Skip to content

Rocky Heights students become published authors

RHMS students Alana Rainosek, Tess Werhane, Hannah Philip, Devin Lindsey, and Rachael Stanek are pictured here with teacher Judi Holst. Rainosek has already sold 16 copies of her book “Wits” on Amazon.

“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”
— John Steinbeck

Article and photo by Amy Shanahan

Students in eighth grade at Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) had the opportunity to do something that many of us only dream of doing. They wrote and published their own novel.

Under the direction of eighth grade language arts teacher Judi Holst, approximately 40 students wrote novels with a minimum of 10,000 words by participating in the National Novel Writing Month event, or Nanowrimo during the month of November. During the spring semester, Holst gave her students the option to revise and edit their books and get them published. The students learned how to use the publishing software on their own, and were required to work independently to additionally complete their standard language arts coursework.

To further inspire the students, Holst hosted a “nano-night” in which the students came together to work on revising their books, and she brought in a young adult author named Chris Howard to speak to the kids. Holst remarked, “Chris Howard published his book “Rootless” through Scholastic and he was so amazing and taught the students so much about writing a book.”

After completing their novels, the students submitted them for publication through an independent publisher at Several of the students then began selling them on Amazon and copies of all of the books will be available in the RHMS library next fall.



Posted in


Recent Stories