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Words Come Alive

Once upon a time, Glenn Colquhoun and Witi Ihimaera were authors that we had only learnt about in class. We have researched about them, analyzed their writing and have had lengthy discussions about them.

For some of us, their words have helped us, such as in exams when we write about the themes or the styles of their writing, or personally when the messages they have written inspire us. It is justifiable to say that their words have come alive in us. However, through the Auckland Writers Festival, they and other talented New Zealand and other non-New Zealand authors became alive before our very eyes.

The festival was held in the ASB theatre, and many students from schools all around Auckland gathered to hear these brilliant authors speak. Each writer had brought different things to talk about to their young audience. One of the speakers at the festival was Glenn Colquhoun who talked about the origins of his writing, and used dolls to present oral poems that he beautifully sang to us.
Jennifer Niven shared with us a bit of herself and the tragic background of her book, ‘All the Bright Places’, and gave us many insightful advices about overcoming the fear of writing, while the hilarious Amie Kaufman gave us ten important tips on how to improve as writers.

The captivating use of words by these authors in their books have personally found a special place in my heart and yet, however close their writing might be to me (emotionally and literally, as I sit right next to Glenn Colquhoun’s posters in class) the authors have always seemed so far away. In Amie Kaufman’s words, an Australian author at the festival, ‘I never really thought about where authors were from. I thought they were from far away galaxies, or that they were dead’. However, the New Zealand Writers Festival allowed us to connect with these authors.

Special thanks to Mrs O’Rorke for accompanying us to this event that all of us surely enjoyed.

Angelika Bilbao