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Publisher partners with writing workshop to offer filmmaking course


Forget those splashy, flashy movie trailers. Did you know that books have trailers just as complex and imaginative? To help young readers explore the world of storytelling, publisher Islandport Press has partnered with Unwritten Roads, a writing workshop, to offer a course for teens on filmmaking. Students will write, direct, and star in an original book trailer, based on a forthcoming Islandport Press young adult title. 

The course, which will take place during eight two-hour sessions, will cover screenwriting, set and costume design, acting, filming, and video editing. Islandport Press will host the workshops at its offices in Yarmouth. Students will make an original book trailer or short film of “The Door to January,” a paranormal young adult novel by Maine author Gillian French, which will be released in September. Students will interview the author, and be part of a premier of the film and a book release event. The finished trailer will be shown on the Islandport Press website, the author’s website, and across all social media channels. 

“Not only is this a perfect way to engage with our readers,” says Islandport Press children’s book editor Melissa Kim, “but we’re also thrilled to provide support for a screenwriting workshop program. Creating a trailer allows kids to apply what they know about stories and narratives from books to a new medium, and gets them to think about storytelling in a new way.”

Unwritten Roads is a mobile, multi-genre creative writing workshop for young adults in Maine. Instructors Laura Cowie and Katherine Nicoll are graduates of the Creative Writing program at the University of Maine Farmington and teach creative filmmaking courses at Waynflete School, The Portland Public Library, Cape Elizabeth Community Services, and The Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maine. For more information, visit 

The course will take place on January 17, 19, 24, 26, 31 and February 2, 7, 14, from 3 to 5 p.m. For more details or to register, email