It isn’t every day that young wanna be writers get the chance to work with authors they admire but for a group of young writers in and around Byron Bay that was exactly the chance they got.
Last night they launched their book POV at the Byron Writers Festival office with their mentors, writers Siboney Duff and Tristan Bancks, who have worked with the team on every aspect of the writing process from initial idea through freewriting, plotting, character development, drafting, editing, distribution and publicity.
The fourteen young writers aged 11 to 16 and the core group being chosen through an application process.
The group committed to one afternoon a week after school over two school terms plus additional time working on their stories between face-to-face sessions. They developed a set of stories that are based I the local area and capture the place and its people and are connected by a central crime that flows through the narrative.
‘They have showed great dedication through the many challenges that the writing process provides, pushing themselves into new territory as storytellers,’ says Tristan.
Ossian, aged 15, chose the project because he has ‘always loved writing and not many opportunities come up in Byron to extend those skills…’ he says ‘the best part of the project was being able to work on our own stories and to be anchored around a common outcome.’
Author and facilitator Siboney Duff says of the group ‘they are spectacular young writers and the past two terms have been a ball.’
Not only have the group expanded their creative writing tool-kit but they have formed very close connections and a creative independence. StoryBoard Project Manager Gabby Le Brun says ‘Where they were initially too shy to share their work with each other, they are now confidently editing, giving and receiving feedback between them, in essence they have their own writer’s network.’
StoryBoard has collaborated with Richmond Tweed Regional Library, Byron Bay who have provided an in-kind workshop space and have promoted the workshops through their networks.
POV is a fusion of fact and fiction, capturing a moment in time specific to Byron Bay but relatable to young (and older) readers everywhere. Enjoy!