Gennady Pritsker and Ilya Lyashevsky are two writers. Necessarily, they are also readers, and to them literacy matters just as much as literature. In response to people being up in arms about children not reading these days, they rolled up their sleeves and gave them a reason to stop worrying – starting with test preparation.
At American schools students typically read Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck. The masterminds behind Storied wondered where the Hemingways and Faulkners of today and tomorrow were. That’s where they want Storied to come in. Storied strives to feature stories written by some of today’s best English-language writers. That means that, as people read, they’ll be discovering some of the great authors of the future. It also means that learning new words will be a lot less of a chore, and above all – fun.
The idea is to find great young writers, encourage them to write fun, offbeat, quality short fiction, and then use these short stories to teach older school children standardised-test vocabulary. Students are exposed to writers they might otherwise have never heard of, while actually reading and learning vocabulary in the most organic way possible – contextually.
Gennady Pritsker and Ilya Lyashevsky wrote the first set of stories and created an iPhone app themselves. An iPad app is coming soon, and a web app – to reach broader audiences – is in the works. To grow the Storied library, the writers have put out a call for stories from college-age writers and are also a running story contest for students on their blog. Famous writers and educators are getting in on the action as well. Dave Eggers, for one, has been very enthusiastic about Storied.
Now that the project is underway, Storied is now looking for partners and licensees, as well as enlightened investors. Contact them here.