The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

53° Flushing, NY
The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Starling Press launches online store, offering young authors a chance to publish original books

A+logo+for+the+newly+founded+Starling+Press.
Ms. Lipinski
A logo for the newly founded Starling Press.
HTML tutorial

This past January, the Starling Press, the student-run publication house at Townsend Harris High School, published its first set of books by students for purchase on Kindle and Amazon. Student club members and editors can now gain experience in the world of publishing, and student authors can now publish books with the help of a student-led team of editors who can format pieces of literature for print and digital publication. 

“I’m hoping that having this store will mean that the writing of students will be able to reach a wider audience more easily, and we will be able to publish many more works, including full-length novels, in the future,” said English teacher and Starling Press advisor Sarah Levine. 

Selecting a publishing home for the Starling Press was a monthslong process, according to Ms. Levine. She said that she worked with English teacher and Classic advisor Brian Sweeney to explore printing options from several companies

 “Mr. Sweeney and I were trying to figure out digital publishing for the press since this summer and tried a couple different platforms like Barnes & Noble Press before moving forward with Amazon publishing,” she said.

Ultimately, according to Mr. Sweeney, the answer they were looking for came from an unlikely source: the Steel Hawks, Townsend Harris’s robotics team. Relying on the business and fundraising prowess of the Steel Hawks, Mr. Sweeney worked with head coach of the Steel Hawks Joel Heitman to create an account for the Starling Press through Amazon’s Kindle Digital Publishing platform. 

While the advisors worked on the logistics of making the store a reality, the Editors-in-Chief of the Starling Press were in charge of training the editorial staff to oversee the publication of student books. Senior and Editor-in-Chief Angeline Wu said she and her fellow editors-in-chief will be “laying the cornerstones of the transformed publication for future generations of Harrisites to take over.”

Senior and co-Editor-in-Chief Jocelyn Jao said, “Allowing student works to sell on Amazon is a significant step for the Starling Press. It proves that any student writer is able to publish their work, and they have access to such opportunities through the Starling Press.” 

English Teacher and co-Advisor of The Starling Press Katherine Lipinski said “​​I am incredibly proud of my colleagues and our students. I look forward to seeing what is in store for The Starling Press.”

The Starling Press published the Creative Writing Summer Retreat Collection 2023 as their first item for purchase, which can now be bought for seven dollars. Since then, they’ve also published an edited collection of student-written flash fiction, called Flash Fiction Contest: 2023. All proceeds from the Amazon page go back to funding and supporting the Starling Press. In an effort to show the various kinds of projects The Starling Press can support, Mr. Sweeney wrote a nonfiction guide for students in the journalism track of the THHS Writers Academy called, The Classic Journalist Handbook.

“In the future, THHS teachers can create original textbooks and nonfiction guides to be published by The Starling Press,” said Mr. Sweeney. “The Starling Press has a team of nonfiction editors, and just like students, teachers can submit their work to them for review and guidance through the publication process.” 

The Starling Press hopes to represent students throughout the publication process in addition to spreading their work throughout the city. “I think this is a very exciting opportunity, especially for the writers, now that we can spread their work to [outside] our school, allowing more people to access them,” said junior and Starling Press Art Editor Jing Lin. The Starling Press will also expand and accept proposals from students around the city as it grows, aiming to publish books by New York City students through the guidance of other New York City students. 

Junior Amia Hossen said, “It’s not only a wonderful opportunity for the club but also for the students because it may just be the launching pad they need to continue their writing as a future career.”

Angeline and Jocelyn said they are both excited about sharing works of literature with the general public and being able to make publishing accessible for the writers. Angeline said, “Student writers are able to have their stories published on Amazon for free, which is a brilliant opportunity that I would urge all students to take advantage of.”

View Comments (1)
Donate to The Classic
$1300
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of The Classic. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, support our extracurricular events, celebrate our staff, print the paper periodically, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Classic
$1300
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (1)

All SNO Design Snapshots Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    AriettaMar 24, 2024 at 9:37 am

    Super cool stuff! Great work 🙂

    Reply