• Hayley McGrath


Updated: Jun 3, 2019

Kirsty Eagar

WORKSHOP PRESENTATION: Crafting Sparks into Stories’

Kirsty Eagar was raised on her mum's central Queensland farm, and spent school holidays at the beach with her dad. Armed with a Master's degree in Economics, she worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of England before deciding to concentrate on her twin obsessions of writing and surfing. She travelled around Australia, living out of a car, worked where she could, and began writing young adult fiction. Her debut novel, 'Raw Blue', won the 2010 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Young Adult fiction, and her subsequent works, 'Saltwater Vampires', and 'Night Beach', were both shortlisted for major Australian literary awards. Kirsty lives with her husband and two daughters on Sydney's northern beaches. Her latest novel is 'Summer Skin'.

Hi Kirsty. You’re a surfer who lives on Sydney’s beautiful northern beaches. Have you visited Port Macquarie before and are you bringing your board in case the waves are ‘on’ during your stay?

“I have visited Port Macquarie before and there was actually a time when my husband and I looked at trying to relocate there. And, yes, I’ll be bringing my board – it’s always fun to surf away from home.”

Your creative writing session at LitFest will focus on creative writing strategies. What can students expect?

“To be guided through the process of bringing their ideas to life in a way that makes the writing part not only easy, but inevitable. Students will realise just how strong their creative muscles are, and be inspired by their own unique vision. We’ll look at characterisation, scenes and structure — not as theory, but as a sequence of decisions that help shape the story, hook the reader and encourage good, purposeful writing.”

You say students are challenged, but promise that they’ll come away with ‘stronger writing muscles’. Is there an element of ‘boot camp’ to your workshops?

“For sure! There is no time for doubt, only for doing. Writing is a verb. By the end of the workshop, students will have a well-developed story, which means pages filled with words.”

You regularly run student workshops. Are they as much about instilling the confidence to give writing a crack as about learning techniques?

“Yes, definitely. Creativity is a form of joy and I love seeing students surprise themselves.”

What’s the take-home message you’d like to leave with LitFest2444 students?

“Storytelling is a skill that will serve you for life, no matter how you choose to apply it. Stories are what connect us, and make us human. The stories we decide to tell help us understand our world and ourselves.”

Thanks, Kirsty. See you at LitFest2444.

Read more about Kirsty Eagar. https://www.kirstyeagar.com/

- Laurie Sullivan 2019 ©

Cre8ive Solutions

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