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NewsDepth A+: Expect the Unexpected

Oh! Don’t mind me! I’m just getting caught up on my reading! This is a book about four friends, one of whom goes missing! The other three go on a daring adventure to save their friend and discover secrets along the way! One of the coolest things about this book is that it was written by two eighth graders at Amherst Junior High School. They’re this week’s A+ Award winners. 

Emma Kucbel and Katelyn Banyas' journey as writers began when they were in sixth grade. Along with their classmates they entered a writing contest. The girls had so much fun, they entered a few more, and a writing career was born! Emma said that it was really motivating to participate and it inspired her and Katelyn to find more contests to compete in on their own. From there, the two authors started to write chapter books. Five of them to be exact! Quite impressive if you ask us!

Then one night at a sleepover party, inspiration struck. Katelyn told us that they came up with the title of their masterpiece, Expect the Unexpected, and they got to work.

We really couldn’t stop, once we got started,” Katelyn explained.

What really impressed us here at NewsDepth, is the very organized writing process they two authors used to tell their story. They began with a detailed outline that helped organize the flow of the story. Then they wrote drafts of each chapter. Once the draft was finished, they co-edited their work by collaborating on FaceTime and by using Google Docs. Fun fact, the team here at NewsDepth uses Google Docs to write the show each week! They even asked classmates and friends to give feedback on the story as it developed.

Once they were happy with their manuscript, they entered it into a template provided by the publisher. A manuscript is an author’s writing that has not yet been published. Emma and Katelyn told us that they even had to apply for an ISBN number. We had no idea what that was, so we looked it up and learned that an ISBN number is a unique number that identifies a specific book. 

We asked the authors for some advice to help us with our writing and Emma told us that patience is the key. Even when it’s hard, take your time and keep working. Katelyn told us that you should follow your dreams no matter what. Even if people tell you your dreams aren’t realistic, keep working, because anything is possible. Very wise words from both of them.

Expect the Unexpected ends with a cliffhanger, so here at NewsDepth, we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the sequel. This week’s A+ Award winners are Emma and Katelyn for their outstanding writing.

Submit your ideas for our NewsDepth A+ segment to newsdepth@ideastream.org for consideration.