A short story tip: “Dagon” by H.P. Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an american horror writer. He wrote short stories and short novels. He has a subgenre in horror named after him, Lovecraftian horror which is about the fear of the unknown and cosmic horror. There are many movies and games inspired by his work. Some of his popular works are The Call of Cthulhu, Shadow Over Innsmouth and At the Mountains of Madness. Lovecraft was not well known when he was alive and he is now one of the most regarded 20th century authors of supernatural horror. He was born in Providence Rhode Island. He was born in 1890 and died in 1937 at 46 years of age.


I’ve read “Dagon”, a short story by H. P. Lovecraft it’s about 2-3 pages long depending on where you read it. It’s a good short story and here is my review without revealing too much of the plot/story.

“Dagon” is about a man who tells the tale about how he escapes a german ship during ww1. His boat gets stranded on an unknown landmass and he finds something horrifying… 

“Dagon” was written in july 1917 by H. P. Lovecraft.

/ Oskar in 8A

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Would you like help with citations or in-text citations?

Now and then the ISGR library get questions from students and teachers, about citations and in-text citations according to the reference system Modern Language Association (MLA), 8th edition.

Sometimes questions are asked in person and sometimes they are sent via email to: elin.wastlund@isgr.se or elin.wastlund@staff.isgr.se

Below you can see an example of some questions from a student and my answers to them:

1) The citation format apparently needs a DOI code for articles from online journals. I found such codes for some of the texts on the articles’ page of origin that gave an already-made citation I could copy directly, but some other articles are missing the DOI (or I have not been able to find it, at any rate). Should I try to find website URLs that link to the articles directly in those cases or should I simply leave the citation without DOI? How/where would I find the DOI in the future, if possible?

Answer: Not all articles got a DOI. You should always use a DOI if there is a DOI available, because the DOIs are much more sustainable than web addresses. If there is no DOI available, you will need to use the web address or permalink (webb address assigned to a specific article by a database) instead. This is because either DOI, web address or permalink is required in MLA8, if you are using a digital source.

I would also like to recommend you to add the date when you access a digital source to your citation. To do so is not mandatory, just highly recommended, because web addresses change.

2) Would you recommend using English titles in the citations or the original (Italian) titles for some of the articles? What about the text in the articles themselves?

Answer: You shall list the citation for the source you have actullay read in the bibliography / work cited. (In MLA8 it is really important that you also acknowledge all contributors to your source in your citations, for example such as translators. If you for example have read an article in English that has been translated from Italian, you will need to acknowledge the person having translated it to English.)

In the essay, you should translate the content of the source to English, in case of being read in any other language, and you would like to quote it, so that everybody who reads the essay can understand what it says.

3) The work by Ellis Woodman (“Bosco Verticale by Stefano Boeri Architetti”, or Article 1 among the PDFs you sent me) is missing some of the information I need to form a proper citation, namely the numbers of the volume, issue and page(s), as well as the DOI which I mentioned previously. Do you know where I could find this information?

You will find it if you for example go to the Arts & Humanities database, provided by the Gothenburg University library.

Woodman, Ellis. “Bosco Verticale by Stefano Boeri Architetti.” The Architects’ Journal, Feb. 27, 2015. Arts & Humanities database,  https://gu-se-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/15agpbr/TN_proquest1658785391. Accessed 18 May 2020.


The questions above were asked by Aurora Lindqvist in IB11.

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Reading tip for teachers. Blogposts written by IBPOC teachers

There is an initiative where teachers create a space that center IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, and people of color) teachers, to celebrate, elevate, and affirm their unique and various experiences.

This initiative is aimed at classroom teachers, librarians, academics, and community organizers. It brings up liberation, identity, racism, anti-racism, love of teachers’ practice and more. It  has got praise for altering people’s understanding of race, gender, ethnicity, build up racial literacy and more.

“You cannot disrupt if you do not understand how systems of oppression work. You cannot understand how systems of oppression work until you come to terms with how they have worked on you.” / Tricia Ebarvia, English teacher in Pennsylvania and expert in adolescent literacy

Here you can read blog posts that is published one new for each day in May. You just click at the portraits of the people represented, and you will find some interesting and inspiring reading:


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Läsförståelse-övningar. MYP7

Idag har Swedish MYP 7 Language & Literature and phase 5  Swedish haft en 90 minuter lång workshop i läsförståelse i ISGR library. Denna kommer fortsätta på fredag.

Eleverna håller för närvarande på med en unit inom Swedish på temat fantasi. De fick därför arbeta med ett kapitel ur en fantasy-roman: Slaget om Salajak av Johan Theorin.  Den utspelar sig i Skandinavien under medeltiden, då digerdöden härjar. Ämnen som romanen tar upp är mod, moral och vad krig gör med människor. Nordisk mytologi utgör inspiration till icke mänskliga figurer som féer och hwitrer

Boken handlar om en krigshär som möts upp i Jämtland för att stoppa hwitrers illdåd. I hären ingår tre bröder: Samuel som drömmer om att bli riddare, Niklis som vill bli knekt och Jöran som är rädd och vill att de ska återvända hem igen.

Först blev eleverna introducerade till romanen Slaget om Salajak av Johan Theorin, genom en kortare skrivövning, som kallas Tänk-gissa-skriv. Eleverna fick under denna övning skriva vad de trodde att romanen skulle handla om utifrån titel, omslag och citat från baksidestexten.


Därefter genomförde vi en stafettläsning av första kapitlet, innan eleverna fick läsa det på nytt, tyst och enskilt. Tillsammans gjorde vi sedanen modellering av det första kapitlet:

På fredag ska eleverna få läsa  andra kapitlet i Slaget om Salajak, innan de gör en fördjupningsövning där de väljer att fokusera på:

  • Miljö (ord och fraser som beskriver miljön. Eleverna får därefter föreställa sig hur det är att befinna sig i miljön, visualisera och beskriva den på ett annat sätt än författaren).
  • Karaktär (vad som berättats om en karaktär, i form av handlingar, känslor och idéer. Eleverna får sedan göra en konturteckning där de beskriver karaktärens yttre och inre).
  • Handling (vad som har hänt. Eleverna får återberätta handlingen eller handlingar genom att skapa ett ljudlandskap, där de använder intonation, sångljud, ljudeffekter och liknande).
  • Handling (vad som har hänt. Eleverna väljer ut en scen ur kapitlet och skriver om den till ett teatermanus, med en uppsättning karaktärer, inledning, scenanvisningar och dialoger med mera).

Därefter redovisar eleverna vad de kommit fram till. Vi ser fram mot att få ta del av hur eleverna upplevt läsförståelse-övningarna och de första kapitlen i Slaget om Salajak!

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“What the characters keep in their hearts is what makes them most interesting”

… said the Australian author Randa Abdel-Fattah during a workshop at ISGR in Gothenburg on April 21st, in connection to an author talk with all students in grade 8.

During the author, Randa first did a presentation, before she answered questions from students. Examples of questions Randa got were how to decide when it is the right moment for the characters to start falling in love,  the background to why she is writing in a way that promotes women’s and muslim rights and how it is possible to write about a serious topic in a lighthearted way. 

During a one hour workshop with the author the students had the opportunity to create interesting characters and set a plot for a love story, starting in a train between a man and a women.

She showed a photograph of some young people and told the students to choose two of them and give them names and describe them with one positive and one negative word.

-The best characters are flawed, she explained.

The student Tage Malmqvist wrote for character one Erik: Good in school, but don´t care much emotional about others. Because of that he always use his ear pods, he doesn´t want to be reminded about how few friends he has. For character two Olivia he wrote: social, but very self-conscious. She always brings her phone and a photo of her dad who died in a car crash.

Fun to do something different, he commented and you could feel he was really engaged.

How do the characters form the plot, and how does the plot form the characters? That´s the question in focus when you start the writing process. What actions could be related to the characters and what do the characters think and feel? Essential parts to explore.

Which essential parts do you need for the plot? She brainstormed with the students: conflict, escalating action, strong characters, climax and maybe most important of all, characters must evolve.

  1. What makes the characters interesting, Randa Abdel-Fattah asked the audience and together with the students she put down: desires, habits, backstory, appearance, fears, joys, beliefs, opinions…
  2. Create two strong characters with heart. She showed a photograph of a group of teens and asked each person to choose two, name them.
  3. Backpack: what would these characters pack if they had to leave. Two or three most important things.
  4. Develop plot from the characters. Name one positive and one negative word for each character.
  5. PLOT: macroplot, starting point. Where are they heading? Where coming from? Why?
  6. MICROPLOT: list two things that happen to bring them together.

Write a paragraph. A scene from the perspective of your choice.

A couple of people from each class reading aloud was the goal. We almost got that. The groups were active and within the limited time (60 min) a plethora of small plots were sprung.

Presentation from Randa’s Author Talk

Presentation from Randa’s writing workshop

/ Peter and Jennifer

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Author talk by Ruta Sepetys

On Thursday April 23rd, all the students in grade 9 and 10 met the Lithuanian American author Ruta Sepetys via Zoom. The 9th graders were well prepared and had came up with great questions in advance. During the author talk the Language and Literature teacher and advisor Matt O’Brien was the emcee (see picture below).

Due to the corona crisis all students were staying with their advisors in different classrooms and the 10th graders were participating from home. Further down in this blog post, you are welcome to read some documentation from the talk. It was very interesting to hear Ruta talk about her historical novel Salt to the sea, inspired by her own family history.

Photo: Ellen Cassedy

Ruta wrote the novel Salt to the sea because she wanted to share strength, struggle and hope through history. She wanted to bring other human beings and their stories out of the dark. She also thought it was important to put Lithuania on the map. Because many people she met on tours as a Rock’n Roll manager and during TV shows did not know what being Lithuanian meant.

Salt to the sea takes place during the Second World War. It brings up a part of Ruta’s family history since, for example her dad lived in a refugee camp in nine years. In connection to that her family lost everything, except from its spirit. There was also someone in the family having a ticket to the ship Willhelm Gustloff that sank. When it did,  it was a larger maritime disaster than Titanic. Despite that it is very unknown. So when Ruta heard the story she thought how is it possible that nobody has heard about this and she got inspired to write about it. She also thought that when you write your own story and go through both sad and fun moments, you get a deeper sense of yourself and your own identity. When you write about struggles, you also realize the power of love and gain perspective, making you feel that anything is possible.

If Ruta would see herself in any of the characters in the novel, it would be Emilia, because Emilia is courageous and admirable. She is independent and difficult to write about. She is strong and goes her own way.  Ruta’s second choice would be Florian, because he has got a lot of wisdom. The characters in Salt to the sea are based on real people that Ruta met while doing research.

When Ruta did research for Between shades of gray, people were afraid of mentioning their real names. For example she put together words describing her interviewees, for example ”the bold man”. When she interviewed people, she could not even record or take notes, because people were afraid of telling their stories. So she had to sit down and just listen to people’s experiences and ”emotional beats”.

Ruta wants to give people ownership of their own story. She wants to change characters from being  invisibile to become visible. She asks herself who she is writing about. She also writes about people from different countries and cultures, because there were for example many who immigrated during the Second World War.

She also wants to use different angles and perspectives. That is also why she included Alfred in Salt to the sea. He personifies a study of invisibility, and is inspired by the life of Adolf Hitler. For example both Alfred and Hitler were rejected by their own dads. They were racists and felt a desperate need to be imporant. During the author talk, Ruta was asking the students: What do you think happen when you put such a man in uniform?

Usually Ruta wants to write history as it was. She wants to show a balance, both sides of life, but she thinks that there are always elements of hope.

Ruta’s style consists of short sentences and chapters. One word usually represent four meanings. She uses rhythm, flow, repetitions and even the white space on the page, asking herself: What does the text look like? In general she is very  inspired from having worked with songwriting. (Ruta got a background within music, entertainment industry and film composing. What has been important to her during her whole career is especially the power of melody and rhythm. It supports the memory.)

Ruta thinks that having a big ego both helps and hurts when you write a book. It helps because it requires courage and confidence to write a book. It also hurts because you are not really allowed to put yourself in there.

When it comes to the writing process Ruta thinks that the most important thing is to actually write, to do your work, because than you will get practicing and training. Motivation leads to inspiration, Ruta thinks, and the most interesting part with being creative is that you never know what is going to happen when writing.

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Before tomorrow’s author talk

Questions for Ruta Sepetys

Prepared by grade 9. Based on the novel Salt to the sea / Tårar i havet


Why did you want to write Salt to the sea?

What accomplishment in your [author] career are you the most proud of?

Can you see yourself in any of the characters in the book?


Why does Alfred hide in the closet when he says what a great hero he is?

Are you tempted to “fix” history? I mean, are you tempted to rewrite a tragic event to make it more hopeful, since hope is important in your books?

What kind of research did you do? What did you research and how?


Why did you decide to write about the Germans, Russians and Polish people?

What inspired your style?

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?


Why did you write Salt to the Sea from different perspectives?

Why did you add Alfred as a character in your book? His perspective is completely different to the others.

How has your life been affected because you wrote, Salt to the Sea?


What key point did you try to get across in the story?

How do you set up your writing process and keep motivation / your head clear?

How did you decide to be a historical author?


Why is Emilia left alone and no one with her?

When writing through a character’s perspective, how do you get yourself into the headspace of the character, do you research or something else?

Has your work been influenced by coming from a refugee family? If not, what aspects of your life have influenced the books you have written?


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