How do we inspire our students and stretch them creatively? By giving them opportunities to work with wonderful authors like Matt Dickinson. We recently invited Matt (bestselling author of The Everest Files series, filmmaker and experienced mountaineer) for a return visit to CGS for a Gifted and Talented creative writing workshop. Matt spent the day working with a selection of our Year 7 and 8 students, during which he presented about his own experiences on Everest before guiding the students through various different creative writing scenarios. Pieces included a rhetorical article on whether a 12-year old should be allowed to climb Everest; a descriptive reflection on what each student would miss the most if they chose to climb the mountain and an emotional first person account entitled ‘I’m Lost in a Storm’.
Students shared their work throughout the day, practising vital skills like self-evaluation and redrafting. They were challenged to think outside the box in terms of how they structured their work and explored the impact writing techniques like anecdotes, dialogue and rhetorical features lend to creative writing. There were some thoughtful discussions about what it takes to become a successful writer the end of the session and opportunities to purchase Matt’s books. Much of the writing produced was of a very high quality and a selection can be viewed here. All of the students commented on the excellent opportunity this afforded them to broaden their skills as writers during a very successful and inspiring visit. All our thanks to Matt and the students who took part.