Celebrating a School Publication of Pupils' Writing

‘The Doon Review’ is a quarterly journal run by school library assistant, Chris Kelso, and featuring short stories, reviews and illustrations by Doon academy students. If you want to know more about how to set up a school publication, Chris has blogged for us in the past about how the Doon Review is collated and printed.

To celebrate the release of the sixth edition of the Doon Review, we’d like to showcase some of the best work from this issue. You can download it here!


Doon Academy pupil Kieran Gallacher
Kieran Gallacher – I was fairly confident that my story was funny, but I worried people might be offended by the subject matter – my mum was a bit concerned after reading it. My inspiration came when Mr Robertson, my English teacher, let me read an essay example in Scots. I’m a big fan of Irvine Welsh, so I thought I’d try something in a similar style. I was probably trying to be edgy. I can be a bit of a cheeky-chappie in class, so I think my teachers were glad I was able to channel that energy into something productive and creative.

In 'Toadstools' we join a charismatic teenage boy and his imaginary companion, Baxter, as they explore the deepest nooks of the Patna forest while under the influence of a brain-bending fungus.

Doon Academy pupil Reece Gallacher
Reece Gallacher – I enjoyed seeing my work in print and, to be honest, I was a bit surprised it made the grade – I never considered myself much of a short story writer. It actually makes me want to try my hand at writing more stories because I think I can top the one which made this issue. I’d been speaking to real-life urban explorers at my climbing club and was inspired by some of the creepy stories they’d tell. My mum was much happier with my story than she was with my brother Kieran’s!

Reece's story, 'Tourists,' follows two urban spelunkers who decide to investigate the abandoned premises of Gartloch Asylum! A chilling read run through with dark humour.

Also in Fiction

Laura Coughtrie's story, 'The Purple Pen', is a surreal fantasy about two people who are cosmically bound by fate...and a bizarre means of communication!

Hannah Carrol's story, 'Youth', is a heart-wrenching true story about loss, hope and everything in between.


Barry Alison - I’ve always been into cars and was able to draw from memory, because I play ‘Paradise City’ on the Playstation 3 a lot. My mum was really pleased  I got in the issue. I know how hard it is to make the final cut!


In the non-fiction section, regular reviewer Ryan Bartolo elaborated on his homage to the band ‘Runrig’:

On a Sunday I would buy cassette tapes at the charity shops. One evening I was rifling through the tape basket and I found a Runrig album. I bought it on a whim and it turned out to be one of the best things I’d ever heard. The tape was a bit worse for wear, though. Scotch tape makes miracles!

Miss Davidson, English teacher, says, “The latest issue of the Doon Review has really impressed me, it might be out strongest yet! I was bowled over by the range of work on display and I’m so proud of the contributors for really raising the bar in terms of standard and effort!”


You can download the 6th edition of the Doon Review here. If you enjoyed this blog post from Chris Kelso, why not check out his tips for encouraging pupils to write? Chris is also a writer and you can check out his work at his website.

For more tips to inspire pupils to write, why not take a browse through our resources section?

Chris Kelso

Chris Kelso is a library assistant at Doon Academy and has written a number of blog posts for our site about creating a school publication and inviting authors Laura Lam and Edward Ross to come and work with pupils. 

Chris is also a writer with a rich back catalogue of books and graphic novels. His work has been described as 'joyfully dystopian, fascinating and challenging' and you can find out more at his website.