IAN TREVASKIS: Daring students to defy the fear of failure

STUDENTS were in trouble for writing neatly and spelling words correctly.

Author Ian Trevaskis yesterday encouraged Albury Public School students to make mistakes during a workshop to prepare them for the Write Around the Murray Festival short story competitions.

“I’m trying to show them they don’t have to have it right the first time,” he said.

Known for writing children’s stories, Edge of the World and Delilah’s Dream, Trevaskis wanted to make children enthusiastic about writing.

“I’m trying to get them to see it’s a bit of fun and it’s private until you share it,” he said. “It’s good to explore imagination.”

During the launch of the short story competitions, festival co-ordinator Ann-Maree Ellis also outlined what students could expect at the festival in September.

“We’ve got more performance storytelling with puppetry, theatre-writing workshops and a comedy masterclass,” she said.

“Everybody has a story to tell and we are always looking more broadly than the written word.”

Ms Ellis said 1600 students had been involved last year and “we’ll sustain that this year”.

Students can enter a story of up to 3000 words or a 50-word nano story.

The theme is “every image has a story to tell” and writers can base stories on a selection of eight art works from the Albury Regional Art Gallery.

Entries opened yesterday and close on Wednesday, July 16.

Visit www.writearoundthe murray.org.au/competition/