By Laura Canton, Megan Macdiarmid, and Yuiko Aoyagi | Posted: Thursday November 18, 2021
Writers club got off to a great start with New Zealand playwright, Tim Hambleton, speaking to our group on Friday the 19th March.
We enjoyed the rare opportunity to listen to his clear passion and to ask direct questions. Tim readily offered us advice about how to get into playwriting and the many benefits — he particularly enjoys watching his plays being performed by small communities, where they add local references.
The second event on our calendar was the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival on the 6th May. Twenty-two Logan Park High School students took part in this event at Otago Girls. The speakers in the morning: Gareth Ward and Steffanie Holmes, were inspiring. In the afternoon, we were treated to a presentation by Te Kai a te Rangatira, a collective effort of more than forty rangatahi volunteers who have sought to preserve the insights, wisdom, and knowledge of Māori. Akuhata-Brown led the closing speech, one of genuine anecdotes and life advice. From ‘glass ceilings’ formed by self-doubt, to his own experiences with success and failure, he stressed how important it was for the youth of today to realize their full potential.
Term three saw Paul Hersey, accomplished mountaineer, writer and photographer, come to speak. His talk was disarmingly frank, open and honest, as he spoke of his personal journey describing a love of the outdoors, and dealing with the loss of loved ones in the mountains. The strongest message throughout was one of resilience. Paul then hosted a "writers' workshop" and was able to help and guide our aspiring writers, giving sound and sensible advice. He gifted the school a copy of his latest book, Protection, which can be found in the school library.
Despite the disrupted year, Writers’ Club has had a successful year. This term many of our members are sitting ICAS Writing and Reading examinations before leaving school for NCEA exams. Three members of Writers’ Club – Shima Jack, Maia Puricelli Callau and Naomi Jutel – have created an anonymous thought anthology for students at our school, which any student can submit writing to. Three versions of ‘Candid’ have now been published and are available in the LPHS library. Congratulations to these students and a special congratulations to Shima Jack who won the secondary school’s division of the Sargeson Prize.
Thank you to all members, speakers and to Ms Kristel for giving up your time to contribute to Writers’ Club. We look forward to next year and the future of the group.