Adelaide Writer’s Week Report Part 3 (of 3). D.M. Cornish


On Friday 2 March Mrs Cross’s Year 10 English class joined her and the Librarian Mr Bull for an excursion to the first Adelaide Writer’s Festival Schools Day. Students were treated to three very different sessions. The third entitled, “Constructing a Character” featured Adelaide author and illustrator D.M. Cornish. Students and teachers alike were treated to an excellent question and answer session between author/illustrator David Cornish and his Adelaide publisher Dyan Blacklock from Omnibus Books. She told the story of how Cornish went from jobbing illustrator with Omnibus to their most high profile writer in a very short space of time. The film  rights to his Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy have been bought by the Jim Henson Company and so his star seems to rise ever higher. During the session David spoke of how he came to creat his ficitional world, The Half Continent over more than eleven years through dozens of unpublished notebooks.

He freely admits his books’ debts to both Tolkien and Gormenghast Trilogy author Mervyn Peake. Make no mistake however Monster Blood Tattoo is no parody or pastiche, but an intricately imagined and  richly drawn world with a compelling storyline. Fans were delighted to hear that Mr Cornish is well into a fourth book in the series told it seems from a much different perspective.

D.M. Cornish will visit Cabra College on Wednesday 23rd May for a series of talks and a writing workshop. Signed copies of his books will be available for purchase.

Adelaide Writer’s Week Report Part 2


On Friday 2 March Mrs Cross’s Year 10 English class joined her and the Librarian Mr Bull for an excursion to the first Adelaide Writer’s Festival Schools Day. Students were treated to three very different sessions. The second entitled, “Books, Movies, TV, Games” featured two writers from the UK, Robert Shearman and Paul Callaghan. Shearman, though an award winning playwright is perhaps best known for his TV writing credits, including the massively popular episode in which the Daleks returned to the Doctor Who series. Callaghan by contrast has developed as a writer in a very different way, beginning as a video game programmer then shifting into writing dialogue and storylines for many video games including the never-released Doctor Who game.

It was a very lively and interesting discussion between the two writers as they spoke about the way they became professional writers and their reading likes and dislikes during childhood. Students were given an excellent insight into the lives of writers working in the less obvious realms of television and video game writing.

Year 10 Class Visit Adelaide Writer’s Week Part 1


On Friday 2 March Mrs Cross’s Year 10 English class joined her and the Librarian Mr Bull for an excursion to the first Adelaide Writer’s Festival Schools Day. Students were treated to three very different sessions. The first entitled, “Bad Character” featured Australian military historian Dr Peter Stanley. He spoke at length of his fascination with the researching and writing of history, his ‘second life’ as he called it. When asked why he chose to write predominantly about war he replied it was his interest in how ordinary people behave in extreme situations.

His latest book, Bad Characters re-examines the ANZAC myth by following the escapades of a range of Australian WWI soldiers who broke most of the rules and often got caught. He said he believed history was all about asking honest questions and looking for the truth no matter how unpopular it might make you. He still believed history could be used as a valuable tool for understanding the world.