English department chair Jennifer Babcock and her English 12: Creative Writing students have been publishing short fiction, poems, song lyrics, and graphic stories on an online platform called Street Snippets (http://www.streetsnippets.com/) throughout this unique academic year. Now, a printed collection of their work is available on amazon.com as Street Snippets 2020-2021. Collaborating with Street Snippets senior storyteller Mark Miller in New York City, the pieces created by John Bapst students are based on overheard snippets of conservation. As stated on the Snippets website, “We provide the snippet. You provide the story.”
The origins of Street Snippets and the partnership with John Bapst
Mark Miller explains:
“Streets Snippets started in 2016 as a project for my son’s 8th grade English class in New York City. The original concept was to give the kids a snippet of conversation heard on the streets of the city, and have each student write an original story based upon that snippet. After my son graduated from middle school, the platform wasn’t used for several years.
“It seemed logical to reopen the platform as an extension of the online curriculum development being created as an educational alternative during the COVID pandemic in 2020. When I first approached John Bapst High School in Bangor, Maine about using the Street Snippets platform for their 2020-2021 creative writing class, little did I know the diversity of ideas and formats that would come from this talented group of high schoolers. The first indication was when a request came through to submit a poem instead of a story. Sure, I thought, that would be fun. That was soon followed by requests for publishing songs, cartoon strips and images. The formats went far beyond the basic short story.
“What you will find in this book are the stories and projects created by the authors at John Bapst. We have kept the stories as written, laying them out as closely as possible to the format created by the authors. The stories in the book are arranged by snippet, with each story beginning with the snippet for that month. As you read through each chapter, you will find a diverse set of ideas, each original, each personal, that takes the snippet as its opening line and then has the story run its course.
“Each of the stories can be found in its original form on the Street Snippets site. If you like a particular story, you can leave a comment for the author when you visit the site.
“As the publisher of Street Snippets, I couldn’t be prouder of the authors from John Bapst. I look forward to working with next year’s students as we continue to encourage and promote the work of the next generation of authors.”
Street Snippets 2020-2021 is available at amazon.com and includes all the stories, poems, songs, and illustrations John Bapst students contributed this academic year.
Street Snippets’ Mark Miller wishes to thank John Bapst’s Lillian Peaslee ‘21 for designing the book cover and the opening chapter graphics for the book (see below). He also thanks graphic designer Valerie Zargarpur for formatting and designing the book, and his daughter, Aurora, “for putting up with me as we wandered the streets of New York City, listening for the snippets that would become your stories.”
In closing, Mr. Mark offers this advice to the young authors of John Bapst, “It has been fun to watch you grow as authors. Please take what you’ve done here and continue to express yourself through the creative writing process. You never know who you will affect or reach through your writing.”
Congratulations, Liam Bishop, Emma Malia Brown, Zachary Harvey, Nicolas Johnson, John Nadeau, Lillian Peaslee, Sam Slavin, Grace Stinson, and Maizy Weirich.