Student voice: Australian authors share their secrets

A group of Blackfriars students recently spent time with two leading Australian authors. Year 10 student Juan Carlos Kilapio tells the story.

Earlier this month, Head Librarian Ms McEvoy, along with Curriculum Leader, English, Mr Ng’eno, led a cohort of eager years 7-10s to Immanuel College.

The boys had the chance to experience a once-in-a-lifetime lecture from renowned Australian authors Lili Wilkinson and Tristan Bancks.

Wilkinson’s repertoire of 16 fantastic books more than speaks for her achievement in the literary world. She shared precious insight into composing a range of genres.

When questioned about what made a writing competition winner, she said: “Don’t kill your character off and don’t end the story with ‘and then they woke up’. That’s an instant disqualification from me.”

“There is too much edginess in young people’s literature today – and while that’s fine, there should be more comedy.”

She added: “Usually the light-hearted and funny ones make me more invested.”

Wilkinson’s articulation and delivery left students hungry to learn more, and her mannerisms impressed the audience.

“She could give you a conversation on a topic you’d have no idea about, but you’d still be drawn in for more,” Mr Ng’eno said.

Year 9 student Alan Manoj said: “Something about the way she spoke, it made the audience want to know more.”

Bancks, an Australian children’s and teen author, has a background in filmmaking and acting.

He chatted animatedly about his books, including the Tom Weekly series, The Fall, Two Wolves, Detention and, of course, his new release, Cop & Robber.

He went into detail about how he came up with the storylines, which turned out to be quite elaborate. Bancks also makes enthralling movie-like trailers for each of his novels.

One student asked him if pineapples belonged on pizza. Bancks did not commit to an answer – which goes to prove that there is no problem with serving pineapples on pizzas and that the Italians were wrong all along.

Students are encouraged to pick books by both authors, now available in our library.


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