WRITERS RETREAT TO DEVELOP POTENTIAL
Through the North Burnett Regional Council and the 2017 Regional Arts Development Fund, Monto State High School has secured the talents of Michael Gerard Bauer to host a community and School-based Writers Retreat in October. Michael Gerard Bauer is an in-demand speaker and a popular writer for children and young adults. His books have been shortlisted, won numerous awards and are used as class texts in many schools around Australia. He has written drama, comedy and adventure. Michael Gerard Bauer was born and lives in Brisbane Australia. In 2000 he resigned from his full-time position as an English/Economics teacher to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. In 2004 his first Young Adult novel The Running Man was published to great acclaim. It subsequently won the 2005 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year for Older Readers and was short-listed for the NSW, Victoria and South Australian State Premiers’ Literary awards. In 2007 his second novel, a ‘laugh out loud’ comedy entitled Don’t Call Me Ishmael! was short-listed in both the CBCA awards and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and won the 2007 Children’s Peace Literature Award and the 2008 South Australian Festival Award for Children’s Literature. With the support of the RADF grant, planning is underway for the Writers Retreat to be held in Monto in October. The initiative will allow for the North Burnett Community to be involved with information sessions conducted by Michael Gerard Bauer, with a focus on writing tips, publishing pitfalls and “getting started” in the writing business. Students from across the North Burnett schools will also be invited to a 2 day camp to be held at Cania Gorge, where they will receive guidance, inspiration and mentorship from Michael. This initiative is designed to encourage students to develop their writing skills, with their end product being published in a booklet and on a local Writers Web page. Students in Rural areas are often not able to access developmental programs such as the Writers Retreat due to the cost and distance to attend such event. Through the RADF grant, students across the North Burnett region are able to engage in this excellent opportunity and showcase their talents to the wider community.