On the 20 March, a group of 14 students from QACI made our way to Mudgeeraba, Gold Coast to attend the Somerset Storyfest Festival. The Somerset Storyfest Festival aims to inspire reading among young readers and it was also an opportunity for students to get to know the local authors.
We attended 4 author talks by Violet Grace, Scott Wings, Michael Gerard Bauer and Simmone Howell. Throughout each talk, we were able to gain a glimpse into the thought mechanisms behind the author's story and gain tips to improve their writing and explain what it takes to become an author.
Violet Grace, the author of 'The Girl Who Fell', gave a talk on criticism, encouraging us to not be afraid. She told us that everyone receives criticism. That we shouldn't listen to all the criticism received but instead pick and choose who we listen to. "Each person has a superpower," she says. "We all just need to learn how to use it."
Scott Wings, a performance artist who has experience with performing in a variety of national and international events performed a piece of poetry that delighted the audience. He also engaged with us on a personal level and gave us tips about public speaking, writing poetry and discussed more about his artistic process.
Michael Gerard Bauer, the author 'The Running Man' and 'Things that Will Not Stand', gave us a talk about the stories behind his story, "Don't Call Me Ishmael". He explained how he used his previous experiences to form part of his story.
Simmone Howell, author of 'Girl Defective', 'Notes from The Teenage Underground', among others told us about how she became a writer. She also shared the beauty of zines by passing some around for everyone to examine.
At the end of each session, we had the opportunity to ask further questions and connect with the speaker. It was delightful to see the hands of the QACI students eagerly shoot up in the air to ask their questions, showing how engaged we were with the speaker. We all left the festival equipped with a new set of tools to improve our writing and a newfound inspiration.
...article written by Caitlin Baptist, Year 11