Saint Ignatius College Geelong

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    Year 9 Author Visit

    Article by Ms Penny King

    Year 9 Author Visit: Mark Smith

    All Year 9 students are studying a new text for English called 'The Road To Winter' by local author, Mark Smith. Students have overwhelmingly enjoyed reading and studying this text and we were delighted that Mark Smith could come to speak to the Year 9 cohort on March 6th.

    Smith lives in the Anglesea/Aireys Inlet area and this was the setting for the plot: therefore, many students could relate well to the surroundings that the characters in the novel had to endure.

    Mark was a very engaging speaker as he told of the origins of the plot, setting and characters. He also spoke about the writing process, the gathering of ideas and character development. Smith outlined the importance of editing, as well as the many steps it takes to have a novel accepted and then published.

    The students asked a variety of questions that reflected an excellent understanding of the themes, issues, plot and characters of Smith’s novel. He commented that he was very impressed with the level of interest shown by our Year 9 group, as well as their attentiveness during his presentation.

    Many students brought their personal copies of 'The Road To Winter' to be signed by Mark and they were still asking him questions and commenting on the novel, well after the presentation was finished. Many students are looking forward to reading the second and third books in the trilogy. The second novel is available at the ILC but is in great demand, so many students have purchased copies of their own, which is a very positive sign for the increased interest shown in reading by the students. The third book in the trilogy will be released in June of this year.

    Thank you to Mrs Leonie Stephenson for organizing Mark Smith’s presentation; it was certainly a worthwhile experience for our Year 9 students and hopefully it will further encourage them to read regularly.

    This is a reflection of Toby Mew of 9 Kisai:

    "On Wednesday, March 6th, the students of Year 9 had the incredible opportunity to meet local Anglesea author Mark Smith, who wrote acclaimed award winning book 'The Road to Winter'. We are currently studying this book, and he spent an hour inspiring us with his stories and behind-the-scenes production of writing a book. Along with giving us insight into the writing process and what led him to write books, he entertained us with his life stories that were dotted throughout. We are all extremely grateful for his time and thank Mark for sharing his thought processes with us."

    Ms Penny King on behalf of the Year 9 English Teachers    

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