Feast of Words 2018

Students and staff at Coonabarabran High School are eagerly awaiting the 2018 Feast of Words to be held from Wednesday, April 4 – Friday, April 6, 2018.

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JC Burke is a long time friend of CHS and will return.  Exciting news for Jane is that the novel she discussed last year, ‘The Things we Promise’, has been named a Notable Book for Older Readers in the 2018 CBCA Book of the Year Awards. It was inspired by the AIDS epidemic of the 1980’s. The book has been described by Kirsty Eagar, one of our previous guest authors, as “moving, powerful and uplifting.  It pinched me in the heart”.  Similarly, novelist Melina Marchetta described the book as “Filled with strong, vibrant characters, this novel is both timeless and timely.  Loved it.”  Jane’s novel ’The Story of Tom Brennan’ has been on the prescribed HSC reading list for many years and is studied at CHS in Standard English.

Organizers are thrilled to have famous writer, journalist and critic Anna Maria Dell’oso as a guest this year.  Her beautiful prose appeared in ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ for many years.  In fact, here first book, ‘Cats, Cradles and Chamomile Tea’ is a collection from her popular column in the SMH ‘Good Weekend’.  Additionally, Anna Maria’s acclaimed book ‘Songs of the Suitcase’ won the Steele Rudd Award.  Whilst her fiction has been published in many anthologies, Anna Maria has also studied playwriting and worked as a librettist to several Australian composers.

Another welcome guest at the Feast of Words is Alexander Tighe, a former CHS student who completed his HSC in 2012.  He studied Arts (Media)/Law at the University of Sydney, majoring in Philosophy.  While working part-time at O’Brien Solicitors, Alex was involved in the ‘Four Corners’ coverage of juvenile detention centres in the Northern Territory and he later interned with the ABC program.  In 2017 Alex helped set up the new Sydney newspaper, the Neighbourhood Paper, and currently works there as an Editorial Assistant.  Alex is completing his Honours in Philosophy, his thesis topic being on human rights and the place of philosophy in creating a better world.  Many of Alex’s teachers will be delighted to re-connect with him, especially his English and Legal Studies teachers!

The fourth guest is Justine Landis-Hanley, a writer/editor/researcher/radio producer.  She is an Editorial Assistant at the Neighbourhood Paper where she also writes stories about local issues and pop culture.  Justine is an Editor of Honi Soit Newspaper, Australia’s only weekly student newspaper, which has been operating since 1926.  In 2016, Justine wrote a feature article revealing the culture of sexual assault and gender discrimination within the University of Sydney residential colleges.  The article gained national attention in the media and Justine herself appeared on the 7.30 Report.  She has continued to write articles related to sexual assault and discrimination at university.

The Feast of Words committee will host a dinner to which all members of the community are invited.  The function will be held on Wednesday 4  April at the Acacia Restaurant and will be a wonderful opportunity for attendees to meet and hear the writers.  Tickets will be available shortly.

This Feast of Words is supported by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and Equity Funding.

E Macintosh

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