Enrichment trip to the Readers’ and Writers’ Festival
On Wednesday 17th May a small group of student librarians and enrichment students had the privilege of attending the annual Auckland Writers’ Festival.
The four writers who spoke this year taught the students many life lessons.
It’s okay to be different and have a different view, you never know if someone else or many other people are thinking the same thing as you, so just start. During the first session a group of students were lucky enough to go to a workshop with blogger Alex Casey from the Spinoff who provided advice about pursuing your goals. Alex showed examples of articles on blogs which discussed seemingly insignificant views on controversial issues as simple as ‘pineapple on pizza’, revealing that every voice matters.
Everyone is going through struggles and facing challenges whether they are big or small so we should recognise and support each other. Jennifer Niven, author of ‘All the Bright Places’, taught the importance of gratitude over resentment and stressed the importance of community.
We are the seeds of the future. Witi Ihimaera, author of ‘The Whale Rider’, emphasised that you may think you and your actions are insignificant, but what you do now will affect what people do decades later. In his session, Ihimaera invited students to the stage to perform the Haka together, displaying his morals of being inclusive and having pride in your voice.
Just believe and don’t give up, because if you are truly passionate about something it doesn’t matter what other people think. Aaron Topp, author of ‘Single Fin’, asserted that if you have a unique way of expressing yourself then so be it, because you are YOU. Although he went through tough times losing his best friend and mentor, Aaron discovered writing about it helped him to recover. When publishers turned him away because ‘other people don’t want to read those books’, he showed perseverance by publishing them independently, and his books became finalists in many book awards, proving them wrong.
The speeches heard and memories made will be unforgettable, and the students came away with bigger goals and renewed determination to achieve their own goals, be they in the field of writing or another field of endeavour.