41 primary school children in South Gippsland officially became published authors today. The Years 4, 5 and 6 students at Loch Primary School participated in the Myli ‘Books By Us’ program, where they used an authentic publishing-house process – from outlining plot ideas to creating blurbs and covers – to produce their own books. The books were then professionally printed and will be added to the Myli Community Libraries’ collections for the public to borrow. The students’ families and friends watched via live stream as the new authors celebrated their achievements with their teachers and the Books By Us presenters at a red-carpet launch event this morning.
The students also watched messages of congratulations from Victorian Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane and Myli board chairperson Rick Brown, and enjoyed viewing a short video from Clancy’s Printing Service of the book printing process.
Here’s what some of the students have to say about the program:
Jack: “I really like Books By Us because we get the opportunity to let our minds go wild. I hope we can do this more in the future.”
Jai: “My favourite part of Books By Us was researching our projects. I wish I could do it again!”
Marlon: “Books By Us was a really fun program- I loved it!”
Elsie: “It (BBU) is a really good experience.”
Jaydah: “I had lots of fun writing my book and everyone who helped me made a big difference to my book.”
Staff at the small rural school, which has fewer than 150 students, were thrilled to be chosen for the term-long program, and worked tirelessly to ensure it kept going even when lockdown meant half of the sessions had to be delivered remotely. Titles can be placed on hold by anyone with a Libraries Victoria membership, including l Myli members.
Books By Us was developed by professional author Nansi Kunze and modelled on her own experience with her publishers, Penguin Random House and Hawker Brownlow Education. Ms Kunze and Drouin librarian Michelle Lewry first delivered the program, which is funded by Myli (previously known as West Gippsland Libraries), Writers Victoria and other sponsors, to Trafalgar Primary School students in 2019. They hope to share the experience of becoming real authors with more students next year.