The Abingdon Anthology is a collection of 37 short stories inspired by the school and the town. The stories are written by pupils and staff with the help of the school’s Writer-in-Residence, Jason Hewitt, who also wrote a specially commissioned story for the anthology.
The stories are wide-ranging: some humorous, others thrillers, there are detective and ghost stories, historical and dystopian tales plus fantasy. Some are from a child’s perspective and others an adult’s. Speaking about the anthology, Rachel Yarrow, who is head of English at the school, said: “We began the project in February and have had an overwhelming response from all areas of the school: pupils from the First Year to Upper Sixth, teachers across many subjects including Chemistry, Economics, History, Drama, Geography, Physics and Classics and not just academic staff, we also have a writer from the school’s Health Centre.”
Author Jason Hewitt oversaw the project. Jason became involved with the School after a chance encounter with Rachel Yarrow when he was a guest author at Oxford’s literary event, Short Stories Aloud. Jason said: “It was an opportunity that I couldn’t possibly turn down, and has been a fantastic experience. I was very lucky in that the English and History teachers I had at my secondary school gave me the encouragement and inspiration I needed, and set me on the course that I am on now – writing historical fiction. Since then I’ve been keen to do what I can to inspire future writers too.
‘My experience at Abingdon has shown that many of the boys are not only avid readers but also very talented storytellers, which has been very reassuring. I’m not ready to hand over to the next generation of writers quite yet, but at Abingdon at least, I’m pleased to see that the continuation of our literary heritage is in safe hands.”