Find your place
Dr Julie Wilson Reynolds, Meg Keneally, Nicole Alexander and Judith Poole.
This week our Literary Festival has helped us to consider how we may best find our place. Our girls have had the wonderful opportunity to talk with authors and illustrators and to learn about the power of literature. We welcomed hundreds of visiting students from other schools, some as far away as Shellharbour and The Blue Mountains, who joined us in a celebration of books and reading .
Fay Weldon, in her literary critique Letters to Alice, talks about the ‘cities of invention’ that authors create for their readers to metaphorically inhabit. Through literature we can learn to better understand ourselves and our world by visiting these cities of invention.
At our opening assembly in the Senior School, Emily Maguire shared her journey to become an author and how important it was for her to be able to express her ideas imaginatively. There was an excited buzz around the school as students poured into venues to see their favourite authors and lined up to purchase books and have them signed.
In our evening launch, Peter FitzSimons spoke about the importance of storytelling and the ways in which it gives us a diversity of experience that can protect us from small mindedness. He suggested that reading a book a week can save us from a raft of evils.
We were so fortunate to have lunch on Tuesday with Meg Keneally and Nicole Alexander who have been finding their own place within their family heritage, their working lives and their creative development as authors. Through their writing they bring to life a deep understanding of heritage and history and a very profound sense of what it means for us, as Australians, to find our place.
Sometimes as readers we feel so connected with the characters and a real involvement in a story that the opportunity to talk with the creator is a real treat. This has been true of the Literary Festival for 2016.
On behalf of the girls, parents and staff who have enjoyed so many special moments this week, I would like to thank Bronwyn Foxall, Sue Krust, Victoria Ford, Jacqui Everett and Jodie Williamson for their hard work in bringing such a wonderful event to life.
This year's event has certainly met our aims to provide opportunities to explore the written word, foster a love of reading in all its forms, to spark creativity and to build connections with our community and beyond.
We hope you enjoy the video below featuring some highlights of the Abbotsleigh Literary Festival 2016.