TAG | Brian Falkner



Good Things Come in Threes


Our Middle School boys have been very fortunate during the past two weeks to have had three amazing authors come to speak to them.

Brian Falkner was the first to visit, and he talked to the Year 8s about how he became an author and how he finds inspiration for his stories. As part of his performance he invited students to participate and this proved to be most entertaining! One of Brian’s books, Brainjack, explores a future where technology has moved forward and neuro-headsets have replaced computer keyboards. In a demonstration of this, one of the boys had his brain ‘scanned’ and it was interesting to see just what was on the mind of a Year 8 student!!  A number of boys also enthusiastically participated in a cola taste-testing competition which was straight from the pages of Brian’s book The Real Thing.

The next author to visit was Christine Bongers who worked with a small group of keen writers in Years 6 and 7. The boys participated in workshops as well as independent writing sessions, and this enabled them to hear feedback about their work from a published author. This was a very motivating experience and the boys left eager to continue their stories. Christine will be back in Term 4 to assist them further and also to talk to all the boys in Years 6 and 7.

Our final visitor was the very popular Andy Griffiths who addressed the Years 6 and 7 boys. Andy is an Ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, an organisation which raises funds to help purchase and supply culturally appropriate books and literacy resources to over 200 remote communities around Australia. The boys thoroughly enjoyed Andy’s talk and the stories of his experiences working with Aboriginal children.  This year, a major focus of the ILF is the Great Book Swap and the Middle School is proud to be taking part in this next week.


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Spring Hill Young Writers

The Spring Hill Young Writers collaborative writing project was an exciting and extremely successful initiative developed by four teacher librarians from BGS, BGGS, Terrace and All Hallows’. It came about from a desire to involve students in an extension writing activity that challenged them, but also gave them opportunities for group work.

Eight Year 8 students from each school were chosen because of their interest and abilities in creative writing, and they were then divided into groups of four, with one student from each school in each group. Their task was to write the same story, with the same events, location and characters, but each had to be written from a different character’s point of view.

A  welcome dinner at Girls Grammar was the first of four events held, and at this session both parents and students were given information about the project and introduced to Gold Coast author, Brian Falkner. This was followed by two days of writing workshops at Terrace and All Hallows’, where Brian taught the students the different elements involved in crafting a story. He was extremely popular, and successfully encouraged the students to write their stories over the two days. Each student was allocated a page in a shared wiki where they could type their stories, and this meant that the others in their group, the author and the teacher librarians were able to read and edit the stories as they developed.

The project culminated last week with a presentation evening held at Brisbane Grammar School, where Brian awarded a number of prizes, including Best Individual Story (won by one of our BGS boys) and Best Group Story.

While the writing part of the project was quite challenging, and reflected our tagline “Pushing the Boundaries”, the collaborative aspects of the project made it extremely successful, as evidenced by comments and feedback from the author, parents and students. When the students were asked if they would recommend this workshop to others, some of their responses were:

Definitely – working with students from other schools and getting advice from an author is something I would like to do again.

I would definitely recommend this workshop to other students if it was offered again. I loved being involved in the workshop and it would be great if other students could share the passion of writing by having the same experiences.

Yes, because it is so much fun and really improved my narrative writing skills.

Yes, as this workshop helps broaden one’s creativity and it is also a great opportunity in gaining new friends.

Yes, because it was an amazing experience.

Yes, it massively influenced and improved my writing.

The stories and photos will now be published as a book, and all students involved will have the opportunity to purchase a copy.

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