Kay: One for the Girls

Catas-TrophyI always like a good story about publishing, and today I found one. Here’s the opening of a new mystery now available on Amazon:

“Miss Peacock felt the warm tears welling up in her eyes. Ironically, she was, once again, reliving the final moments of the match which lead to the school’s fantastic victory in winning the coveted basketball trophy. Her smile grew bigger as she remembered the enormous effort the team had made and this caused her tears to career down her cheeks.

“It had been Miss Peacock’s lifelong ambition to hoist the trophy aloft with two victorious arms. Apart from basketball, Miss Peacock’s two more modest pastimes were knitting and the regular manufacturing and drinking of hot chocolate in the staff canteen.”

Thus begins The Catas-Trophy, a 140-page mystery about the theft of a prestigious basketball trophy from a school in London. The author(s): 29 girls, students in Class 5 at the Teresian School in Donnybrook, Co Dublin, ages 11-12. Each student wrote and illustrated a chapter.

The class teacher, Caoimhe Ní Fhaoláin, assigned the project to develop the students’ writing and teamwork skills. The girls voted regularly to decide the direction the story should take.

“It was a great lesson in diplomacy,” said Ní Fhaoláin. “They worked together to develop the characters and ensure that the plots are flawless throughout.” The students were responsible for the front and back cover design and illustration, blurb, and title.

Printed volumes of The Catas-Trophy are sold locally, and it’s also available on Amazon (currently 159,000 on the Amazon Best Sellers rank). Proceeds go to the Irish Cancer Society and Down Syndrome Ireland. Because that’s how the girls voted to do it.

I love that story. Right now it’s the top number in my “No Excuses” hit parade.


4 thoughts on “Kay: One for the Girls

  1. That’s terrific. For one thing, it’s great to hear of a teacher instilling a love of writing in young women. That’s where the next generation of romance writers will come from.

    • So true! I also like the idea that the teacher assigned such a big, long-term writing project. Besides the positive outcome when they finished, writing a big class project like this is preparation for those future writers when they get to the Ugly Sagging Middle of their story. 🙂

  2. That is awesome. This is not meant to open a can of worms, but it is teachers like that that make me think pay-for-performance for teachers is a good idea. Great teachers like that should be paid a heck of a lot more than they are.

    • This teacher does sound awesome, and it’s wonderful that she was so demanding of her class, which seems to be all girls. The Teresian School is described as a Catholic lay school, and the founding organization seems to have connections in Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines (there’s a tab on their web site for “Our Work in Peru”). So in general, the school seems to take a broad view, and it’s terrific for these students that they have teachers like Ní Fhaoláin.

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