In a special two-part workshop at Santa Sabina in mid-2017, I had the honour of working with an incredible cohort of Year 10 English students. To begin, I delivered a one hour lecture that offered a brief overview of the history and culture of the DPRK and looked at ways that authors have sought to explore and illuminate totalitarian societies through literature.
A few weeks later, I returned to work with a smaller group of Year 10 students. These young writers had volunteered to take part in an intensive workshop, and shared the first paragraphs of their own dystopian creations. The innovation, wit and talent on display were exemplary, and I was tempted to steal some of the students’ ideas for my next book! Better still, I hope these fine young writers go on to write novels of their own.
Santa Sabina College in Strathfield is blessed with an incredible English Department, and a wonderful Head of Department in Rachel Duke. That Santa Sabina even has an English teacher as Principal, Dr Maree Herrett, tells you that here is a school that loves and values literature!