The Coonabarabran High School Feast of Words for 2016 was deemed a great success by all involved.
Each year, the festival aims to engage students in literature and provide them with an opportunity to gossip about things of a literary nature.
Listening to high-profile, enthusiastic professionals speak about the craft of writing continues to deliver a source of inspiration for students.
The Feast of Words also aims to ignite creativity in students and fuel their desire to approach their own imaginative writing with confidence and originality.
In 2016, the festival was attended by three high profile guests, writers Sulari Gentill, Ellie Marney and Jesse Blackadder.
Sulari Gentill and Ellie Marney are both crime fiction authors. Students enjoyed learning the gruesome details of what fuels their passion for crime fiction and their writing workshops focused on how to “throw a body onto the page” and create complex characters through writing detailed character profiles.
Jesse Blackadder spent time creating wacky imaginary worlds with students and work-shopping how to generate stories that stem from the initial creation of a setting.
The Feast of Words dinner on Thursday, 21 July, at Birds of a Feather, was also a great success, where the three presenters spoke about what inspires them and how they began their careers as authors.
The night was filled with a mixture of robust conversation, laughter and frivolity which was greatly enjoyed by all.
Thank you to our Feast of Words committee, particularly Kellie Nash, for continuing a tradition that brings great pleasure to the students of Coonabarabran High School each year.
50 Word Novel competition
Finally, the 50 Word Novel competition was entered by 94 students. The theme for this year was “disaster”.
The winner of the junior section was Amelia Rose-Watt (Year 8) and senior winner was Leah Murray (Year 11). The runners-up were: Brad Fuller (Year 7), Jace Weatherall (Year 7), Daisy Andrews (Year 11) and Tyler Watson (Year 10). Staff winner was Emma Rankmore.
I was the bush, she was the fire.
She reduced me to dust, it’ll take time to help me grow again, but even now there are still traces of her massacre.
It started slow and small and then as the fire grew, so did she.
Now I am the ashes.
- Amelia Rose-Watt (junior winner -Year 8)
Every morning before dawn, that’s when they come. Every day they take us to the chambers with the spine-chilling equipment. We all go at the same time. Fifteen minutes of cold, horrifying, mechanical suckling. I stand and stare into the dark abyss of his eyes. I exist only for them.
- Leah Murray (senior winner - Year 11)
“This is where the water came to.”
She halted the car, pointed up impossibly high. Her eyes dark against an even darker sky.
My eyes followed her shaking hand.
I saw the line, muddy scrawl on the side of the broken building.
“Insurance won’t cover it, they said.”
- Emma Rankmore (staff winner)
Special guest presenters at the Feast of Words festival - Sulari Gentill, Dr Jesse Blackadder and Ellie Marney. Photo: Tori Estens.