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

Sam will teach students how to write and perform slam poetry. Please note, this workshop includes video, so an IWB or computer and projector with speakers is required.

Topics covered

  • Poetry
  • Performing/public speaking with flair
  • Self-expression

* Workshops Poetry for the Page and Poetry for the Stage can be combined

Sue Andersen

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October 25, 2021

Sam will show students the steps she followed to write the beautiful poem that features in her picture book Remember the Rainbows. Students will then write their own poetic masterpiece, experimenting with techniques including repetition and rhyme.

Topics covered

  • Writing from real life
  • Emotive language
  • Poetic devices

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

Drawing from her extensive experience in podcasting, Sam will show students how to tell stories for the ears. Students will use weird and wonderful props to create sound effects for broadcast. Students will then use those sounds to inspire and enhance stories crafted specifically to be heard.

Sue Andersen

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October 25, 2021

Indigenous musician and author, Lucas Proudfoot presents a dynamic musical storytelling experience, showcasing dance, cultural diversity and Lucas’ creative process. This highly interactive session is a great way to start a StoryBoard session with Lucas. Students get to know Lucas not only as an author, but also as a live performer who shares positive aspects of music, story & culture.

Topics covered

  • Indigenous Australian culture and history
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Multicultural diversity
  • Storytelling
  • The creative process

Curriculum outcomes

  • 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

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October 25, 2021

Using text and verbal cues the students will create creatures/monsters based on myths and legends

Michelle will work with collage as a means for the students to create a creature based on a myth. Students will have a collage resource sheet of various animals and textures from which to construct their interpretation of the creature. They will then be assisted to create a drawing based on their collage and place it in a setting.

Students will be encouraged to make the creature their own in terms of interpretation and embellishment and also to start developing an imagined life for the creature and to illustrate that (ie its habitat, diet, likes and dislikes).

This workshop will encourage students to develop a character from a text and introduce them to using collage as both an illustration means in its own right and as a catalyst for other artworks.

The duration and complexity of this workshop can be adapted to the age group of the intended students.

Topics covered

  • Mythical Creature collage to the description
  • Drawing/painting a creature based on the collage
  • And/or using a combination of collage textures and draw features
  • Placing the creature in a setting
  • Character development

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


October 25, 2021

Most of Benjamin’s books and films have explored the topics of conflict and restorative justice. He has spent time in several war zones and is able to deliver a compelling 30 minute presentation on peace and conflict with real life experience, anecdotes, slides and reflections on modern war propaganda. Suitable for Year 9 students and above where this topic is part of the curriculum.

anika


October 25, 2021

This presentation and workshop explores the elements of creating a childrens’ picture book, using Benjamin’s popular book The Travel Bug as an example. In this workshop, children are assisted to develop their own idea in a group setting (group verse writing) and create a 2-page spread.

anika

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October 25, 2021

A one-off workshop or multi-session workshop on scriptwriting and filmmaking tailored to suit the students’ interests. Benjamin has also run social justice filmmaking workshops over a term or two in secondary schools, where students work towards creating short films for screening at a mini-festival.

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

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2022 Workshops for writers of all levels