Friday, March 29, 2013

Oh Happy Day!

Finally some rain after this dry spell. It's been a good week for Pauline!

Short Story Submission Form
First, a teacher from a far away place called Alaska contacted me. She teaches an AP Literature class in Anchorage, Alaska and is really interested in doing my project with her students. Since all the writing they do is geared toward the AP test, her students never get to do any creative writing and that's where my project comes in. I am super excited to read what kind of stories students from Alaska have to tell. I have been mostly getting stories from California students and more specifically students in the HBUHSD so I wonder if teenagers in Alaska have different things to say.

This week, the BBN segment came out with a clip from my interview about my project in it. This has been great publicity for my project and has come at the perfect time before Spring Break. More of my peers are interested in submitting to my project and now they have a whole week to write me something. I have gotten more people asking about my project and where they can submit so thank you BBN!

Link to BBN segment:

Since I have been so short on time lately, this week will definitely be DIY week. I shall put up another Facebook post with my submission link soon to remind my friends to help a fellow out. Hopefully I can balance catching up with friends, studying for AP tests, doing school work, doing the DIY project, and most importantly, RESTING during my Spring Break. Oh the woes of a modern teenager.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Taking a Breather

I really don't have much to add this week. I found out another teacher in the HBUHSD is giving extra credit for my project as well, so that is exciting.

I have been slacking on emailing teachers but I will get back to that next week! I also need to hound my friends to send me stories as well. But everyone has been super busy lately so I will bother them like no other over Spring Break.

I have been super swarmed this week and barely had any time to work the DIY project. However, now that all the other projects I have been working on are wrapping up, I can put more focus into this one. Since Spring Break is coming up in a week, that will be the perfect opportunity to really go full force on my book.

Sorry there isn't much to say this week, if I even have dedicated readers, but à bientôt! (See you soon)
Editing a Story (keeping it all super secret until publishing)

Friday, March 15, 2013

And the Journey Continues

This week has been wonderful for my project! I'm getting all jittery inside.

Several teachers here at Fountain Valley have gotten back to me. Most have agreed to share my project with their students and one even is even graciously offering extra credit to submit to my project. I nearly hyperventilated when reading that email. Extra credit is more than I could ever ask for.

I have also been in contact with a student from Westminster High School who was interested in submitting to my project. It's nice to know that my hard work is paying off and that the word about my project is getting out there. I was also interviewed for the BBN today so that will get my project out to the rest of the school as well.

I've been getting more submissions lately ever since the extra credit was offered so now I am in the process of editing the stories for clarity. I am enjoying the stories I have received so far. They are quite heart felt and it's nice to read what others have gone through and learned.

Today was the day I had to pitch my project as well. I think my pitch went well and I hope it peaked my classmate's interest in my little book.

For next week, I hope to receive more stories and continue editing. I also want to start choosing stories to add into the actual word document that I have created for my book. Until next week my friends!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Nowhere to Go But Up

Calling all you writers! I need your voice!

I have finally built up the courage and release my form and plea to my Facebook page. I was a little afraid before because being rejected by people I know personally is much more of a blow to the self-esteem than being rejected by a stranger halfway across the country.

So far, support has been positive! Instead of posting a status, I decided to post a picture and then write my request with it because I figured that people usually stop and look at pictures more often than stopping to read statuses, especially lengthy ones. Also, if people like a photo, it resurfaces on the news feed again. I am such a dork, but I even looked up studies of when people are most responsive on Facebook so I could time my post perfectly.

The things I do for English.

I even found a nice graphic poster to go along with my post with a quote from Ray Bradbury, "Don't talk about it; write." People are always talking about the crazy adventures they had in high school, so why not write about it?

I'm slowly but surely getting submissions. Some are incredibly cheesy and some are quite touching. I'm hoping to edit the cheesy ones so they're a bit more bearable. I've emailed all the English teachers in the HBUHSD district and some have agreed to share my information with their students! A teacher in Washington also got back to me so we'll see what comes from that.

I've also set a date for myself. I will be receiving submissions until May 12, 2013. I will have it all put together my the 17th of May and be ready to order that day. It takes about a week for Lulu to print a book so I hope to get it around May 24th which will should just put me up to the due date of this project. I might have to modify this date to give me more breathing room though.

Surveymonkey went down for a bit this week and I had a mini panic attack but it's okay now. Hopefully that doesn't happen again.

Our pitch is coming up in a week so I must prepare for that. I still don't know what to show for my visual or what I'm going to say really, but I will figure it out! In the meantime, I will continue to reach out to more people.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Reaching, Branching, Calling Out

And so the hunt for stories begins. As I mentioned in my last post, I sent out battalion of emails to teachers all over America. I wasn't sure if I would get a response but I thought, "better at least try!"

To my surprise and joy, I happened to email one of the sweetest teachers from New Orleans, Louisiana. She's offering her classes extra credit if they submit a story to me, which is more than I could ever ask for. Her students struggle with writing though so I am interested to see what kind of stories I will receive from them, if any.

Her email brought hope that this project might actually work. She was the only one to respond to me out of the first batch of emails I sent though. I have since out two more batches of emails in the last week so let's hope I hear from one of those teachers.

I haven't asked around locally yet however. I will contact local high schools next week and post my submission form on Facebook so my friends can submit if they want to. The pitch is also coming up and still have to figure out what I am going to say in my presentation. I want to think up of a simple way to present the concept yet also peak people's interest in my project.

I'm starting to worry that I won't get a lot of stories from other states, but I think I can at least muster up a sufficient amount of stories from FVHS students. It's not my ideal project, but not everything can be perfect.

To explain my picture, I came across this quote on the lovely site Pinterest, which is the site I go to for inspiration for just about everything. I didn't know what my real motive was for choosing this as my project. I knew I wanted to do something to help my fellow students but I realized the true reason when reading this: I wanted to read a book like this. I wanted to read the stories that people would submit to me to see what kinds of things other students have to go through, so voila! Mystery solved. Thank you Toni Morrison and Pinterest.