During Library and Information Week, Hale School Forrest Library hosted Will Kostakis for our Author-in-Residence programme. Will hails from Sydney and is a young author whose first book was accepted for publication when he was in his final year of high school.
He has more recently written The First Third, which draws heavily on his Greek heritage and family, with humorous results. His newest book, Sidekicks, is expertly written about a group of teenage boys who attend school together and have one of the group as their mutual friend. However, they all have different lives, different interests and different secrets.
During the sessions Will had with Year 7-9 students, he gave them powerful ideas for their own writing. He talked about picturing the scene as it is being written - imagine writing a movie and zooming in. Also, read the passage aloud. Will encouraged the boys to use adjectives and adverbs to help make the writing intense by describing through action.
Will asked the boys when do they start writing a piece that is an assessment? The boys squirmed! Usually they started the night before. He encouraged them, as most parents and teachers would, to start days before mainly so they can write, go back to it in a couple of days and actually see what they have written rather than writing it and handing it in in the same 24 hour period.
Students often struggle to have an idea for writing. Will encouraged them to look at their own real life situations, ask what their biggest fear is and then ask what if. Many authors use the term show, don’t tell which Will also uses as a tool to enhance his writing.
We were delighted to host Will for the week and appreciated the time he spent with not only the Reading Enrichment classes but also a Year 11 class to help them with an assessment, the S.H.I.E.L.D Book Club and individual students during lunchtime. We look forward to his next book and to his return to Hale School in the future.