OAKS: a new YA Fantasy set in real-life Camp Oak Hallows


Welcome, Readers!

If you are or were a “Potterhead,” then I’ve got a treat for you. OAKS is an all-new young adult fiction adventure for lovers of the “wizarding world” and good, old-fashioned, magic and mischief.
-Author VL Gaffney, Founder of Camp Oak Hallows

OAKS launched on Kickstarter 5/1/2021 but was not successful in meeting its campaign goal. Don’t worry, the book will still be released for sale online soon–and YOU can be in it!

Submit a Character Sheet to headmasters@campoakhallows.com

If you’re familiar with the mechanics of Dungeons & Dragons, you can roll your ‘stats’ on a D20 for the lefthand column, then indicate + or – ?/5 how well you handle stress, or quick-thinking situations. For example, your character might have normally high confidence but lose it all under pressure (-5), or normally low independence but would brave anything for a cause they believe in (+5). You don’t have to roll your stats, you can set them yourself /20.

Fill in your House: Serenity (up left); Sagacity (up right); Vitality (low left); Alacrity (low right)

Choose whether you’re no-mágico, legacy hechicero, sangre nueva, or are hechi with an “unknown blood status.” Tell us if you use a wand or focal object, and what it is.

Go wild! Be specific! Draw your character, even if you’re “not an artist”! Attach a paragraph or two about yourself, don’t worry about being too “over the top,” there’s no such thing.

SHOW YOUR HOUSE PRIDE

simply stylish

THESE STICKERS WERE DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE LAUNCH OF OAKS ON KICKSTARTER, AS ANOTHER WAY FOR YOU TO BE A PART OF THE ONGOING MISSION TO BUILD THE MOST ACCESSIBLE SCHOOL IN HISTORY. CARRY YOUR HOUSE COLORS WITH YOU ANYWHERE YOU GO, AND KNOW YOU’RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE EVERY DAY.


Excerpt from Oaks

“Time for a tour?” I tilt my head slightly and shrug invitingly. Dallas, my first-year roommate, beams, and I lead her by the arm into the courtyard of Sorcery City, which is beginning to clear out as Check-in comes to an end. Campers emerge from their dorms out onto the paved, covered breezeway that goes all the way around the circle. Clumps of old friends are finding each other, exchanging baubles from their off-Camp travels, and charmed stones that will open each others’ doors later tonight, past curfew. The newest trinkets in the City are pairs of shells that work like walkie-talkies without interference from the anti-technology hexes that Headmaster Cavan casts over the ring. Every year, there’s something new for her to find a way to protect us from. Every year, I wonder if she’ll be able to keep up.

Within this circle, magia is safe. Well, as safe as it can ever really be. Whenever someone tries to enchant something with some lanzar they just learned, they find out the hard way that any object more complex than a wooden spoon imbued with magia will eventually become sentient and go about wreaking havoc. It’s so prevalent that Headmaster O’Brien hung a sign: This is not Fantasia.

Oaks is different from all of the other schools, not just the European ones. Even state-side, most people don’t think it’s safe to have hechi and no-mágico students together like we are here. It’s all part of Cavan’s plan, y’see. She builds this great place, she fills it with love, and if the walls our Ministries and Congresses maintain all over the world ever were to fall, every no-má to ever spend a season on the grounds of Oaks would be confronted with the truth that we aren’t dangerous, mysterious, shadow people; we’re just kids, just like them, studying in the Hive and snacking in the Hearth at all hours of the night for essays and exams. At least, that’s the theory.

Get to know the author

VL Gaffney at a March For Our Lives rally in Pflugerville, Texas in 2018, with a local Moms Demand Action coordinator.


Hi, I’m Virginia Gaffney, and I’m the founder of Camp Oak Hallows, as well as the author of OAKS. I graduated high school in 2018 in Austin, Texas, and got to work on building the school I’d never graduate from: COH. Over these past few years of working and coalition building to bring this dream to life, I’ve searched for ways to fund Camp independently, in the hopes of creating stability for students and Campers that “living grant-to-grant” could never provide. Writing and publishing the OAKS stories is just one way I can contribute to the operating costs of this ambitious, but necessary, mission. I hope you enjoy the stories, and find ways to interact with them that perhaps you never have with similar works before.

Sample art for OAKS