Encourage students to write more – by getting them published!

Sponsored: Deborah Cox-Walker, founder of Little Ox Press, shares how they celebrate originality, boost confidence and improve attainment, providing expert mentoring, supporting literacy and strategic thinking

Pupils who take part in creative activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree.

An integrated creative approach to curriculum learning has been proven to positively affect academic performance (even in subjects as seemingly unconnected as advanced foreign language learning).

The prospect of seeing their name in print does not only widen a child’s aspirational vista, it also engages the disengaged by encouraging them to tell their side of the story and giving them a voice.

“Yes, yes, yes! Writing for a purpose – it’s what children need! They need to understand they are writing for an audience and that in itself will get them writing,” said an assistant headteacher.

This is why Little Ox Press is not just a publisher of books written or illustrated by children. We are about celebrating originality, boosting confidence and improving attainment. Research has shown that having a tangible end-product (a published book) improves creative engagement and provides health benefits, both mental and physical, while also raising academic standards.

Getting published is the ultimate achievement for anyone of any age.

In providing expert mentoring, we not only support literacy and strategic thinking but also encourage contributors to achieve their creative and personal goals regardless of their socio-economic background.

Here are 10 reasons to let your students curate their own book:

1. Enhanced mental health
2. Improved speech and language
3. Inspiring purpose and confidence
4. Combating loneliness
5. Exercising focus and resilience
6. Develops problem-solving
7. Raises aspirations and attendance
8. Sets apart university applicants
9. Forms the bedrock for innovation and independent thought
10. Boosts grades

According to Donna L. Miller (The English Journal, 2003), we are experiencing a “creativity crisis”.

How much more so now in the age of social media and the internet where tearing one’s eyes away from a shiny screen is nothing short of Herculean. Little Ox Press is here to fight fire with fire. We are dragging the elitist and unattainable world of book publishing down to earth so it can be used as a stepping stone and a powerful motivating force to greater things.

By supporting schools in their bid to increase literacy, improve engagement and attendance, and in providing a platform to showcase talent, we provide a concrete physical product, an end-point and a satisfying goal to academic endeavour.

As Wilson Thornley (The English Journal), explains, “Anyone knows that a writer needs an audience. But for a creative writer, the kind of audience matters in a special way.”

Self-publishing with self-professed ‘experts’ costs thousands. We are offering it at cost (and our mentors really are experts). There is no extra work for the teachers (in fact, it should take pressure off) and pupils’ parents can send their creative writing work directly to submissions@littleoxpress.co.uk (all instructions are on the FAQ page). Our mentors will liaise with the parents to provide feedback and encouragement to the students.

And by the way, what a great marketing tool! “Send your child to our school and they can get published with Little Ox Press in partnership with Oxford University Innovation.” Hello. Want to try and put a price on that? I hope you are glad that we have not!

At the end of the year, we gather all the work together, design a cover, typeset and graphic design a beautifully printed book with Oxford University Innovation’s logo on the back and your students’ names in print; and we will send you the number of copies included in your subscription fee.

What is more, if you are a secondary school, it does not need to cost you a penny. It could even enable you to find ways of freeing up cash as you apply it to the £25,000 per year budget (The Arts Pupil Premium). To say we are amazing value is an understatement. We are part of the solution in every way.

W: www.littleoxpress.co.uk

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