Art by Committee: The Story Behind the Writing of “Shake Girl”

Here at Stan­ford, a cou­ple of our teach­ers (Tom Kealey and Adam John­son) took a nov­el approach to run­ning a writ­ing class. They want­ed to see what hap­pens when 14 stu­dents col­lec­tive­ly write, edit and illus­trate a graph­ic nov­el. (A graph­ic nov­el is a type of com­ic book that fea­tures a lengthy and com­plex sto­ry­line.) Fast for­ward a few weeks, and you can see what the class pro­duced. Their nov­el, “a wild­ly ambi­tious, emo­tion­al­ly sear­ing sto­ry,” based on a series of true events, is called Shake Girl, and you can start read­ing it here. Should you want to learn more about the writ­ing of this col­lab­o­ra­tive nov­el, you can lis­ten to this pod­cast that gives you the back­sto­ry and also read this sec­tion of the Shake Girl web­site.

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