Monday, March 19, 2012

Writers Workshop with Jill Marshall

Today some lucky Year 6 students had the opportunity to attend a Writers Workshop with Jill Marshall at Pakuranga Library. The event was part of Book Month and some students from Riverhills School also attended.

Jane shared lots of anecdotes about her writing with us and gave us some valuable hints into how to make our writing better.

The idea for Jane Blonde came to Jill in around 1998 when she used to call her daughter 'Blonde' and she noticed it sounded like 'Bond'. Jane Blonde was just the next logical step from there. Apparently there are only seven possible story plots and the difference is the way in which they are told. This hit home for Jill when she found out there was another author also writing about a Jane Blonde character, also a spy!

Jill has been writing since she was about 8 or 9 and wrote her first book when she was 13. She was encouraged to be a writer by one of her teachers who gave her the advice to try writing in many different styles and complete a journalist qualification (but she didn't like writing about factual information).

Jane Blonde is about 60,000 words and took about six weeks to write but two years to edit! The blue book sold the least number of copies - probably because blue is a boy colour!

Some writing advice Jill gave us:
  • When you come up with a good idea try thinking 'what if ...' to different scenarios to make it something unique.
  • Think about your ending first as that makes writing the middle part easier.
  • Once your story is started think about The Bomb - something you add to interrupt the otherwise ordinary setting.
  • Writing in threes can add impact eg he huffed, and he puffed and he blew the house down.
  • She recommends a writing regime similar to this - a few months thinking in your head clarifying your ideas, write down your plan/outline in a book then finally start writing (about a month)
Other books by Jill Marshall that we don't have in our library are:
  • Kave-Tina Rox (picture book)
  • Matilda Peppercorn series (first one is called Manx and the last one will be Russian Blue)
Jill now has her own publishing company. Her original publisher wanted her to call the Matilda Peppercorn books Catgirl and she didn't like it! Now she can do things her own way as well as publish books by some of her other favourite authors!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Another interview with Prince Charming by BV Room 24

Prince Charming’s Interview

What made Cinderella stand out to you the most?

Cinderella stood out to me because, I like the way how she didn’t give up in herself, and even though her step-sisters and step-mum were quite nasty to her, she forgave them instead of doing something bad to them, so, I really admire how she did that.

What pressure do you feel to settle down and get married?

I felt quite pressured because, whenever I think about getting married, I always think about Prince William, and what he felt like, but, he didn’t want to get married at this big church, with one thousand people watching him, and cameras all over him and his wife, NO, he just wanted to be at a local church, and just about fifty people at his wedding, so, yes, its really hard because it might not be the right choice, and, if I don’t get married, people are going to be over me, and I will let my people down.

How did you know Cinderella was the one for you?

I knew Cinderella was the one for me because, I admire girls that have hope and never give up in there selves, and how she forgave in her step-family,so, I think thats really nice and I admire that.

What sort of wedding would you like to have if you didn’t have to have a royal wedding?

The dream wedding I would like to have with my wife and myself is at, a local church, nice food, and about fifty people at our wedding, and I hope I would like my wife happy.

What qualities do you like about Cinderella?

The qualities that I really admire about Cinderella is, her kindness, her smile, her look, her talk and, of course, the way she never gives up and how she believes in herself.

An interview with Prince Charming by IW Room 24

Prince Charming’s interview

What made Cinderella stand out to you the most?

Cinderella stood out to me the most because he looked so beautiful and when she danced right away I knew she was the one! She also stood out to me because she never gives up hope is so calm all the time and she shows pride!

What pressure do feel do you feel to settle down and get married?

I feel really pressured because in just two weeks I had to find someone to settle down with a get married. But the thing that annoys me is that my brother does not have to find someone to marry! I was annoyed because I had to get married at a big big church with 5000 or more people watching and that makes me pressured because if I turned up and said I do not have anyone to marrry they would be let down. If I did not get married I would have let down my kingdom and mum, dad and my brother and then I would have been embarrassed! I also feel pressured because I have all these cameras around me and I feel really nervous.

How did you know Cinderella was the one for you?

I knew Cinderella was the one for me because she loyal and she was so sweet to everyone she meets! I admire what she has done for the stepsisters and the stepmother. I love the way she forgave the stepsisters and the stepmothers and that shows that she was born to be royal because we all forgive! I also noticed that she has lovely manners and I admire girls like that. I found that she believes in herself and everyone else and she shows pride.

What sort of wedding would you have if you did not have to have a royal wedding?

I would love to have a quite wedding with a nice reception, nice food and nice people. I would love to have only up 70 to 80 people at my wedding! I would not wear my suite with all my medals on it!

What qualities do you like about Cinderella?

The qualities I like about cinderella are her smile, her kindness and her being loyal and her never giving up hope and believing in everyone.

About my life

Hi my name is Prince Charming and ever since I was a baby I was of course charming! I have dark brown hair and blue eyes! I always have to wear my suite with all my medals on it! It is annoying! I have a mum called Judy Charming and a father called Mathhew Charming! I also have a little brother called William Charming. But they are not as Charming as me! I have lots of fun in the Castle but since Cinderella came I have to change things. I still get bored staying that castle all day. My favourite colour is Green and blue and it is Cinderella’s favourite too. My best friend’s name is Charles Blubby and he lives next door neighbour to Cinderella’s stepsisters and stepmother! I enjoy having Cinderella in my life but it can be a bit annoying! So that is all I have to say about my life!

Prince Charming!

Cinderella Relationship Chart

NG is a Year 5 student in Room 24 and she has made a relationship chart. It compares the similarities and differences between Cinderella and the main characters in the well known story of Cinderella.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Magnificent Margaret Mahy!

Today some of our library monitors were lucky enough to visit Whitcoulls Botany Downs with Ms Johnston and Mrs de Haast.

The reason for our trip was to see the magnificent Margaret Mahy, hear her retell 'The Word Witch' (without looking at a book) and get some of our new Margaret Mahy library books autographed by her. Margaret Mahy talked about her book 'Kaitangata Twitch' which has just been released on DVD and Ms Johnston has bought it for our library!

Some of the monitors also got personal autographs and we were amazed by her intricate, old style handwriting. We feel very lucky to have talk to Margaret Mahy as she doesn't make visits very often anymore.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Book Character Day

What a great way to finish off Term 2 - a Book Character Day Parade!!!! There will be prizes for the best costumes (must be based on a BOOK character) and a special guest appearance - all in all a fun packed day! Families are welcome to attend - the more the merrier!

Remember to bring your uniform as you will need to get changed into it at morning tea.

Book Fair

It's 0fficial - the Book Fair has come to Elm Park School! So come along and check it out - any purchases will benefit our school! Open 8:30am to 3:30pm Monday and Tuesday and open til 7:30pm on Wednesday and Thursday.