Posts Tagged ‘Wren’s Nest Publishing Company’

The Bard & The Muckraker — Comin’ Atcha!

Written on August 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm, by Amelia

Have you heard about this little event called the Decatur Book Festival? It’s over Labor Day Weekend.

They’re expecting a tidy 80,000 visitors or so, and 300 featured authors. No biggie. I mean, it’s only the largest independent book festival in the country. Whatever.

Anyhow, they do this one cool thing — they release a book each year in conjunction with the festival. As in, they promote one single book, just one that’s released by and for the festival itself. And — so weird, you guys — it’s always been the literary journal created by the high school students in the Wren’s Nest Publishing Co.!

This year’s journal, The Bard & The Muckraker, will premiere at the DBF. It’ll be sold at the Wren’s Nest tent and by the student editors themselves all over the festival. You should purchase a copy. It will feel great.

While I’m being bossy, here’s something else for you to do — celebrate the journal on Sunday, September 5th at their literary salon from 2 – 5 pm at Several Dancers Core. There will be live music, free food, board games, and an unlimited supply of air conditioning.

Plus you get to support these teenagers who have worked so hard over the summer just to get someone like you to notice their work. Someone just like you!

P.S. You can purchase a copy here in case we miss you at the Decatur Book Festival.

And The Bard & The Muckracker Cover Is…

Written on July 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm, by Amelia

After a hard-fought battle wrought with hair pulling (not true), tears (not true), and hours of deliberation (totally, totally true), our student editors chose a cover for their 2010 literary magazine, The Bard & The Muckraker.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the winner:

This cover was created by Emily Hauck of Lampe-Farley Communications.  (The other cover, for the many of you who fell deeply, deeply in love with it, was created by the talented Alicia Johnson.)

Thanks so much to both of our designers — this was an incredibly difficult decision for our students, mainly because both designs are just so darn great.  (A wonderful problem to have.)

Additionally, thanks to all of you who told us what you thought — the students appreciated your opinions, especially when the debate was stalled in a dead heat (see: 3 hours, seriously).  Look at you, making a difference.

Thanks, everyone!

Wren’s Nest Publishing Company 2010: Potential Covers for The Bard & The Muckraker

Written on July 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm, by Amelia

If a Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. keeps chugging along but no one blogs about it, does it still happen?

The answer is: yes, and thank goodness for that.  This week the students get to choose a cover for their literary journal – exciting!  The journal debuts at the Decatur Book Festival to thousands of bookish types, so this is no small decision, no sir.

Here are the two submissions, created by local, incredibly talented designers (whose names we’ll splash all over the place once y’all have let us know what you think).  The students gave the designers a few cues, and both did absolutely amazing jobs of incorporating their requests.

Behold, #1 (remember, you can click on the pictures to make them bigger):

#2 requires a touch of explanation.  The designer created it so that it could be read from both directions (with the interior pages printed right side up, and the other half upside down).  Here is it from both angles:


So!  What do y’all think?  Which do you like better?  Tell us everything!

I’m not saying your opinions will actually affect anything, but it’s sure nice to hear ’em.

The Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. Visits Paste Magazine — This Time, in 2010!

Written on June 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm, by Amelia

The good folks at Paste Magazine were kind enough to host the Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. students on a tour of their offices once again.  You think they would learn.

As is his habit, Editor-in-Chief Josh Jackson graciously showed us around, which was great.   The students, as is their habit, kept a healthy distance.  A good call, since Josh is absolutely the meanest person I know.*


We stopped in the offices of MetaLeap Design, who do all the graphic design for Paste, but also for other people, too.  They’re nice like that.

Here are the students with their futures (fingers crossed!) ahead of them: the interns!  Doesn’t it look glamorous?!

Our editors had a lot of questions for Paste’s Editors, all of which they graciously answered.  This is probably when Associate Editor Rachael said that interviewing people made her want to die.

A different view, this time including Editors Austin and Michael.

Paste, go figure, receives a lot of CDs.  Many of them end up here, and some are even on shelves!

They even listen to them sometimes!

Paste Multimedia Producer Kevin told the students about the time he met some dudes who were cleaning up trash at a music festival.  They handed him their demo CD.   Kevin had previously vowed to listen to every CD he was handed by a human, and so he listened.

The result?  The world now knows about The Low Anthem!  (P.S.  Every time Kevin tells that story, he’s handed many CDs.  And he still listens to every one.  What a mensch!)

Everyone who performs at Paste signs this wall.  It’s neat.

Here’s Rachael enjoying a token of our appreciation, courtesy of The Cookie Studio.  Yes, they are that big, and yes, they are that good.

Thanks again to the staff of Paste for sacrificing their time for the sake of our students’ bragging rights.  See y’all next summer!

Modern Family Depicts Our KIPP STRIVE Project

Written on May 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm, by Amelia

Did y’all see Modern Family last night?

The story-line where Luke interviews Al Bundy (I suspect) totally mirrors the interview process of our KIPPsters and their respective Al Bundys.

Why, these are exactly the kind of stories we’re trying to preserve!

This old clip — my Dad’s favorite from That ’70s Show — may also provide a glimpse into the challenges of our KIPPsters’ interviews, especially the succinct way Kelso sums up his dad’s experiences.

YouTube Preview Image

Both clips serves as great lessons in Why We Have Adults Checking Things Over And, As A Result, Often Saying Things Like “This might be made up.” Hooray!

KIPP STRIVE Halftime Report

Written on May 19, 2010 at 11:35 am, by Amelia

Our (still unnamed; any ideas, people?) writing program with KIPP STRIVE Academy has progressed swimmingly.

While we’re taking a break right now (that pesky school schedule is really putting a damper on things), the students have conducted their interviews, written their accounts, and are currently polishing their second drafts.

We can’t show you any of their work yet, but we were lucky enough to have our (talented photographer) friend Ajay Pillarisetti document our last meeting.

This is Amanda and her student, Misha.  Amanda is the senior editor of Atlanta Magazine and the meanest person I know.  Can’t you just see it in her eyes?

Here KIPPster Rani is telling his partner, Jon, to focus on the work at hand. Jon is probably talking about birds again.

I can’t say anything glib here — I love this photo too much.  Way to be my kryptonite, Naima and Kimberly.

Matt and his partner, Mohammed, compare notes on how awesome the Kim King Foundation is for sponsoring this project.  Well, maybe they’re talking about Mohammed’s story, but probably not.

We won’t meet again with the students until July.  In the meantime Lain and I will be working on the nuts and bolts of the publication.  We’ve been so encouraged so far, by both our volunteers and students (and especially the KIPP STRIVE staff), it’s hard to have to wait so many weeks to meet again.

While we’re waiting, what should we call this program?  Ideas that have been bandied about:

Gumshoes, Shoo Flys, Raconteurs, Correspondents, Fabulists, Bird Dogs, any combination of anything.

Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. Editor Applications Due May 9th!

Written on May 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm, by Amelia

This is the clock.

It’s ticking!

Applications to be an Editor in our life-changing, summer-making, generally enjoyable, highly competitive high school publishing program are due Sunday, May 9th.

I am super pleased to report that we already have a solid number of applicants, but we’re not nearly where we want to be by next week.  So far we’ve heard back from 1/12 of the high schools we contacted.  We can kick that up to 1/6, I just know it!

So!  Please help us get the word out where we couldn’t ourselves.  This really is a great opportunity for high school students — I wouldn’t lie.  Not about anything that isn’t funny, anyways.

All information about the program, including application forms, can be found here!

New Writing and Publishing Project with KIPP STRIVE — Volunteers Needed!

Written on February 19, 2010 at 10:03 am, by Lain Shakespeare

I’m pleased to announce that next month the Wren’s Nest Publishing Company is starting a new program with the help of the Decatur Book Festival.

It’s like StoryCorps826 Valencia + the kids in our neighborhood.  Y’all with me?

KIPP STRIVE Academy is the new APS charter school just around the corner in the old J.C. Harris Elementary building.  Starting in late March, each week the Wren’s Nest Publishing Company will bring volunteers with significant writing experience to work 1-on-1 with about 25 KIPP STRIVE 5th graders. The goal is to help improve and broaden their writing skills.

We’ll be working on a creative nonfiction project — the students will identify a great story told to them by a significant adult in their life, be it a parent, grandparent, neighbor, whomever.  Volunteers will guide the students, helping them craft the story to the best of their abilities.

The stories will be compiled for a book to be released at the Decatur Book Festival.  We’ll have a big book release party to celebrate at the DBF.

Our mission boils down to the fact that everyday people have remarkable stories, and that these stories deserve to be heard. We’ve got an opportunity to tell the stories of our community, and you have the opportunity to help these students find their voices.

StoryCorps and 826 Valencia in particular have been inspirations in demonstrating the power of story and the power of 1-on-1 tutoring.  See for yourself —

We’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join us in this venture, starting… now.  Interested?

Check out the details below and then email Amelia ( with “Writing! Woo!” in the subject line before March 12th. She’ll send you a (very brief) application form.

  • Orientation sessions (2 hours maximum; beers to follow) will begin in mid-March
  • Tutoring sessions will be held Tuesday afternoons from 3 – 4 pm, April – early June
  • Volunteers must be willing to commit to 10 hours of service over a 2 month span.
  • Volunteers must have experience in some sort of writing (you need not have written a book, mind you! We’re merely looking for good writers. If you think you qualify, you probably do. Amelia, for example, wrote a lot of literature papers in college and now writes this blog. She counts!)

Finally, we would deeply appreciate it if you would forward this opportunity to anyone you feel would be great for this project, but isn’t smart enough to regularly read our blog.  Assembling 20 – 25 volunteers is no small feat, but with your help, we feel up to the task.

Support Our Student Editors at the Decatur Book Festival!

Written on September 3, 2009 at 4:06 pm, by Amelia

As you all well know by now, Lain and I have big plans for this weekend — it’s the Decatur Book Festival!

DBF Bookzilla

(I especially love the DBF's graphic design this year)

We’re getting pumped about the opportunity to meet hundreds of visitors and say things like, “Yes, the Wren’s Nest does still exist.  We can’t believe it either.”

Furthermore, we’ll be debuting something big — our new banner!  Worth the (non-existent) price of admission alone, it will surely help you locate our tent between the Children’s Stage and the Gazebo.

But that’s not all that’s in store for us, no sir.  On Sunday afternoon our Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. student editors will be hosting a salon/cofeehouse to celebrate their literary journal, Wayfarer’s Diary.  Hey! You should come!

Wayfarer's Front Cover Only

Not only will the students and authors be reading their pieces, but there will be live music, free food, and most importantly, board games!  Oh, and you can buy the journal there too. (5 bucks – cheap!)

So join me and the students — a charming group, if I do say so — at Several Dancer’s Core between 2 and 5pm on the Decatur Square, right above the MARTA station.  See you there!

Wren’s Nest Publishing Company — Potential Covers for Wayfarer’s Diary

Written on July 28, 2009 at 3:35 pm, by Lain Shakespeare

Wayfarer’s Diary, this year’s publication from the high school editors of the Wren’s Nest Publishing Company, will be released at the Decatur Book Festival over Labor Day weekend.

The editors engaged two professional designers — Lauren and Lucy — to put in bids for a cover.  I can’t tell you whose is which just yet, but here’s the front cover for one of the bids:

Potential Cover for Wayfarer's Diary

(Here’s a bigger version.)

And here’s the front, back, and spine of the other bid:

A Potential Wayfarer's Diary Cover

(Here’s a bigger version.)

What do you think of the covers?  Should the editors should go wavy or dusty?

Your vote doesn’t count for anything (no really, we’ll just throw it in the trash), but the Wren’s Nest Publishing Company editors do read this blog.  I’m sure they’d appreciate your braining.

We’ll reveal the chosen design at the Decatur Book Festival.  See y’all there!

Previously: When the Publishing Company Visited the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Paste Magazine.