Top writers share tips for success

“It’s impossible to write a good book but you can write a bad book and fix it,” says Australian writer Jack Heath, to his workshop group of talented young Tuggeranong writers.
Nanjing Night Net

Fifty talented students from five different South Canberra high schools were chosen to take part in the annual Tuggeranong High School writers’ workshop run over two days last week.

The event aids students in developing their writing skills through several writing workshops with authors; including two fiction writers, a skype session with a Hollywood screenwriter, an Australian screenwriter and a scriptwriter.

Friday’s workshop involved writer Tracey Hawkins, young adult fiction writer Jack Heath, and playwright Jenny Rixon, who all agreedthere was both a passion and a high calibre of writing in young students.

“Reading and writing are crucial skills to cultivate, just in becoming a good human being,” Mr Heath said.

“It’s worth being here, doing this, even if these kids don’t become professional writers – I certainly don’t want the competition – but I’m hoping that it makes them a bit more empathetic and if nothing else, helps them enjoy the books they read a bit more.”

Organiser of the event and English and humanities teacher, Megan Evans, saidevents such as this were important to give children an outlet to extend themselves.

“It is an honour to work with these kids; they are amazing and there’s so much talent in such young people,” she said.

“It’s pretty awe inspiring to see what they are capable of and I want the broader community to see that and encourage them to develop their skills and to have that voice and get it out there.”

EXPERIENCE: Authors Tracey Hawkins and Jack Heath with local playwright and actor Jenny Rixon and students from five Tuggeranong schools take part in the annual writers workshop. Photo: Elesa Kurtz