Inspiring Author Visits YCIS Puxi Secondary
Every year, YCIS Puxi invites an author to read, engage, and inspire its students! This year, English author Martin Chatterton visited and gave students in Years 7 - 10 a wonderful, exciting learning experience that will help them find inspiration for their own stories!
Mr Chatterton led students through his personal process for creating a story, beginning by explaining how a book uses multiple ingredients, similar to food recipes. Subsequently, he briefly talked about needing to decide characters, the plot, the setting, and other tips. As he writes books for all ages, one of the most important aspects he emphasised was always keeping in mind the intended audience, which he applies to most of his novels. He even changes his pen-name to suit the style of his books. Some of his most popular books include Mort, a tale about two children coming face-to-face with famous people from history, including Genghis Khan, and Leonardo Da Vinci! Another is The Brain Finds a Leg, about a backward world with only one clever mortal.
The most entertaining segment of the session was when Mr Chatterton talked about his first inspirations and his first story, which included dangerously tossing rocks above a prison fence and receiving a response from “Big Jim: who turned out to be a guard… and thankfully not an inmate.” After showing a clip of a gruesome movie he had helped script, he hilariously portrayed the effect that humour has on dark events.
He also presented many different engaging activities during his time on campus, from drawing caricatures of students and teachers as animals based off of their characters, to sharing about his experiences in Australia, and noting how innocent-looking, yet toxic most Australian animals are.
Mr Chatterton ended by giving a summary of his Middle School series, which is co-written by James Patterson, about a teenage student who enjoys breaking rules and getting into trouble. This has actually been made into a successful film that most of the students have seen.
Finally, his workshop ended with a huge round of applause from a grateful study body. We are looking forward to the next author visit!
Written by Heloise, Year 9, and Ms Kiran Basrai, Secondary English Teacher