Up tempo story-telling at Whit­sun­day school

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

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.

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