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Shoreditch students at Complete Works school pen novel about life in London

PUBLISHED: 10:40 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:47 07 February 2018

A team of students from The Complete Works school, Shoreditch have written and published a collaborative novel in one week. Pictured at the Leadenhall Market Waterstones

A team of students from The Complete Works school, Shoreditch have written and published a collaborative novel in one week. Pictured at the Leadenhall Market Waterstones

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A team of 10 students from a Shoreditch independent school have written and published a novel in the space of a week.

A team of 10 students from The Complete Works school in Shoreditch have written and published a book about Hackney. Photo by The Complete Works A team of 10 students from The Complete Works school in Shoreditch have written and published a book about Hackney. Photo by The Complete Works

Students from Complete Works, an “alternative provision” school in Commercial Street, worked together to storyboard, write and edit a full-length novel about what life is like in the capital for today’s young people.

The book, Toxic Paradise: A London Story, tells the story of a musician who is learning to meet the challenges of inner city life that many young people face today, written and told from a school student’s perspective.

A central part of the novel is the teenager transition from the “lush countryside of Somerset” to the “dense forest of tower blocks in Hackney, where “both love and hate thrive”.

The protagonist, called Tyreece, is a conflicted musician whose only rhythm in life is his love of playing the drums.

Student Scott McEniry said: “Working in a group may be slightly tedious, but you have to think to yourself that this is going to be a reflection of me in the future. I know all the old people say ‘no pain, no gain’, so I’m glad that I had the chance to work with people on a published book.

“My favourite part was thinking of the story, and to turn that into pages in one week. As well as that, we tried to keep it like real life.”

Fellow student Daniel Luke-Gordon added: “I think that the experience was quite overwhelming at first but then I got into the rhythm, so it became easy, hard at times, fun, and tiring, but it paid off.”

The project was set up by White Water Writers, an organisation which works with students across the country on creative ideas.

Writing tutor Adam Steiner said: “It was a pleasure to work with pupils from The Complete Works school. The students have produced an interesting and challenging story that is all their own work – no adults have touched a key in the creative or editing process.

“The students provided a great example of what creative individuals can achieve in their own right, given the right opportunities, with each of them contributing towards a team effort.”

The book, launched at Leadenhall Market’s Waterstones in January, is available by searching for Toxic Paradise at amazon.co.uk.

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