Story Studio Writing Society Publishes First Anthology with Local Publisher

Victoria Imagined: Stories by Local Kids sheds new light on BC’s Garden City

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA - March 16, 2015 - Victoria's own Story Studio Writing Society is pleased to present the launch of their first anthology of stories, Victoria Imagined: Stories by Local Kids. Professionally published by project sponsor FriesenPress, Victoria Imagined consists of stories written about the city by Grade 4/5 students from throughout the Greater Victoria region. The Story Studio is a registered charity that is dedicated to advancing children’s relationship with literacy by fostering self-expression through the creation of their own published stories. Established in 2011, over 1300 local children benefit from their workshops each year.

Victoria Imagined is the outcome of an exciting collaboration between many community members and groups dedicated to fostering the creativity and confidence of local kids,” explains Story Studio founder, Paisley Aiken. “Setting the stories in Victoria allows the kids an opportunity to reflect on the place they call home and helps reinforce the idea that they are a vital part of this community, a place which they help shape. For the kids selected for the anthology, the thrill of being chosen by literary professionals and professionally published by FriesenPress is truly a life-changing experience.”

Last autumn, the Story Studio Writing Society wrote with over 250 students in five local inner-city schools: Tillicum, Oaklands, McCaulay, VicWest and James Bay Elementary School. An independent selection committee comprised of a number of notable local writers and publishers chose representatives from each class to be included in the final collection. Committee members include Victoria Writer's Festival Chair & Founder Sarah Cassidy, the Times Colonist’s Andrew Duffy, shortlisted Man Booker Prize author Esi Edugyan, and FriesenPress President Tammara Kennelly.

“In 2013, FriesenPress was afforded the opportunity to partner with Story Studio and join their team in the classroom. As a company that assists self-published authors, we were thrilled to embark on this mission to advance children’s literacy and nurture the creative minds of tomorrow’s writers” says Kennelly, President of Anthology publisher FriesenPress. “Producing and publishing this anthology, Victoria Imagined, was the natural next step in supporting this endeavour. We are proud to have contributed to this next generation of authors, and to have helped ensure that their stories are heard.”

The anthology, featuring illustrations from award-winning local artist Gareth Gaudin, will be released at a launch event at the Parkside Hotel on May 8th with a host of amazing entertainers. Victoria Imagined: Stories by Local Kids will be available for purchase online and at participating stores.

The Story Studio is supported by FriesenPress, TELUS, RBC, Rotary Club of Saanich, AbeBooks and the Hamber Foundation.

About Story Studio:

Founded in 2011, Story Studio began as a small seed: a hope to bring literacy and creativity into children’s lives by giving them the tools to tell their own stories, in their own words. After workshops are completed, each student is given a copy of their own published book, tangible proof that they can author a story and have an opportunity to share and read with their family.