, who talked about the inspiration behind his book. Matt said, “Having read through the various work-in-progress stories I was really impressed with the creativity, energy and writing skill that the young people have shown. This book project is going to be an awesome achievement and a great way to showcase new young writing talent. I had a lot of fun talking to the students who have some really nicely scary ideas – they chose the theme of Darkness & Dystopia and are really delivering with dark near-future tales. The short stories include tales of mind control, robotic enforcement, assorted killers and even guilt and punishment – my personal pick is the baddie who turns children into jumpers!? It’s wonderfully grim stuff and I’ll certainly be getting a copy on World Book Day. I think we can all look forward to seeing where this writing journey takes them.”