Having the write stuff

Pupils Niko Jeffcote and Arianna Taliadoros, whose work features in the book
Pupils Niko Jeffcote and Arianna Taliadoros, whose work features in the book
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Creative writing has taken on a new dimension at a school in Southsea where students have just published a book of poems and short stories.

The imaginative 133-page collection of works by 11 to 16-year-olds at St John’s College called We Are Writers is now available to buy from the school.

It is packed with gripping narratives, poetry and letters on a range of subjects both serious and light-hearted including the Japanese tsunami, homelessness, the weather and animals.

Harry Stone, 14, wrote two pieces about homelessness.

An extract reads: ‘In this shop doorway I lie, No-one cares if I live or die, My eyes are tired, my hair is grey, Only a few pennies rest in my begging tray.’

Niko Jeffcote, 13, produced a journal entry about Christmas in the First World War.

He says: ‘My family have bought the book and they love it – and have enjoyed reading all of the entries.

‘It’s exciting that work I have produced is part of a finished product.’

Arianna Taliadoros, 13, wrote a poem about the autumn.

She says: ‘I am amazed that my poem was selected for the book, and now for many people to see.

‘I was initially inspired by the autumn colours, but as I was writing I remembered other times of the year, like Christmas and Halloween, so they feature in my poem too.’

English teacher Caroline Taliadoros worked alongside other staff members and pupils to produce the book.

She says: ‘We are so excited about this book as it is the first time we as a school have published pupils’ work.

‘The pupils who took part are proud of their work and they can now add “published author” to their CVs.’

The book was delivered to the school earlier this month and is being hailed as a celebration of pupils’ imagination and talent.

It also reflects a variety of experiences across the year groups – ranging from pupils who have been writing since they could first pick up a pencil to others who developed a love of writing later in life. To buy a copy of We Are Writers, simply call (023) 9281 5118.