Some of the narratives are vivid and moving. Some are simple. Others are short but telling. All of them present glimpses into the creative minds of students in our Juvenile Court and Community Schools.
“Even damaged souls need love too,” wrote one student. “Wake up, Zoom, practice, sleep, repeat,” wrote another.
More than 50 students participated in the fall writing project in which they were asked to create flash narratives and six-word narratives, and some also completed artwork. The pieces were compiled into one electronic magazine called The Storytellers.
"I enjoyed writing the story because it was fun and something I had never done before. I'm excited to be a published writer," said Ashley, a student at Bayside Community School.
Flash narrative is a form of short story writing that includes a beginning, a middle, and an end as well as other narrative elements that occur in as few words as possible. Flash narratives usually run between 100 to 2,000 words.
“We know that it is critical to hear our students’ voices loud and clear and to let them know that their stories matter,” said Melanie Tolan, JCCS instructional coach. “We were working on having more cross-content integration as a district, so we asked all JCCS students to work within the narrative genre. We homed in on flash narratives, which maintained the integrity of the standards that we are aiming to meet, but also gave access to all students to participate.”
Tolan said that students were asked to write flash narratives in the range between 100 and 300 words and then condense them to six-word narratives with an emphasis on precise language.
“As I sat outside contemplating my life I could hear my heartbeat as if it was the base of a drum beating and sweat trickling down my face,” one student wrote. “I begin to squeeze my fist tight as if I’m holding onto my dear life. I could feel my blood boiling inside as if my skin was on fire, my mind clouded with impulsive thoughts debating on which decision I should make.”
Read more narratives in The Storytellers.