ALMOST 41 schoolchildren in South Gippsland have officially become published authors.
Students in grades 4, 5 and 6 at Loch Primary School participated in West Gippsland Libraries’ Books By Us program, where they used an authentic publishing house process – from presenting plot ideas to creating blurbs and covers – to produce their own books.
The books were then professionally printed by Clancy’s printing service in Wonthaggi and will be added to the West Gippsland Libraries collections for the public to borrow.
Families and friends of the students watched live as the new authors celebrating their accomplishments with their teachers and Books By Us presenters at a red carpet launch event on November 11.
Shaun Leane, Minister of Local Government, and Rick Brown, President of West Gippsland Libraries, were teleported to congratulate the students.
Staff at the small rural school, which has fewer than 150 students, were delighted to have been chosen for the long-term program and worked tirelessly to ensure it continued even when the lockdown meant half of the sessions were to be delivered remotely.
One student said: “I really like Books By Us because we have the opportunity to let our thoughts run free. I hope we can do more in the future.
Another: “My favorite part of Books By Us was researching our projects. I wish I could do it again.
Books By Us was developed by professional author Nansi Kunze and draws on her own experience with its publishers, Penguin Random House and Hawker Brownlow Education.
Ms Kunze and Drouin Librarian Michelle Lewry first offered the program, which is funded by West Gippsland Libraries, Writers Victoria and other sponsors, to students at Trafalgar Primary School in 2019.
They hope to share the experience of becoming real authors with more students next year, when West Gippsland Libraries becomes the Myli non-profit group.