July 25, 2024

The Christian Authors Club, newly formed in 2010 at Riverside Christian High School, recently compiled a student anthology that took two years of dedication titled “Tablets of the Heart.”

When the authors club first got the idea to put together an anthology of student fiction, they looked into publishing houses. When one was found, the publishers were “impressed” by these students, said Vance Nichols, editor and principal for the Riverside Christian school.

“No one ever does this in the country, no high school publishes its own book,” Nichols said.

The book was started in fall 2010 and published this past Aug. 10. The editing process took a lot of time and dedication, Nichols said.

“The editing process was the most laborious process for the students, and the one that took the longest,” Nichols said. “The students had to learn that process. But it only made it better as they began to learn together and sharpen each other’s work.”

During this process, some of the work was lost, and the students depended on each other’s memories to recall the story.

“I know that one of the members had written out her whole story and it was ready to go, but then we lost the USB (drive) that had her story on it,” said Jennifer LaMonica, one of club founders and a student editor for the book. “So, we had to sit there for many hours rewriting her whole story from memory, and everyone who read it was pitching in ideas, saying, ‘This was in there.’”

LaMonica, a contributor to the book, said many different types of stories are in this anthology, including poems, stories and even some artwork.

The first time the student writers saw the cover of the book, “their jaws dropped,” Nichols said. Before seeing the cover, all the hard work and effort that went into it was still just an abstract idea in the writers’ minds.

“The writers really did believe in possibilities, that all things are possible with God,” Nichols said. “As a writer and a researcher I think what they have done is really extraordinary.”

The book is available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble Inc. and AuthorHouse Publishing. On Nov. 10, a book-signing for “Tablets of the Heart” will be held at Riverside Christian High School, 3532 Monroe St., just across the street from California Baptist University.

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