MSS grads publish ‘We are the Prey,’ a reimagining of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Two graduating Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) graduating students, left, Patricia Patterson and Rachael Orford, wrote and recently published a novella, ‘We Are The Prey.’

MANITOULIN—Two graduating Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) students have definitely left a legacy for other students to share in the coming years after having published a novella as part of their English class studies this year.

Rachael Orford and Patricia Patterson co-wrote ‘We are the Prey,’ “a reimagining of the Beauty and the Beast story with our own twists on it, including themes of feminism and growth,” said Rachael.

“The novella is composed of both poetry and prose. We feel the book is more inspired than the movie or print versions of Beauty and the Beast, with new characters and different plot twists not seen in the written or movie versions.”

“It has more of a twenty-first century take on The Beauty and the Beast,” said Patricia.

The co-writers wrote their novella for a passion project in their English class. Teacher Yana Bauer told The Expositor “I loved the book. I can say that the process they went through was very tender and hesitant. When they started, they didn’t know here it would lead.”

The novella became, “a work of friendship and a vision of empowerment for the girls,” said Ms. Bauer. “There was a lovely ebb and flow to the way they wrote it. And they documented the whole process on Instagram, writing about their journey which in itself was thoughtful and tender.”

“It is cool that it was representative of high school, the uncertainty, and wanting to leave a mark as they graduate from MSS,” said Ms. Bauer. “And it is something they can take with them and still connects them to MSS. The result of their work is beautiful.”

“I’ve always like to read and write, and I was very excited when we were given notice about the project we had to do,” said Rachael, who has been The Expositor MSS correspondent and author of the column ‘Kids in the Halls’ throughout her four-year high school career.

Rachael explained, “we had to write a novella for a passion project in our ENG4U class in first semester.’’ She and Patricia said it took a lot of collaboration, but once they had finished the planning of the novella, it took them less than a month to write. Patricia created the front and back covers.

“It turned out really well and in the end, I really enjoyed the project,”  said Patricia. 

Both graduates pointed out their teacher, Yana Bauer, was very helpful with the project and provided a lot of support. “Ms. Bauer was as excited about the book as we were,” said Rachael.

“I said to the girls when they were finished (the novella), this is something that can be published, and they both said, ‘really?’ said Ms. Bauer. She explained, “the project was part of our English course, and students started work on their projects in early November. Then due to COVID we (teachers) were told it was being cancelled. But Rachael and Patricia were already a long way into it so I offered if they wanted to commit to it, they could continue for another project. And they fortunately stuck with it.”

“Because we want to promote literacy, we are not selling the book,” Rachael said. “Only a few paper copies of the book were printed with the school paying for them. But we did it digitally as well so friends can read it. And it is available for the public to read online in PDF format.”  The PDF link can be found on the @twoteenswriting Instagram page. This is the link: