Junior Schools’ Writers Festival

On Friday 1 September Tintern Libraries in conjunction with both Junior Schools held our first Writers Festival for students from Prep to Year 6. The event included 10 authors who inspired and amazed our boys and girls during two 45 min sessions.

Our 2017 author roll call included: Lucy Wise (singer/songwriter), Adam Wallace (writer/illustrator), George Ivanoff (writer/storyteller), Meredith Costain (writer & MC), Marjory Gardner (illustrator), Corinne Fenton (writer), Jacqui Grantford (Melbourne based artist/illustrator),  Judith Rossell (maze creator/writer/illustrator),  Scot Gardner (writer/storyteller), Matt Porter (writer/storyteller) and Anna Ciddor (writer/illustrator) plus a special guest author Serena Geddes.

All Students in Years 3 to 6 were given an opportunity to select which workshops they wanted to attend, the final workshop groups became a cross age and cross gender activity. 

The Writers Festival came out of a reimagining of our annual Book Week author visit. This year we wanted to explore a range of the different writing styles with students ie stories, poetry, song writing and illustration.

Paul Collins from Ford Street Publishing, and a well-known writer himself worked with us to find a right mix of writers for students from Prep to Year 6. Our day started with a ‘quirky’ introduction to each author as students were asked to match a childhood photo to the adult author seated in the Southwood Centre. Each author then had ‘90 seconds’ to tell us about what would be happening in their session.

Before heading off to the workshop sessions there was an official launch of ‘Rusty, Buster & Patch versus the Opera’ by Adam Wallace and Serena Geddes. Lots of fun and laughter as George Ivanoff played Harpo Marx (from Marx Brothers fame) to launch Adam’s book. If you want to know why George dressed up as Harpo you will need to read Adam’s book.

Below are just a few of the many comments which we have received about the Writer Festival. Many thanks to staff and parents who have shared their stories with us and a huge thank you to all members of the Library team who worked tirelessly for the last 6 weeks to make it happen.

“I got inspired by Lucy Wise, she is an author and song-writer. I loved listening to her the most, when the authors were introduced. All weekend I wrote songs in the book from my Writer’s Festival showbag!” – Lucy Dauparas, 2A

“It was really exciting to meet all the authors and get tips from them, and the fact that they helped you with your own writing was really inspiring. Thank you! Can we do it again please?” – Sarah Fisher, 5A

“During parent teacher interviews one parent told me that her son went home on Friday and wrote a story all by himself that same night and then proudly read it to her. She was thrilled!” – John Bonnyman, Year 4

“My Year 6 class said it was ‘awesome’. They loved it and so did I. A parent last night said that their daughter had come home talking nonstop about the event” – Kathy Agius, Year 6

“I just wanted to say that our son had a fantastic day on Friday … he was absolutely over joyed by the Writers Festival and hearing the writers and illustrators speak.  He retold his day for at least 15 minutes non-stop.  He was clearly very taken with George Ivanoff and relayed the stories George told with much laughter and enthusiasm.” – Year 4 parent

At the end of the Festival, all students received a show bag of goodies to encourage them to write as well as a copy of a signed copy of Adam’s latest book.

Will we do it again? ABSOLUTELY! Staff, students and parents have already started asking me about which authors will be coming next year.

by Sue Healey, Director of Information & Technology Services

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