Five Years 7 and 8 English extension students were treated to a whole-day writing workshop run by the hilarious author Barry Jonsberg as part of the Talented Young Writers Programme at The Literature Centre in Fremantle.

After entertaining workshop participants with the inspirations behind his novels – The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull, the Pandora Jones trilogy and Game Theory – Barry walked students through the four integral stages of creating a novel: Thinking, Writing, Re-writing and Editing. (Interestingly, when Barry begins a book, he has no idea where the story will end, and he doesn’t purposefully select a particular genre for his novels.) Participants were then given plenty of opportunities to be creative in their own story writing.

South Coast students were excited to talk with Barry in person, have him sign their purchased copies of his books and ask some fantastic questions: Paige was interested in Barry’s favourite authors to read, Lara asked which genres of novel he prefers and if he likes the Harry Potter series, and Lachlan wanted to know how much published writers earn from their book sales (which as it turns out, is not a great deal!).

Barry encouraged us that being a published author can be anyone’s dream with hard work and a little inspiration. All five students gave the first workshop of the Talented Young Writers Programme two thumbs up! A number of Barry’s novels are available for borrowing from the College Library.