On Monday 22 June, 45 students from Years 7 to 11 competed in the ‘Write a Book in a Day' competition. The competition allows teams of up to 10 students to write and illustrate a Children's book in a 12 hour period - a challenge to be sure! On top of this, each team is given ‘parameters' on the day, characters, the setting, an issue and random words that all need to be included in the book. The book is for a 10 to 16 year olds age group and the finished and bound copies of the books all go to the Sydney's Children's Hospital at Westmead, with funds raised from the competition contributing to The Kids' Cancer Project.
This year we had five amazing teams from Years 7 to Year 10 compete. The day began at 7.30 am and each team claimed a section of the library as their own ‘Command Centre'. The library was abuzz with energy and creative thinking as the artists, writers, editors and curators dived into the challenges of the day. Some will say that the copious supply of lollies and pizza kept them going for the 12 long hours, but I think it was the teamwork and satisfaction of writing and illustrating their very own masterpiece, coupled with the knowledge that the sick kids at the Children's Hospital will be entertained and touched by their book, that pushed them on.
Just to give an idea of these parameters, one group had the two primary characters as a judge and a single father, with their non-human character a praying mantis. Their setting was a Ghost Town, the issue that ‘one good turn deserves another' and their random words to use were curiosity, reflection, frantic, memory and eye-opening. Each group's parameters were different, so no team's story was similar.
All of the five groups of motivated students were outstanding for the entire day and the day, long as it was, was a wonderful success. From my point of view, the special touches to these amazing stories were the messages that were included in the book to the sick kids who will read them. I'll leave you with a sample! The books are bound and will be available to read and marvel at soon.
“Everybody in our team wishes you all of the beauty and love that you deserve in your life. Always remember that your brain is the most amazing computer that was ever created. Your bones were forged from the dust of the first stars. You are a miracle, and all miracles are made beautiful by pain.
You were given this life because you are strong enough to live, and live life to the full. Shine on, and don't let any ghosts bring you down."
* * * * *
“Dear Courageous Warriors at Westmead Hospital,
Although you might feel like the worse is to come, our group at St. Luke's would like to give you hope and encouragement to put all those negative thoughts behind you. Remember that positive thinking will help you push through hardships you might face. We wish you all the best and we want you to know that we will be with you every step of the way.
Love from your loving friends at St Luke's xxx “
Here are our amazing teams:
|The A Team||Erin Bray-Smith, Ryan Cruikshank, Sharon Hung, Erin King, Eliza Lourenco, Jessica Marshall, Emma Rankin and Luke Sutherland|
|Ghost Town||Pia Brockhoff, Lucy Buckley, Mia Dobell, Sophie Howarth, Olivia Mills, Lily Nguyen, Ella Simmons, Nanki Soin, Lara van der Maas and Charlotte Wooster|
|The Cats||Hayley Biddulph, Chloe Bradley, Georgia Coleman, Ella Evans, Tianah Geros, Jemima Hannan, Rachel Hansen, Lucie Hobson, Claudia Kappley and Elles van der Maas|
|Spell Check||Lucinda Cooke, Ben Lemlin, Olivia Parker, Alyssa Ravasini, Zafiroula Sakellaris, Dylan Sampson, Juliette Stevenson, Mikayla Straney and Tess Sweeney|
|Samuwriters||Cicely Brown, Andrew England, Mackensie Hargrove, Anna Jessett, Christopher Rogers, Jasmine Soin, Amy Sweetnam and Lucy Tompson|
Thank you to all the students, parents and teachers involved.