Modern-Day Heroes in the Form of Young Writers


Taking part in writing a book is a life accomplishment for many. In February, 10 FIS students and 2 visiting students did just that. 12 talented writers, in addition to 3 artists, created something magical, especially for their age. For one week, from the 6th to the 10th, the group took part in the writing symposium and met daily for several hours to work on their short stories. The writing symposium was enabled through the collaboration from the publishing house Scoventa.

The book itself is a collection of short stories written by the students under the theme of hidden heroes. With each author having accumulated different experiences throughout their life, the book is a colorful mix full of stories and emotions.

Under the guidance of published, award-winning author Katrin McClean, the teenagers were eased into the overwhelming world of taking part in writing an actual book. She not only helped the group start off with this wide-ranging topic of heroes but also gave the writers daily feedback on the progress they had made. McClean invested herself into each of the stories, repeatedly skipping on hours of sleep to make sure that each story had been given comment.

One of the exercises McClean taught the young writers when struggling to create a character was to “visualize them looking into a mirror and write about the reflection that appears in front of” them, as Lucy Hucker, an 11th Grader, who took part in the Writing Symposium this year describes.

Through McClean sharing her experience, the students got insights of what it takes to write and publish. This is what made the writing symposium so important and fruitful; many of the students, who took part in this experience, plan to incorporate writing into their future. After all, it was a “priceless insight into the publishing industry” as Niamh Melvin, one of the 10th Graders partaking in the writing symposium, describes it.

The writing symposium, therefore, brought them this much closer to their dreams. However, not only writing was encouraged during the February week. Even the cover of the book was designed by students. The three students, of which one was a visiting student, were helped and guided by an experienced graphic designer from Scoventa. Through the support of the graphic designer, Anja Fuchs, the students learned how to use new software and the basics of designing a cover.

An additional highlight of the writing symposium was the actual interaction between the students. Through the writing symposium, pupils from different grade levels, schools and backgrounds shared thoughts and opinions about a topic they all loved and bonded over: writing and creating something amazing. Not only students from Frankfurt International School but also the four students from the Paul-Hindemith-Schule Frankfurt attended this workshop. Together, all students ventured into this new and exciting world.

To quote Lucy Hucker: “I thoroughly enjoyed my experience taking part in the Writing Symposium and I know that the feedback and techniques that I learned from working with Katrin are skills that I can continue using in the future.”

This sentiment certainly reflects the general mood of all the young authors.

The book, titled Hero X, will be published in May and will be available for purchase on amazon, at the school’s bookstore and at the school’s library. There will also be an official book launch on the 5th of May, where the published authors will read their stories and the book will be on sale. Everyone is warmly invited and it is an experience worth going to.

If you not only want to support the dreams of young writers but also care for a good read, I would definitely give this book a try!