Thursday, 21 February 2019

Author Online Brendan Ritchie

SIDE Library Resource Centre hosted two presentations by WA author Brendan Ritchie on Wednesday 20th February. The visit was planned in consultation with the English Department.  English teacher Cathy Lamers and teacher librarians Amy Rosato and Felicia Harris had listened to Brendan’s presentations at the 2018 The Literature Centre Celebrate Reading National Conference where Brendan had presented. He and fellow panellists discussed character and voice and how they as writers, find the voice that brings each character to life thus enabling them to sustain their narratives and make them believable. Back at SIDE this presentation led to discussion about these aspects of writing and its importance for Year 11 and 12 students.

Two one hour sessions were planned and organised by English and Library staff with Brendan. He presented to Years 11 and 12's. The focus for the first session was Character Development in which Brendan focused on character motivations, flawed characters and believable dialogue. The second session was on The Importance of Setting wherein Brendan looked at inspiration for settings, setting as an antagonist and writing dystopian and post-apocalyptic settings. Each session included Brendan sharing excerpts from his young adult novels Carousel and Beyond Carousel. Carousel is about four young adults trapped inside Carousel Shopping Centre when the entire population of Perth disappears. Beyond Carousel follows their discoveries of a very different, very dangerous Perth once their imprisonment is over and they face a new world.

There were three firsts related to Brendan’s visit – our first online author for 2019, the first author online presentation using our new Webex platform and the first time we have invited Brendan to present to our students. Thank you to Narelle Carlon from Online Teaching and Learning who facilitated and assisted us in hosting Brendan. Our students and staff were keenly engaged in the sessions and the value to students is indicated by some of the text chat responses below:
  • Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. It really put into perspective how I can develop character in the future for creative writing. Thank you (Dominique).
  • had no idea that flawed characters are easier to connect with (Alex).
  • Absolutely amazing, some great tips on how to improve my writing (Aleesha).
  • Thanks for your session and teaching us about creative writing and about Dystopian novels (Dixie).

Carousel is a dystopian mystery where 'four young adults find themselves trapped inside Carousel Shopping Centre when the entire population of Perth completely disappears.' It's a strange and engaging story that will have you hooked from the first page.

Click here to borrow these titles as books or ebooks.

Did you see our post about Brendan on Instagram? Please head over and follow @side_libraryrc.