News & Events

Bendigo Writers Festival


Text Marks the Spot

The Bendigo Writers Festival ‘Text Marks the Spot’ is a free event for students on the Friday of the festival. Each year this day gets bigger and bigger, with lots of opportunities to see amazing authors, illustrators, poets and more. This year we had close to 100 students attend, with groups from St Mary’s and Coolock, as well the Year 8 Martyn students. They attended a variety of workshops and were inspired to read and write. The students all had a great day and came away with lists of books to read and ideas to pursue in their personal writing.
Mrs Leah Cordedda, Martyn Program Coordinator

“The Bendigo Writers Festival was an amazing experience. We were able to hear the authors’ life stories as well as about the novels that they have written. I was able to participate in the ‘two lies and one truth’ game with all the authors but ended up missing out on winning a book. I really enjoyed the whole event as I learnt many different things, such as how to start writing a book and planning out a writing piece. I would recommend this event to anyone who loves to read books or who likes to learn about different authors and what inspired them to write their books. I would love to do this again next year as there are so many books I would love to read!”
Katerina Pizzo VT4

“Listening to the speakers made me want to become a writer. Lemn Sissay was my favourite as he was very funny; he told his hard life story, but in a humorous way.”
Ryon Armstrong VT4

“Our Year 8 Martyn class went to three workshops, but I think the most memorable was Lemn Sissay, who writes poetry. He read out one of his poems called ‘Invisible Kisses’, which was beautiful. Lemn was really funny, constantly cracking jokes and making everyone in the audience feel included by the way he spoke.”
Kelsey Holland VT3

“There were many amazing authors at the Bendigo Writers Festival, including John Flanagan, author of Ranger’s Apprentice, Belinda Murrell, author of The Forgotten Pearl and Susan Green, author of Verity Sparks. We met some of the judges for the Inky awards and the shortlist was revealed for the first time to a live audience. The Year 9s went to The Engine Room to hear Jay Carmichael talk about his book, Ironbark and his writing process. He gave us a lot of useful tips for starting out as a writer. We then went into The Capital where Susan Green gave us some great book recommendations including Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and L1fel1k3 by Jay Kristoff.

Our last session for the day was in the Ulumbarra Theatre where we saw Zana Fraillon, author of Bone Sparrow, and Lee Hyeon-seo, author of The Girl with Seven Names. It was an eye-opening talk because Lee talked to us about being a defector from North Korea. She told us about living in North Korea as a child and seeing public executions. She also told us how everyone in North Korea thinks that the rest of the world is bad and living in poverty. Overall the Bendigo Writers Festival was a great experience and I can’t wait till it’s on again next year.”
Lucy Hogan VT3