News & Editorial

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October 25, 2021

Sarah draws on her years of experience as a novelist and journalist in this very hands-on, practical workshop. She’ll teach techniques to get students’ creativity flowing, as well as concrete, practical tools to create narrative tension, deepen character, and create a sense of immediacy for the reader. She gives comprehensive handouts, with examples from others’ writing, and illustrates with anecdotes from her own writing experience. She gets the students writing straight away, and they’ll do lots of writing throughout the workshop. 

This workshop works best for a group of the same stage or a group of keen writers across a mix of stages.

Topics covered

  • Free-writing as a brainstorming tool and fast, effective way to write a first draft.
  • The drafting process – how a first draft is different to the final draft.
  • Exercises to flesh out character.
  • Using detail to show rather than tell.
  • Writing a ‘sensory brainstorm’ to generate material to bring a piece of action alive.
  • A strategy for creative writing in an exam.
  • Student Q and A.

Sue Andersen


October 25, 2021

This self-editing workshop is a distillation of techniques gleaned from working with twenty plus editors from over ten different publishing companies and for many students is surprisingly enjoyable! The focus is not on grammar and punctuation, so much as specific editing techniques taught in a step-by-step easy format that even the most disinterested writers can use to instantly improve their writing (and marks). Great for NAPLAN or HSC preparation.

Topics covered

  • A brief demonstration of the process of having a book edited and an embarrassing confession
  • Distinguishing between the art and craft of writing a story
  • Numerous self-editing techniques that can be repeatedly used to improve students’ drafts

Sue Andersen

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October 25, 2021

In this practical workshop, Sarah will teach students techniques to get their writing flowing, as well as concrete, practical tools to create narrative tension and to deepen character. She explains how students can write ‘scene’ to create immediacy for the reader and to show rather then tell. Most students write in summary and find it a revelation to learn about writing in scene. She gives comprehensive handouts, with examples from others’ writing, and illustrates with anecdotes from her own writing experience. She gets the students writing straight away, and they’ll do lots of writing throughout the workshop.

This workshop is also suitable for keen and focused stage 4 students.

Topics covered

  • Free-writing as a brainstorming tool and fast, effective way to write a first draft.
  • Fleshing out character using free-written character histories
  • When to show and when to tell.
  • Using scene to show and create immediacy
  • Writing a sensory brainstorm to add effective detail to scene.
  • A strategy for creative writing in an exam.
  • Student Q and A

Sue Andersen


October 25, 2021

A very practical workshop for keen writers aged 10+. Sarah will guide the students in writing exercises to come up with ideas and bring their writing alive. She’ll explore dramatic tension, strong beginnings, setting and character. There will be time for questions and time for some students to read out their work and receive constructive feedback. 

**This workshop is adaptable to include stage 2 for small schools.

Sue Andersen

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October 25, 2021

Lucas’ creative writing session highlights the importance of using spontaneity and imagination to create short, fun-filled stories. This quirky format allows the students to experience the joy of writing without worrying about spelling mistakes and perfect grammar. The focus of the session is finding your voice, then expressing it through story.

“Lucas is a treasure personally and culturally. We are really lucky to have someone with his storytelling skills and gift for entertainment to inspire our students. His connection to his heritage and place was very powerful. The staff responses were glowing. I am like the kids; I only wish we could see him more often!” – Pottsville Beach PS, QLD

Topics covered

  • Finding your writing voice
  • Imagination and creativity
  • Writing with joy
  • Personal and cultural storytelling

Curriculum outcomes

  • Creative writing
  • History/culture
  • Multicultural themes
  • Performing arts

Sue Andersen

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October 25, 2021

Sam will teach students how to come up with a cracking story idea, create unique characters, build an escalating plot, and pull it all together to write a bestseller.

Topics covered

  • Ideas and inspiration
  • Creating characters
  • Plotting and planning

Sue Andersen

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October 25, 2021

This workshop uses Laura’s ‘Dream Riders’ horse series as a starting point to explore how grappling with complex or scary feelings – the everyday sort, not the jumping out of a plane sort – can inspire emotionally rich and truthful storytelling. It’s tempting to ignore difficult feelings and ‘put on a happy face’, but shining a light on challenging experiences and feelings can help us develop realistic characters and moving stories which will powerfully connect with others. Laura draws on her extensive experience in running workshops and telling stories for young people to help students tap into where great writing comes from.

Suitable for both keen and reluctant readers/writers.

Topics covered

  • Discussing favourite book/story characters who experience big feelings
  • Role playing/role swapping exercises so students can experience different points of view to inform character and story development
  • Guided individual and group writing exercises for students to ‘put on paper’ what they discovered through role playing and point of view exercises
  • Student Q and A

Sue Andersen


October 25, 2021

Suspense, thrill, tension. Students learn how to craft scary stories that excite readers. Hakea ties the activities to Tracks of the Missing (Magabala 2022) and uses that to inspire students to create sizzling stories of their own.

Topics covered 

  • Planning for success – inspiration, brainstorm techniques, overcoming writer’s block and using the narrative arc
  • Sizzling starts to hook readers
  • Tightening tension- sentence length, onomatopoeia, chapter cliff-hangers
  • Show, don’t tell
  • Working towards an exciting ending

Curriculum outcomes

  • Writing and representing
  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively

anika

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October 25, 2021

The outdoors and the outback were the inspiration for CBCA award winning book, Black Cockatoo (Magabala 2018). Hakea takes students through the steps of brainstorming, storyboarding and then finding a way into their short stories by using real life anecdotes from their lives.  

Topics covered

  • Plan for success- Inspiration and narrative arc
  • Reader hooks- sizzling starts to find ways into the story
  • Writing engaging characters- dynamic dialogue
  • Show don’t tell

Curriculum outcomes

  • Writing and representing
  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively

Sue Andersen

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October 25, 2021

Reluctant readers and writers? The appeal of writing a book in less than 24 lines might hook your students in for the hour. Hakea guides students through the inspiration, structure, choosing the right words and how to use words and images in tandem to create compelling texts. 

This workshop can be modified for Stage 1 & 2 – (1 hr).

Topics covered

  • Inspiration- unique spin on familiar stories
  • Narrative arc
  • Powerful word choices
  • Visual literacy 

Curriculum outcomes

  • Writing and representing
  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively

anika

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October 25, 2021

Students will walk away from this workshop with a collection of tools to help them brainstorm ideas, overcome writer’s block and craft interesting stories perfect for Australian readers. They will have a list of story ideas that they can use for future writing in class.

Topics covered

  • Inspiration and brainstorm techniques
  • Narrative arc and planning
  • Sizzling starts 
  • Cool characters

Curriculum outcomes

  • Writing and representing
  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively

Sue Andersen

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October 25, 2021

Tailored to any upper primary and high school students, Benjamin delivers an inspiring workshop  exploring  ideas of being a ‘story hunter’, encouraging students to find and develop ideas, understand simple structure to engage readers and above all make writing fun.

anika


October 25, 2021

This workshop takes a unique approach to discovering a character through a process of segueing back and forth between their character’s inner world of perception and outer sensory experiences. Students will literally write on a drawing they create.

Topics covered

  • Discovering an original character vs inserting stereotypes into a story
  • Using aspects of their character’s body to reveal and record their experiences
  • Distinguishing between the character’s exterior sensory world and perceptions of it
  • Learning how to use their character’s inner and outer world to create a story plot

Curriculum outcomes 

  • Writing and representing
  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively
  • Expressing themselves
  • Create literary texts that explores students’ own experiences and imaginings
  • Create literary texts using realistic and fantasy settings
  • Create literary texts by using storylines, characters and settings

Sue Andersen


October 25, 2021

Writing an imaginative story is not a linear process, with the best and most unique and engaging ideas frequently originating from hidden creative depths. This workshop teaches students a variety of techniques to access their own imaginative depths, through a series of specific portals into story ideas. Especially useful for NAPLAN preparation!

Topics covered

  • How the imagination works
  • Stream-of-consciousness writing for warming up
  • How to get ideas through a variety of stimuli including: objects, the senses, and random words and images

Curriculum outcomes 

  • Writing and representing
  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively
  • Expressing themselves
  • Create literary texts that explores students’ own experiences and imaginings
  • Create literary texts using realistic and fantasy settings
  • Create literary texts by using storylines, characters and settings

Sue Andersen


October 25, 2021

Have you ever had an experience in nature where you really paid attention and for a moment felt you were part of everything around you? In this workshop, children will deepen into their own personal experience and connection to the Earth. Through creative writing and using the themes as inspiration from Wonder Earth, students will reflect on both the heart-felt significance as well as the scientific importance of a personal ‘wonder earth moment’, and create a class Wonder Earth book!

Topics covered

  • Experiences in nature for story inspiration
  • Patterns and processes which sustain life
  • Creative writing with scientific themes
  • Reflection of our relationship to the world

Curriculum outcomes

  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively
  • Reflecting on learning
  • Responding and composing
  • Living world
  • Earth and space

anika


October 25, 2021

Would you like your students to stop and marvel at the amazing world around them and build their ecological-literacy? The Earth has so much to share if only we stop, listen and wonder. Come along on a beautiful journey of what it means to belong to our earth home through exploring a BIG version of the Wonder Earth book. Celebrate the colors and patterns of the natural world. Hear and tell an earth story. Blending creative writing with inspiration from nature, children reflect on their relationship to the world around them.

Topics covered

  • Ecological themes such as the sun, water, food and patterns of nature
  • Processes and relationships which sustain life
  • Creative writing with nature themes
  • Reflection of our relationship to the world

Curriculum Outcomes 

  • Speaking and listening
  • Writing and representing
  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively
  • Working scientifically
  • Living world
  • Earth and space

anika


October 25, 2021

Author Tristan Bancks shares the tools for creating a thrilling and authentic crime story, based on his experience writing novels for age 10+ like Two Wolves, The Fall and Cop & Robber (2022).

Topics covered

  • Gathering story details from the real world.
  • Using technology to feed creativity in the writing process.
  • The importance of research in writing.

anika

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October 25, 2021

Participants observe, experience and let the world around them rush onto the page. The forward-motion and physical exercise bring the writing experience alive, forging new and unexpected stories. Can be done in the school playground! 

Topics covered

  • Writing outdoors for story inspiration
  • Present-moment awareness as a storytelling tool
  • Discovering character inspiration from the people and spaces around you

anika

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October 25, 2021

How can you use all the odd, boring, funny stuff that happens to you and turn it into stories? Author Tristan Bancks uses bits from his own life to inspire his books from Tom Weekly to Ginger Meggs and Two Wolves to The Fall. Like the time his sister made him eat Vegemite off her big toe or the time he had his appendix removed just to get out of school detention. And the day he visited a crime scene during high school work experience. Learn how to mine your own life for cool, weird, funny stories that your friends will love.

Topics covered

  • Using memory for story inspiration
  • Mashing truth and fiction to create authentic, entertaining stories
  • Freewriting practice to discover untapped story ideas

anika

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October 25, 2021

You’ve written a story. Now what? The next step is putting on your editor’s hat! Editing is an essential part of the writing process, but most kids stop at the first draft. In this fun workshop, Zanni leads kids through professional editing techniques they actually like! One Year 3 boy reported after a Sweaty Brain Editing session: ‘I speak for everyone, well, myself at least, when I say I discovered how much I loved editing!’

anika

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2022 Workshops for writers of all levels