Help and frequently asked questions

Can I use my Scholastic Rewards to purchase We Are Writers books?

Scholastic Rewards cannot be used to buy We Are Writers books, but you can earn Rewards on any books sold. You can use school funds to make your purchases and can be invoiced separately for We Are Writers books if you wish.

How can We Are Writers benefit my Book Fair?

A We Are Writers book can add a real buzz to your Fair – and displaying your final book at a Fair will also help to increase the number of people who order a copy. You will earn Scholastic Rewards on any books that you sell at your Fair.

As a Fairs customer, you will need to carry out the actions below:

  1. Before you start, make sure you will have enough time to complete the book in time for your Fair delivery date.
  2. When you set up your book, select the date of your Fair as the sample delivery date by selecting the circle next to your Fair date.
  3. Place your final order only when you have advertised your book at your Fair and collected all of your orders. We recommend that you do not pre-order your books in the hope of selling them as you will be liable for the cost of all books, sold or unsold.
  4. To ensure that you earn the maximum number of Scholastic Rewards on your book sales, please place your final order before you fill in your online Cash Report Form.
  5. All takings from the sales of We Are Writers books and from the Book Fair must be paid at the same time.

Call us on 1800 272 321 or email bookfairs@scholastic.ie to find out more.

How long does it take to produce a We Are Writers book?

It can take up to 10 weeks from setting up your book to receiving a sample copy. So you will need to make sure that you get started well before your Book Fair is due to be delivered. Our project planner gives an overview of how a typical We Are Writers book

We recommend that you do not start a book less than 15 weeks before the end of the school year, so that you have plenty of time to distribute copies of the book to pupils who are moving on.

How much does it cost?

We Are Writers books are priced at €8.00 each, and you will earn up Scholastic Rewards on every book sold. We require a minimum order of 50 books.

There is no charge for setting up a We Are Writers book or ordering a sample copy.

Is We Are Writers suitable for all age groups?

Children of any age can take part in We Are Writers.

It is particularly suitable for children who are old enough to write their story on a computer themselves as they will be able to interact with the website and insert, edit and check their own stories, a great way to develop computer skills.

What should I put in my We Are Writers book?

A We Are Writers book is an opportunity to showcase the very best writing that your pupils have produced during the school year. The book can contain stories, poems, letters, scripts, or even recipes. You could choose a particular topic for each year group to write about, or theme the whole book around an event or celebration such as the school’s anniversary or summer fête.

If you’re not sure how to get started, why not take a look at some of our free resources?

What should my password be?

We recommend that you make your password as secure as possible:

  • Do not choose obvious words such as your school name, or writing-related terms such as ‘book’ or ‘story’.
  • Replace some letters with numbers, for example using ‘3’ instead or ‘e’ or ‘4’s instead of ‘A’s.
  • Do not publish your password in a public place such as your school website.

Whilst a more secure password may be more difficult for children to remember this can be a good opportunity to teach them about security and safety on the web.

Do I have to order a minimum number of copies?

Yes. You will need to order a minimum of 50 copies in order to print your final books.

You will receive one extra free copy for your school so you don’t need to add that to the total.

What is the minimum number of chapters that my book can contain?

Your We Are Writers book must contain at least 50 chapters.

Please bear in mind that books containing a small number of very long chapters may not sell enough copies to meet our minimum order requirements. The best scenario is usually to have lots of short chapters.

How can my pupils add chapters to the book?

Once you have set up the book, you’ll need to give the children the book password. They will then be able to log on using the large ‘Children’s login’ button at http://writers.scholastic.ie.

Once they have logged on, the children will be able to view all the chapters that have been added to the book so far. They will also be able to add a chapter of their own. Note that they will each need to think of a password for their chapter.

As an administrator of the book you do not need to know these passwords as you can edit any part of your book in the Overview section.

All chapters must be checked and viewed properly in the downloadable PDF as the work on the edit screen is not necessarily how it will appear in the final printed work.

What is a ‘chapter’?

A chapter is a single piece of work.

Chapters can be saved in Story, Poem or Other format.

When should I choose Story format?

Select Story format if you want your chapter to look like a proper short story, or a chapter from a novel. The first line of the second paragraph, and every paragraph after that, is indented.

Story format won’t show any extra spaces or blank lines that you have added. If you would like to add blank lines or extra spaces to your work you should choose Poem or Other format.

A chapter in 'Story' format

When should I choose Poem format?

Poem format suits chapters that are written in short sentences. In Poem format any blank lines that you add between paragraphs will be saved and will appear in the final book.

A chapter in 'Poem' format

When should I choose Other format?

If you have added blank lines to your work, or spaces at the beginning of some of the lines, you should choose Other format. This format is especially useful for things like scripts, letters, diary entries and recipes.

A chapter in 'other' format

If a chapter looks odd when viewed in the PDF proof, try changing the format from story to poem from poem to other and so on.

How big can my book be?

Your book must not contain more than 880 pages, including the foreword, introduction and contents pages. If you work for a large school you may need to create more than one book, perhaps divided by year group or house.

Please note: If you are a Book Fairs customer you may not produce more than one book per Fair.

What does ‘Print book in class order’ mean?

You can order the chapters within your We Are Writers book by author name or by class name. If you choose to order chapters by class name they will be further ordered by author name within each class.

To order your chapters by class name:

  • Go into the overview for your book
  • Select the ‘Add and check chapters’ book task
  • Make sure the ‘Print book in class order’ box is ticked
  • Select the ‘Save’ button.

'Print book in class order' is ticked

To order by author name instead, simply deselect the ‘Print book in class order’ box and select the ‘Save’ button.

In the image below the chapters within a book have been ordered by class:

Chapter ordering by Class

However, in this example the same chapters have been ordered by author name.

Chapter ordering by name

Note that you can also switch chapter ordering on and off from within the ‘Confirm book details’ screen. Remember that you will need to select the ‘Save’ button to implement any changes that you have made to the screen.

Why does my chapter look funny?

If a chapter looks odd when viewed in the PDF proof, try changing the format from story to poem from poem to other and so on. For more information on the different chapter formats click here

My chapter can’t be published – why?

Only chapters that contain a title and some body text will appear in your book.

The chapters that can’t be published can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the Overview section. A brief description of why it can’t be published will be shown.

What are ‘hyphenation options’?

When you start a new book, hyphenation will automatically be set to ‘on’ and long words that run over onto a second line will be hyphenated.

If you would prefer words at the end of lines to be pushed onto a new line rather than being split by a hyphen, then you can go to Step 1 ‘Confirm book details’ and set hyphenation to ‘off’.

How can I make the process easier?

You can invite colleagues to help from the Overview page. In the top right of the screen, click on the link ‘Invite colleagues to help with your book’. This will allow helpers to access the We Are Writers book and share the workload!

We Are Writers is particularly suitable for children who are old enough to write their story on a computer themselves as they will be able to interact with the website and insert, edit and check their own stories. This is a great way to develop computer skills and to spread some of the effort.

Can I add pictures inside the books?

No. Although you can add a picture to the cover of your book, you cannot add images to the inside pages.

Help! I can’t see my school’s book!

You must log in using the email address and account password of the person who set up the book.

A We Are Writers book is registered against the Scholastic account of the person who set up the book. If you log in using your personal account details you will only be able to access books that you have set up yourself, not books set up by any other staff at your school.

You can invite colleagues to help from the Overview page. In the top right of the screen, click on the link ‘Invite colleagues to help with your book’. This will allow helpers to access the We Are Writers book and share the workload.

How can I add my own image to the cover?

Firstly, you need to choose a good quality image. You could choose a specially created artwork by one of your pupils, a class or school photograph, your school logo, in fact any image that you think would make a striking cover.

You will then need to make sure that the image is:

  • a JPEG file
  • at least 1000 pixels wide
  • at least 1000 pixels high
  • in RGB colour mode
  • it has a file size of no more than 10 MB.

Next, save the image to your desktop. Choose the ‘Upload a cover image’ option from the Overview, browse for your cover image and then select the Upload button. A preview of your personalised cover should appear after a minute or two – you may need to refresh your screen to see it.

Sample We Are Writers cover (blue)

If you are not very confident manipulating images (or with computers generally!) we suggest that you try to recruit an enthusiastic colleague or parent, as creating a cover image will be a quick and easy task for someone with the right skills.

Try to obtain the best quality image that you can – if a photograph looks grainy and blurred on your computer screen, the chances are it will look even worse in print!

I’m not going to finish the sample book in time for my Book Fair. What should I do?

Don’t worry if you run out of time: you can simply choose to sell your Writers book after your Book Fair. In order to receive Scholastic Rewards for your book though, you must place your final order before filing the Cash Report for your Fair.

If you are not ready in time for your Fair, you may wish to sell the books at your next parent event to maximise the number of people who see – and potentially order – the book.

If you are worried about timings, give us a call on 1800 272 321 or email bookfairs@scholastic.ie.

I don’t like how my school name appears on the front cover – what can I do?

On the book’s front cover, if your school name appears on two lines but you don’t like how the words are split, you can change how the name will appear.

Here is an example. Your full school name is St Brigid’s National School, and it is appearing on your front cover preview PDF as:

St Brigid’s National

School

You would rather it appear as:

St Brigid’s

National School

To achieve this you need to add the ~ symbol (called a ‘tilde’, which can be found by pressing SHIFT and the # key) before each word you’d like to move down a line instead of a space.

So in the School name field in Step 2, School Details, type St Brigid’s~National School in and it will appear as in the second example above.

Can I see what my sample or final book will look like?

Yes. In the Overview page, you will see a link on the right side of the screen saying ‘Download your PDF book’. Clicking on this will open a PDF of what your book currently looks like. Please note that if you make changes to the chapters, it will take at least 1 minute to update these changes to the PDF.

Alternatively you can select point 7 in the timeline, ‘Check my book’, which can be found in the menu on the left side of the screen.

What is a PDF?

Saving a text file as PDF preserves all the formatting and layouts that were created by the program used to generate the original file. PDF files appear the same whichever type of computer they are viewed on.

The PDF proof of your book shows exactly how the text will appear in your final book. This is why you should download the proof and check it before you publish your book.

Preview of a We Are Writers book

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. To view PDF files you will need to download some free Acrobat Reader software from www.adobe.com.

How do I order my final copies?

First hand out our free parent order forms. You may also wish to send out copies of our standard letter to parents – you can download the letter from the overview page for your book.

Once you have collected in all the orders and payments, go to Step 9 of our list of Book Tasks and enter the quantity of books you require in the appropriate box.

How many sample copies will I receive?

You will receive one sample copy approximately 14 working days after you place your first order.

Once you have read the book and shown it to parents, you will have a chance to make any corrections that are needed. You will then be able to place a final order for the number of final books required by parents, carers and the school.

School holidays are coming up – should I order my book?

You should make sure that any order is placed at least 15 working days before school holidays so that there is no chance of the school being closed when your parcel arrives.

Can I order more copies?

Yes, you can order more copies but you must place a minimum order of 30 copies.

If you wish to reorder, please call us on 1800 272 321 and this can be arranged separately.

Are there more colours I can choose for my book cover?

Yes! We offer 28 different colour options for your cover.

Choose from an array of vibrant oranges, browns, pinks, purples, blues, greens and greys plus yellow, red and black.

Just start your book and you’ll be able to try out the different colour options!

28 different coloured squares

I’ve done a We Are Writers book before – is there anything new that I need to know about?

You can now choose from 28 brand new colours for your book cover to make it truly unique – significantly more choice than the previous 5 options.

Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, has provided an inspiring introduction that will feature in all We Are Writers books until end-July 2013. Read it here.

There are more free resources to choose from including more story starters and a certificate that can be presented to newly-published authors alongside the finished books.

We’re constantly working to upgrade and improve our website and make the process as simple as possible. Other recent additions include the opportunity to switch hyphenation on or off (which can be found in Overview), the ability for children to preview their own chapters and a more useful, updated Help section.

Customers should also be aware that the minimum order is 50 copies, the maximum page extent is 740 pages and the price is €8.00 per book.

What should I put on my promotional poster?

Once you have uploaded a cover image, a preview of your cover will be used to generate a promotional poster for you to display around the school. You can add five short lines of information text to the poster too.

We will send you five free copies of the poster when you order your sample book.

An example of some suitable information text would be:
  1. On sale from 1st-5th November.
  2. Contains work by every child in the school.
  3. Sample copy on display at our Book Fair.
  4. A snip at only €8.00.
  5. Order your copy now!

What if I get stuck?

Just call our friendly customer services team on 1800 272 321. Lines are open Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm.

You can also email bookfairs@scholastic.ie.

Can I spell check my work?

Yes. Use your web browser spell-checking solutions and right-click in the area where you are adding text. You will be able to choose spell-check options, including word choices. Some web browsers may automatically underline words it thinks are misspelled.

Can I use World Book Day €1.50 vouchers on We Are Writers books at my Scholastic Book Fair?

Yes. If you are running We Are Writers with your Scholastic Book Fair, children are permitted to use the €1.50 World Book Day vouchers on purchases. There is a limit of one voucher per book and all vouchers must be valid. If in any doubt, please call Customer Services on 1800 272 321 or email bookfairs@scholastic.ie.