Junior Authors at Walnut

Cover of the book Hi & Bye written by Nyla Barnes, ‘26

Photo Courtesy of Nyla Barnes

Cover of the book Hi & Bye written by Nyla Barnes, ‘26

WHHS has always been an advanced school full of advanced students, in this case advanced writers. The Junior Authors program allows students ages 10-17 to write and publish their own books. Three WHHS students used this program to successfully write and publish each of their own books. 

Kenneth Caldwell, ‘27, wrote a 166 page book, called My Strange Prophecy in June 2021. It follows a protagonist making a remarkable discovery about himself during the desperate times of COVID-19.

“It’s about a dream I have where I see my uncle die from COVID-19, and how I can see the future so I try to travel forward in time to get the vaccine,” Caldwell said. 

Caldwell also has insight to exactly how the Junior Authors program works because he experienced it all first hand. 

“You go once a day every week, and you just write. If you have a question you raise your hand and ask the instructor,” Caldwell said. Caldwell explains that this was a very rewarding experience and plans on writing more books in the future.

At the same time another student was also writing her own book.

Another one of WHHS’s student authors is Nyla Barnes, ‘26. She began writing a book on mental health in June 2020. After nearly two years, her book, called Hi & Bye, was released.

“My book is about mental health where the ‘hi’ represents positive things and the ‘bye’ represents negative things,” Barnes said. “You need to replace the negative things in your life with new positive things.”

Barnes wrote her book hoping that young teenagers will read it and it will help them with the things they are struggling with. 

“It’s meant to help release anxiety, especially when things get too stressful,” Barnes said.

While the writers do get paid, they also have to pay $75 to get their book published.

Using the same program, the third and final student author is Lily Hope Hoffman-Suder. Hoffman- Suder wrote a book called Archtree 

Academy For Unique Minds: The Mystery of Gwendolyn Sallow. It’s about a girl named Gwendolyn Sallow who never thought she was all that special. But when she gets a letter inviting her to attend the mysterious Archtree Academy for Unique Minds, she discovers an extraordinary talent of hers. Gwen and her new friends must learn to trust each other and value each of their unique talents if they are going to protect their new world from an evil that unexpectedly rises up.

Walnut Hills values dedication and effort as shown by these three students who each wrote extraordinary books. Barnes says “Writing a book is more like a marathon than a sprint. It takes time putting ideas together but once you have it under control it becomes easy.”