There was double reason for pupils, teachers and parents from King Edward’s School in Bath to celebrate recently, with the launch of two new books from the school.

The Ring – possibly the first ever novel published by a school – came about from the School’s Creative Writing Society. Two years ago the society wrote a collaborative novel called ‘38’ and were keen to build on this by way of a new project that could give scope to all the varied styles, talents and imaginations of the writing group.

Enter The Ring, an 80,000 word, 58 chapter novel penned by 45 different authors from across the school. The concept of The Ring is delightfully simple, with the narrative of the book tied together by a single object, a ring, gold in colour, engraved with some curious inscription in an unknown language. The story proceeds to trace the ring through time, from its origin in 3200BC to the present day. Along the way readers see the lives the ring touches and the stories it has generated, stopping off in Ancient Egypt and the Normandy Beaches, and even encountering Albert Einstein along the way.

Current pupils, parents, teachers, OEs and celebrated authors contributed to the novel, drawn by the lure of a unique writing challenge. Mrs Catherine Bruton of the English department, who nursed the project along, said, “Every chapter of the book is different, some are works in progress, or fragments of larger stories, some are experiments in form or genre, some are polished to perfection, others spontaneous creations completed in a Wednesday lunchtime society meeting. The joy of this project is that it was open to all, regardless of age or ability – and everyone interpreted the brief in their own way.”

On the same evening, the school’s fourth annual collection of verse, artwork and short stories was published in the latest edition of The Anthology. Guest edited by local author, Alex Campbell, The Anthology draws its content from the annual KES Poetry and Short Story Competitions.

Entries to this year’s Short Story Competition were inspired by Alex Campbell’s debut novel, Land and Sea, whilst her multi-award nominated follow-up was the inspiration for poems that looked Up in the Air.

Speaking on The Anthology as a whole, Alex said: “Such an outstanding standard of writing from the cleverly complex to the stunningly simple, from light touch sketches of the human condition to poetry-like stories with bare, fluid, beautiful words – KES writers have it all!”

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