In the middle of this year SA Writers Centre launched their Artists in Schools project with Adelaide High School [AHS].
An anthology called #Radelaide: Stories from Adelaide High – and the fruition of this project – is being launched on Friday 28 November at the SA Writers Centre.
The Writing Places Project (as it is officially known) is a collaboration between the SA Writers Centre and Adelaide High School and two artists in residence – Angela Kingston, an internationally published author and creative writing teacher, and Connor Tomas O’Brien, a young creative writer and publisher, and nationally recognised entrepreneur in the digital writing and publishing sector. Poet, Amelia Walker, and young editors/ writers, Simon Collinson and Rose Hartley, also delivered sessions to the students as part of the project.
SAWC placed the writer in residence at AHS for two terms to deliver a creative writing project. Students and teachers were immersed in innovative methods of creative writing and craft development, were part of an intensive process of reviewing, drafting and editing, and learnt online publication technologies and digital distribution strategies. Over the two terms, a class of Year 9 students wrote, edited, designed and published an anthology of short works titled #Radelaide.
Apart from these class-based lessons, the writer in residence made themselves available to teachers and students wanting individual extension in writing. SAWC continually sees examples of students who are hungry for this extension, but have nowhere to go in most schools. Students interested in other creative arts often have studios, dance facilities, music rooms etc, but young writers also need creative spaces, beyond the restrictions of the ‘library’ space, where writers can collaborate, and publication opportunities developed, for example through an annual anthology, a regular newspaper, ongoing writers groups etc. The writer helped to establish this space at AHS, and help to develop a real and virtual ‘writers wall’ to showcase writing, promote publishing opportunities etc.
‘I’ve always loved writing stories, and having an actual author help me develop and publish my work was something really special, a childhood dream come true. Even better, we could write on any topic, as long as our stories had an Adelaide connection to fit the anthology’s theme. The possibilities were infinite!
In the final weeks, Angela gave us helpful information about competitions and publishing opportunities, and we had great guest presenters: Simon Collinson and Connor Tomas O’Brien (digital and online publishing), and Amelia Walker (performing your writing). As I write this I’m looking forward to our launch at the SA Writers Centre, when I finally get to see my story in a book! That’s something that doesn’t happen every day, and I am thankful for it,’ said participating student Chelsea Holt (this is an excerpt taken from #Radelaide: Stories from Adelaide High).
‘It’s a pleasure to show young people that language can be playful and fun, and to help them become stronger, more confident writers. The students embraced this opportunity with gusto, and it shows in the quality of their writing. I couldn’t be happier for them, they deserve all of the accolades coming their way,’ said Angela Kingston, Artist in Residence.
Friday, 28 November
6pm – 8pm
SA Writers Centre, Level 2, 187 Rundle St, Adelaide
Come and hear them perform their work and see their live writing projected onto the walls of the SA Writers Centre.
‘Language can be play, writing can be joyful, and students themselves can be the inventors and caretakers of their world,’ Michael Chabon