Writers festival off to educational start, photos

SCHOOL students unleashed their imaginations at the first day of the Bendigo Writers Festival - called Texts Mark the Spot - on Friday

Events on offer included a mix of lectures and practical workshops, including a talk by children's author Garry Disher about misfits and loner heroes, a lecture by Gabrielle Wang about Chinese folktales and a "storyblasting" session lead by students.

The latter event involved students from three Bendigo secondary colleges reading their work to professional writers.

And proving that writing isn't contained to novels and newspapers, a group of Crusoe College students participated in a music writing workshop with musician Charles Jenkins.

Music teacher Drew Roberts said the students thoroughly enjoyed the event.

 "The kids participated in two sessions," he said.

"The first focused on lyrics, rhyming structures and making your song engaging.

"In the second the students worked in small groups to add music to their songs.

"They had a really good day. 

"It's great to hear insight from a professional songwriter."

Mr Jenkins said he told students that anyone had the capacity to become a writer.

"We are all song writers," he said.

"You just need to have a passion for it."

He said he wanted to dispel myths people were born to write, telling the children talent could be learned and fostered.

But he warned students that inspiration wouldn't "just come" - they had spark the writing process themselves.

He told students it was important to always keep a notebook close-by and to write all ideas down.

"Don't ever think, 'I'll remember that' - you won't!" he said.

He said once students developed a passion and love for writing, they could continue to write songs throughout their lives.

"It gets in your blood and stays there," he said.


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