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Brian Falkner brings Writers’ Week to a close


The Year 9 and 10 students spent Tuesday morning listening to an incredible talk by renowned NZ author Brian Falkner. Accompanied by multiple jokes and stories of being yelled at by an old French teacher, he told us the secrets behind writing incredible novels such as The Flea Thing and Northwood.

A lot of his stories are based on childhood incidents. The most memorable event retold to us was when Brian and his two best friends were walking home from school one day. There was a wasps’ nest in the tree on their route home, and they always avoided it.

However, on this particular day, some other boys from their school thought it would be funny if they threw stones at it. Brian and his friends hurried away from it and stood at a safe distance to watch.

But something highly unexpected and unlucky happened.

A 6-year-old girl came walking down the street, just as a piece of concrete landed directly in the middle of the nest. Of course, the wasps were furious and began viciously stinging the young girl, who ended up unconscious.

Brian’s two friends ran into the swarm and carried the girl away from the swarm and (though they, too, got stung) saved her life.

This rather shocking tale appears in one of Brian’s books, Super Freak – where the telling off from the French teacher also appears, although it has quite a different ending.

Later in the day, a group of lucky Year 9 students were also chosen to participate in a writing workshop with the author himself. The afternoon was filled with games and activities and not to be forgotten was Brian’s impressive character imitations, from Shrek to Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

These students definitely got a lot from being told various techniques how to make an interesting story.

A lot was learned from both of these sessions and the Year 9s and 10s definitely enjoyed it.

Thank you to the librarians for organising this and a huge thanks to Brian Falkner for spending the day at Sancta Maria College.

Alanna Santoso