By the time school lets out in May, Greenbrier Middle School's eighth-grade advanced writing students will already be published authors.
The 40 students of gifted teacher Becky Holley and eighth-grade writing teacher Leslie Wright gathered with their parents at the school on Jan. 30 to hear about the requirements and expectations for the third edition of a student-written-and-published literary magazine.
"I really think this magazine is going to be the best one ever," Wright told the parents and students congregated in the school library. "This year, these kids we see everyday, they are incredibly talented."
The project allows students to experience every aspect of the magazine publishing process from doing research, setting up and conducting interviews and taking their own photos. It also involves numerous copy edits and using computer software to lay out stories in preparation for printing.
As in years past, students will get advice from professionals in the industry.
The past two editions of the magazine tapped students' passions by focusing on teen interests in Columbia County. Holley gave students a homework assignment at the meeting to prepare them for this year's focus - profiling Columbia County residents.
"Be thinking about people you know that are interesting, that have a story to share, that have certain accomplishments, talents, unusual hobbies," Holley said.
Chris Morgan, 13, said he is interested in politics and knew who he wanted to write about.
"Former (state) senator Jake Pollard," Chris said, adding that his family goes to church with Pollard. "That's my planned occupation in the future - law school, then judge, then senator, then state judge."
Students will soon begin work on the two-month process from planning and researching to final layout design. By the end of March, Holley said she hopes the stories will be ready to head to the printer, who is doing the work at cost.
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