Student Collaboration – Book Publication Release “Something in the Yard”

Student Collaboration – Book Publication Release “Something in the Yard”

Full Book Jacket – 2013 Creative Writing and ART illustartion collaboration Project.
Buy your copy at and help fund the Art Department at El Rancho Charter School

We’d be lying if we said we started with some master plan to publish this book. The reality is much humbler, much cooler.

It started with a bunch of students who didn’t likely know they were authors. These writers were just a handful of 200+ students from Mr. Stephens Creative Writing course. They thought they were writing a story for their Honors English class. So did he.

But as he started reading and grading them, he discovered many of them were pretty good, so he threw out the offer to a select few writers: “If you’re interested in revising them, we’ll see if they’re good enough to publish somewhere, somehow.”

This wasn’t for a grade in class . . . it was purely for the joy and possibility of making something lasting. They were into it. A few writers dropped out. It was a lot of work for outside-of-school time. But this choice handful stuck with it.

One day in the office the Art teacher, Mr. Puchalski, and Mr. Stephens got to chatting about the book project. Mr. Puchalski loved it and offered the idea: “What would you think of some of my illustrators partnering with your writers? Maybe they could illustrate a cover for the stories?”

We loved the idea, and soon, the project was flying. Our first meeting had almost 100 artists, all thrilled at this idea. As time ticked on and more effort was required, only the strong and committed stuck with the project. Illustrators competed against each other to create the best cover for the story, and authors got to choose which cover they loved the most.

And here we are.

The collection is done — thirteen original stories accompanied with original artwork, wrapped in original cover artwork. And all of it, created by students with the guidance of Mr. Stephens as the Chief Editor and Mr. Puchalski the Art Director and Cover Design.

So we hope you enjoy our efforts because we sure all enjoyed the journey.


The Book is available on line at

Follow the link to purchase your copy for a discounted price of $10.00 until April 26th.

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