Up tempo story-telling at Whitsunday school
STUDENTS at the Whitsunday Christian College enjoyed an opportunity to learn some story-telling techniques when ABC Open producers Michael Bromage and Dan Battley came to town.
Mr Bromage and Mr Battley were in the area for the Whitsunday Writers Festival and were put in touch with secondary school teacher Leah Wheeler by festival committee member Rachael Smith.
“We wanted to reach out to the community hoping that next year we could expand on that and do a lot more work within the schools for the Writers Festival,” Ms Smith said.
Every month, the ABC Open’s ‘500 words’ project takes on a new theme and this month’s theme was ‘bully’.
Mr Battley said while the 500-word topics were often more targeted to adults, this one was likely to engage the students “because they’re probably closer to the bone”.
The workshop started with some exercises to overcome ‘writer’s block’ and was followed by examples of how tempo can create tension and drama in writing.
Mr Battley said the students were encouraged to listen to a couple of pieces of music and think about the emotions the tempo invoked.
They were then given tips on how to translate that into a written form through the use of techniques such as shortening sentences.
Year 10 student Jarrod Innell, 16, said he enjoyed learning to write to a “rhythmic beat”. “And I found that through using the different writing styles you can really enhance your story,” he said.
Fourteen-year-old Izzy de Jager praised the 500-word initiative for tackling a difficult topic.
“Bullying stories are usually kept quiet so it’s nice to see that someone’s gone to length to actually bring these stories to light,” she said.
Mr Battley said so far, one student had submitted a story on the bully theme, which would be published online.
Ms Wheeler said this was exactly the outcome she had hoped for. “We’ve got a lot of good writers at the school and this [was a chance for them to] actually publish something out there online and be part of a greater community,” she said.
For more information, visit www.abc.net.au/open.
STORY TELLERS: Whitsunday Christian College students learned the art of story telling when ABC Open producers Michael Bromage and Dan Battley visited their school. Pictured are: Tanita Bassett, Teggun Orth, Susan Schmidt, Chloe Albergo, Kathryn Harris, Kiera Hansen, Michael Bromage (ABC Open), Isabella Burnup, Tia Keam, Porsha Hancock and Fia Fitzgerald (back), and Caitlin Hutchison, Cristina Buenamente, Zachary Foote and Prue Nuss (front). Photo by Dan Battley / ABC Open.