Writer + Programmer = Calliope Ghostwriting

A Shared Name and Diverse Strengths Led Two Bens to Build an AI Writing Business.

Prisma staff
July 7, 2022

Prisma is the world’s most engaging virtual school that combines a fun, real-world curriculum with powerful mentorship from experienced coaches and a supportive peer community

Two Prismarians named Ben put their heads together to solve a common problem: People love telling stories but often forget to write them down.

Looking for an idea for their “Build a Business” cycle, they first considered a Rubik’s Cube class – to highlight their shared interests.Instead, they ultimately went for a complementary approach where each could bring something different to the table – Ben L.’s love of writing and Ben B.’s programming expertise melded to become an AI ghostwriting endeavor called Calliope Ghostwriting: “You need to figure out where somebody else can do better than you and where you just need to trust your teammates,” says Ben L.

“The Ben's put their heads together and decided to split the work according to their skills,” said Founding Learning Coach, Leena Williams, “One Ben coded a sample interface that builds a story using prompting questions and answers, while the other Ben wrote the questions and the bank of responses for the code to pull from. It was a brilliant way of harnessing individual talents towards a shared goal.”

What's Prisma?

  • Prisma is an accredited, project-based, online program for kids in grades 4-12.
  • We exist to ignite a lifelong love of learning and prepare kids to thrive in the future.
  • Our middle school, high school, and parent-coach programs provide personalized curriculum, 1:1 support from educators, and cohorts where kids build community.

After market research confirmed their hunch that people would want a writing service to help them preserve their stories, Ben and Ben put their design thinking in action, using the feedback to identify two tiers of service: a “plot generator” for situations such as when “someone tells a ghost story around a campfire and they want to remember it for the next campfire”; or a full service option where they enlist the service of a professional to take the story to the next level. 

But it wasn’t just full speed ahead: Discovering that training an AI model takes years, they decided to build a simpler algorithm, leaning on Ben’s experience with Javascript. 

From a design-thinking perspective, these realizations were part of the lesson.

“Iteration is a big part of the innovator’s mindset that we teach at Prisma,” says Emily Veno, Head of Curriculum. “Most kids are used to turning in a project, getting a grade, and never thinking about it again. But in the real world, big projects always involve doing things until they're just right. That’s why we get our learners used to hearing constructive feedback without shutting down. Instead, we want them to take a perspective of, ‘Okay, this is helpful, I'm going to use it to help me grow.’ Then, after multiple cycles, taking feedback becomes second nature – not just implementing it, but reflecting on how it improved their project.”

While their current bullpen has imaginary staff writers to support the Ben-founders, (i.e. Morgan James, “A very fancy author. Choose her if you would like lots of big words.”), Ben B. says the next step would be to hire support, including a team of writers and coders.

Both Bens were in agreement about their biggest lesson.

Fifty pages into the novel Edge of the Universe that he started writing when he was ten, Ben L., now twelve, experienced collaboration in action. “It doesn't take one person to get a business off the ground. It takes like several, if not 10 or 50. I could not have done it without Ben.” 

“If we didn't think about our interests and combine them,” says Ben B, “it never would’ve happened.”

Join our community of families all over the world doing school differently.

Want to learn more about how Prisma can empower your child to thrive?

Learn More

More from our blog

What Are Microschools? 6 Pros and Cons for Parents

Microschools come in as many forms as public, private, and charter schools do. Here are some pros and cons to consider before enrolling in this alternative schooling model.

Emily Veno
February 11, 2024

5 Best Online High Schools

So, traditional brick-and-mortar high school isn’t a good option, and you’re exploring alternatives. Here’s what to discuss as a family to narrow down the infinite options.

Emily Veno
January 31, 2024

Reasons to Homeschool

When done well, homeschooling can deliver results traditional schooling rarely, if ever, does.

Emily Veno
January 8, 2024

Project-Based Online School: How It Works

High-quality project-based learning mirrors the real-world process of creative problem-solving. Here's how we pull off this hands-on, collaborative form of schooling virtually.

Emily Veno
December 14, 2023

8 Most Popular Online Homeschool Programs

We’re fans of online learning, but it depends how it’s done. Here’s some pros and cons of different kinds of online homeschooling resources to consider, plus links to a variety of options.

Emily Veno
November 16, 2023

Homeschool Unit Study Examples & Free Planning Template

Unit studies blend multiple subjects together to create real-world, interest-driven learning experiences. Steal the approach our curriculum experts use to create themes with a free downloadable unit study planner.

Emily Veno
November 6, 2023

Meet Camil Aponte

“The curriculum at Prisma allows learners to learn about their strengths and use their passions in an organic and interdisciplinary way. The kids have the freedom to choose by having differentiated projects, quests, enrichments, and clubs.”

Emily Veno
October 21, 2023

How Do Homeschoolers Get Into College?

You might be hearing from friends, extended family, and random strangers in the doctor’s office “there’s no way your kid will be able to get into a good college as a homeschooler.” Impolite, yes. True? Let’s figure it out.

Emily Veno
October 20, 2023

Meet Todd Forsyth

“The amount of support and check-ins our learners have at Prisma is unparalleled compared to anywhere else I’ve ever worked.”

Emily Veno
October 16, 2023

5 Most Popular Homeschooling Styles

Each of the most popular homeschool styles has existed for a long time, and each has diehard evangelizers and fervent critics. From classical to unit studies to unschooling, this guide will help you find the form best suited to your family.

Emily Veno
October 13, 2023