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Academic Curriculum

Notes from an evening with author Will Kostakis

From Venettia Miller, Librarian

On Wednesday 4 April the Library hosted its second parent and son reading night with guest author Will Kostakis.

In attendance were College Captain Harley McGuiggan, Vice Captains Jack Hardwicke-Owen, Daniel Andrews and Dominic Augoustis and parents and students from both the Junior and Senior schools.

Harley opened the evening by sharing his reading journey, from a young boy who loved fiction like the Cherub series by Robert Muchamore, to becoming an avid reader of non-fiction such as the inspirational Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss.

Will Kostakis is one of Australia’s most successful writers of Young Adult fiction. He landed his first publishing deal while in his HSC year at Newington, and has subsequently released 3 more novels and a collection of short stories – all before the age of 30.

Some key messages on reading and writing from Will’s talk were:

  • You are never too young to start moving in the direction of who or what you want to be, even if you are not 100% certain.
  • Persevere – Perseverance is worth it. Rejection happens, keep going.
  • Reading – reading anything – will improve your comprehension and writing skills and your ability to speak well.
  • Read the things you enjoy. Read less challenging books until your literary tastes naturally evolve.
  • Don’t expect your writing to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be. Write that initial draft – this is the worst it will be. Seek feedback on it and rewrite (and rewrite).

Of interest to most parents on the night was discussion regarding the large amount of screen-time we are all experiencing. Screens are an integrated part of life these days, but there are ways to mitigate negative aspects. For example:

  • Striving to negotiate that time spent on the computer means an equal amount of time away from it in doing other activities such as reading.
  • Set the example for your child – you can’t be looking at your phone and expect them not to.
  • If your child plays computer games, join in – try to make it a social activity, even if you’re really bad at it!

Thank you to all parents, students and staff who could make it along to this entertaining and informative event. Stay tuned for the next parent and son reading night!