The stories are here, and now it's time for a big decision
A few weeks ago I wrote about my first steps on the journey towards the 10 Stories project. I'd received, and treasured, twenty-nine stories written by children in a local school, and the decision - to whittle these stories down to the magic ten - was already looking tough.
Well it just got even tougher. I've just received a further twenty-one stories from a different class, bringing the total to fifty. And this set is just as good as the first. It includes stories about an alien surfing in lava, a toilet squid, even more unicorns than last time, a teacher turning into a hippopotamus, and a theft of royal pancakes. My task is clear: I need to choose ten stories from this pile of fifty and pass them to our artists. It's no easy feat.
Here are some examples of some of my early favourites...
There are many stories that are just as good as these. Choosing from them is pretty much an impossible task. I can't help but feel that there is so much at stake, so much beyond the success or failure of the eventual artwork. One of the great things about this project was always that it might encourage children to write and give them confidence to pursue writing. But what about the children whose stories I don't pick? Will I dissuade them from pursuing writing? Will it be a knock to their confidence? I really hope not, but I can't help but worry that this could be an unintended consequence.
I think there's only one thing for it. In situations like this there is only ever one solution: Pass the buck. Not entirely: If I pick a shortlist, maybe twenty or thirty, I can pass these to the artists and get them to choose. That seems sensible - not only does it mean I don't have to stress out so much about choosing the right stories, but the artists can then pick something which suits their own style, so that, hopefully we'll get even better artwork.
The next step then is to contact the artists and get them to choose their stories and start illustrating. Watch this space for the artwork coming in!