As we look back on the 7th annual Kingsmead College Book Fair held in May we can only say ‘yay!’ for books and people who write them, read them, love them and support them.
This is our third year of being involved and every year has shown huge growth and innovation. The adult section was well supported with interesting discussions, debates and dynamic authors but it’s always the children’s section that gets us excited. Building a culture of reading and an excitement about meeting authors is so important. For children to see adults spending a day celebrating books and engaging in book talks also acts as the best role model.
Local authors ranging from Maryanne and Shale Bester and Refiloe Moahali, to Mahdiyyah Wadee and Megan Bird entertained the younger children with their delightful tales. In the teen section authors such as Sally Partridge (love her book Mine), Melissa Delport, Jayne Bauling and Joanne Macgregor held discussions about their books and the techniques of writing.
This year I held a Free Writing workshop for over 25 teens. Free writing is a technique in which you write continuously for a set period of time without regard for spelling, grammar, or sense. What comes out is a stream of consciousness that often helps shift writer’s block, find an underlying idea you can write about or brainstorm a new topic when you’re not sure where to start. It’s a deceptively simple yet powerful tool. The best thing about it is it can help people who don’t think of themselves as ‘creative’ to find creative ideas. When you let your subconscious talk its amazing what comes out.
Free Writing can help with writing skills but it’s also very useful at understanding what’s at the bottom of the emotions you may be feeling. Why are you really upset with your friend? Is it her or is it your own life or identity you are grappling with? What are you feeling about a new situation? The girls gave honest and interesting feedback and were very open to the creative and emotional aspects of the workshop.
Educational Psychologist Jo Hamilton provided valuable support in this writing exercise, encouraging the girls to trust the process and have fun with it. Jo is author of The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Children – a wonderful resource to help children stand up for themselves and successfully navigate friendships, bullying and social situations. I find it invaluable for all ages.
This year’s KBF had more than 4000 people through the doors and the sessions had an average attendance rate of 72%. Some of the most popular talks were sold out much to many people’s dismay – so book ahead. And diarise it – we’ll see you at The Kingsmead Book Fair next year on 25 May 2019.
Check out the link for a video of the day: http://kingsmead.co.za/bookfair/video-2018/ and the 2018 Gallery of images: http://kingsmead.co.za/bookfair/2018-2/. Or the different Facebook page album: https://www.facebook.com/KingsmeadBF/
“The more you read, the more you know.”
Corinne and Jo – ready to start
Two of my favorite quotes: why we should live creative lives – no matter whether we are writers or bankers or businesspeople. We are all creative.
Giant scrabble was a huge hit!
Pics below courtesy of Kingsmead College.