(WHTM) — Harrisburg area author Stephen Kozan started touring schools after his first three books went to print.
“I worked on this curriculum of how books are published, how illustrations are made,” he said.
Then three years ago, an idea to inspire elementary and middle school students to become authors themselves. During each of his school visits, Kozan challenged students to write a one-page piece of “flash fiction.”
“They spread out all across the cafeteria and we let them have at it for 20 minutes,” Kozan said. “And they create either a summary of their story idea or they get right into it with dialogue and narrative.”
Get daily news, weather, breaking news and alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here
From those hundreds of submissions, Kozan and teachers team up to pick a winner. The chosen student then gets six to eight months to turn that flash fiction into an actual book, published by Kozan’s company Ready Aim Write Kids.
“My tagline for the business is ‘Creativity. Opportunity,” he said. “What that means is simply, I think if you give any kids opportunity, they will show you their creativity.”
So far, Kozan has published 42 young authors, giving wings to young authors like Sophie Hunt of Harrisburg. She’s the author of the novel “Fly.”
“I feel so proud,” Hunt said. “It’s awesome to look back in a few years and say ‘I wrote a book!”
And thanks to Ready Aim Write Kids, 13 more books are set to go to print over the next few months. Each young author makes royalties from their book sales. But the real reward goes far beyond the financial.
“It’s powerful for the community, powerful for the school, powerful for the parent and, of course, for the author themselves,” Kozan said.
Kozan is continuing his author visits at schools across the country; both virtually and in person. If you’d like more information about the author visits, click here.
If you would like more information about Ready Aim Write Kids and the books published, click here.
And for more information about the Student Author Movement, click here.