Feast of Words 2016


Sulari Gentill, Jesse Blackadder & Ellie Marney

The Coonabarabran High School Feast of Words for 2016 was deemed a great success by all involved. Each year, the festival aims to engage students in literature and provide them with an opportunity to gossip about things of a literary nature. Listening to high-profile, enthusiastic professionals speak about the craft of writing continues to deliver a source of inspiration for students. The Feast of Words also aims to ignite creativity in students and fuel their desire to approach their own imaginative writing with confidence and originality. (See sideshow at end of story.)

In 2016, the festival was attended by three high profile guests: Sulari Gentill, Ellie Marney and Jesse Blackadder. Sulari is author of award-winning Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, a series of historical crime fiction novels set in the 1930s about Rowland Sinclair, the gentleman artist-cum-amateur-detective. Ellie Marney has written three Young Adult romantic crime thrillers known as the Every Series: Every Breath, Every Word and Every Move.  In 2015, Every Breath was named one of the top ten most borrowed Young Adult fiction books nationwide by the Australian Library Information Association. Jesse Blackadder is a highly accomplished writer for both children and adults. Jesse’s novels for children focus on unlikely friendships between animals and humans and her adult novels include: The Raven’s Heart, After the Party and Chasing the Light.

Sulari Gentill and Ellie Marney are both crime fiction authors. Students enjoyed learning the gruesome details of what fuels their passion for crime fiction and their writing workshops focused on how to ‘throw a body onto the page’ and create complex characters through writing detailed character profiles. Jesse Blackadder spent time creating wacky imaginary worlds with students and work-shopping how to generate stories that stem from the initial creation of a setting.

The Feast of Words community dinner on Thursday 21 July at Birds of a Feather was a great success. Our three presenters spoke about what inspires them and how they began their careers as authors. The night was filled with a mixture of robust conversation, laughter and frivolity which was greatly enjoyed by all.

Thank you to our Feast of Words committee for continuing a tradition that brings great pleasure to the students of Coonabarabran High School each year. Thank you also to the Cultural Fund. Australia has a vibrant creative community that informs, inspires and delights the nation and in part that is because the Copyright Agency has been standing up for creators since 1974.

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