Creative Minds Captivate Communities

Students Share Trials of Self-Publishing Novels


Corey Butler (’20) and Cara Dalcamo (’20) take a closer look at their newly-printed novels on February 12. In Butler’s novel, titled Children of Jupiter, his main character Benjamin Tyr discovers he has supernatural abilities. Dalcamo wrote a fantasy novel called Winter and Jas, which features magic, dragons, a werewolf, and other fantastical elements.

After months of writing, rewriting, editing, and waiting, Corey Butler and Cara Dalcamo finally received the best reward a writer can receive. The two seniors unveiled their books in a ceremony on February 12. Corey and Cara’s joy-filled smiles practically lit the room as Ms. Shaffer handed them their finally finished books.

 The book ceremony was an opportunity for these two to share their experiences and hopefully inspire their peers. Dalcamo’s advice to her onlooking classmates was, “ … don’t bite off more than you can chew because I originally wanted it to be a lot longer and was disappointed when it wasn’t. But just stick with what you know you can get in that amount of time.”

This advice connects to what Corey Butler also has to say. Butler states, “Don’t procrastinate, man. When you say you’re going to write 10 pages a day, you better write 10 pages a day.” 

Though their first outlook seemed pessimistic, both seniors soon celebrated their accomplishments and successful moments. Dalcamo explains that what led to her success, “I guess finally making myself write down the ideas I had.” 

Butler mentions that he had many obstacles in creating his piece of literature. He stated he learned “that I’m a huge procrastinator… but] I enjoyed writing it.” 

Procrastinating is a huge problem among many. Both were very adamant exclaiming to plan out how one would write their book out. Once the main ceremony was complete, the class was turned to working on their own stories.

 Even though the class is small, the vast difference between plots varied. Junior Alana Colvin mentions that she was in the process of writing a story about a woman stuck in the Salem Witch Trial. She says her plot is about “a young woman is accused of witchcraft  after her fiance …finds her father’s… necklace that has satanic symbols on it.”

Colvin’s historical fiction book has a contrast to Samantha Pagan’s story. Pagan explains that her plot is about a young woman who becomes infected by a viral disease. This young woman then goes on an adventure to try and find a cure after her grandfather mentions a village. 

The stories may vary, but all the creative writing students carry the same goal. They all wish to create a story that will captivate their audiences as their favorite stories captivated them. In a few months, this goal will most like to come true.