Last Friday Ms Sanderson and Ms Smith took a group of 18 Year 8 students to visit the Brisbane Writers Festival for 2018. Throughout the day students were lucky enough to see Jessica Watson, Cally Black and Veronica Roth present and were also given the opportunity to meet the authors and get their books signed. Three boys generously volunteered to write about their experiences at the writers festival, below in their own words they explain what the presentations were like.
Jessica Watson by Ben
The excursion had only just begun; fervent ushers and murmurs resounded around the auditorium as everyone waited in frantic anticipation for the speech to commence. The last few classes from various schools all over QLD flooded in, filling up the last few rows, the methodical, hearty thumping of worn shoes against the carpet could be felt from below. The whispers increased to a highly active banter, and everyone was tensing up as the atmosphere grew shrill.
Then, silence. Jessica Watson, the woman of the moment, rose to the stand and the audience went dead quiet. The focus was completely on her, all spotlights shining directly at the center of attention, the star of the show. The whole of the audience was entranced; Jessica was about to present. She began, recounting the childhood experiences that led to her passion for the wondrous allure of fantasy and the beginning of a great, sea bound adventure.; her solo journey around Australia in a sailboat. After a brief elaboration of her dyslexia and her dear friend who read for her, she talked about the perils and wonderful experiences she had sailing around Australia, all alone. The fairy, fantasy stories that kept her company on the seas, the tragic failure of her first attempt, after crashing into another ship, the graceful birds that would fly by time and time again and the storms that threatened to halt her progress indefinitely. But her boat, propelled by not only wind but her sheer determination and grit alone, powered on, and, after a lonesome, soulful journey spanning 210 whole days, she made it home. Welcomed with the adoring embrace of fans, supporters, family, friends, paparazzi and even the Prime Minister himself. This epic voyage presents itself as an inspirational tail of courage and bravery, the way she powered onward in the face of danger and doubt, and her relentless effort to prove her worth to the world and herself, to become something more than just an afraid little girl in a big, daunting world. It’s truly remarkable what she achieved out there, and the audacity to have even attempted such a feat and not only hit that milestone but surpass it as the youngest person to have done it, at the age of 16, is nothing short of incredible.
Continuing on, she talked about one of her latest books called Indigo Blue, which features themes of fantasy, sailing and mystical awe. The influences and passions in her life shaped her emotionally, and with that, they worked their way into her writing. The experiences do shape the author in incredible ways, after all. Without the unique lives we lead we wouldn’t have as many exceptional stories, and it’s a miracle that we’re so blessed so as to be able to have readily available accessibility to such wonderful talks and to be able to hear people like Jessica Watson present their life stories to people like us live. Inspiring new generations to do their own thing with the influence of such phenomenal speakers.
Finally, the presentation came to a Q & A session, signalling the final moments. A short, awkward moment of students unsure of what to ask about was quickly broken by an eager, young girl at the front of the auditorium. As she answered each question, more and more hands shot up, each one from another curios, young learner, yet to start their own grand adventures. perhaps some ofthe people in this very auditorium will grow up to have thier own remarkable story to tell, either on the pages of a book or live to an audience of newer, younger people, still learning about the world just like us right now.
i have to personally thank Jessica WAtson for doing such a wonderful job at inspiring the local youth of today, and for leaving in us a significant imprint on our minds that surely will help push someone else cloer towards thier goals and help them achieve thier hopes and dreams, so as to continue the cycle of inspiration. With this, i close with a wolesome sentiment, so that may people like Jessica Watson be able to continue to nspire next generations to do thier own special thing, and that you yourself may one day be able to do something great doing the thing you love, just like Jessica Watson.
Cally Black by Ollie
Cally Black is the winner of the 2015 Ampersand Price for her novel In the Dark Spaces. She describes herself as a sci-fi mastermind and states that you must read widely, feeding your brain with the right ingredients to be able to write well. Some of her great quotes about this were “you can’t watch one Star Wars and be a science fiction expert”, “you put some bees in your bonnet and shake it up” and “feed your brain with spice”.
Cally inspired the writers in the audiences to think about what drives their characters and to write what they love. She explained that the author should show the audience what their characters were like and not simply tell them. She described the process of publishing a story, how the first book is a real labour of love, written over a long time and when it comes to the second book the process is not necessarily easier, in ways it could be more difficult. In the Dark Spaces was short listed for this years CBCA ‘Book of the Year: Older Readers’, a young adult thriller about a deep space kidnapping, Cally Black is certainly an author to watch.
Veronica Roth by Tyler
Veronica Roth spoke passionately of Tim-tams, Vegemite and the Australian wildlife. In the interview, she was questioned about her almost overnight fame and how she adjusted. She spoke of writing everyday as a child and devoting most of her free time to reading and writing. After the popularity of her first novel, she highlighted how her second book Insurgent, was written. she mentioned that it was beneficial to shut out all influences and speculation and focus on the needs of the book.
Later she was asked about her latest novel, Carve the Mark. Veronica spoke about the affect a language can have on people. She spoke of how she was influenced by George Orwell’s 1984 and how limiting ones vocabulary can limit their thoughts and emotions.
Characterisation was also discussed in her interview, flaws were emphasised, and having your characters be interesting was her biggest point. She was profoundly annoyed at the term “unlikable characters”. She said that all characters can make mistakes, and you should not hate them fora a small misstep.