Developing female characters – workshop with Kirsty Murray – and reading awards

Exciting day today with the annual Year 9 and 10 Reading Assembly celebrating reading. Prizes are awarded to students whose reading is prolific, demonstrating depth and breadth.

Some of our winners

A less serious pose

A highlight of the day was Kirsty Murray’s much anticipated writing workshop in which she focused on the development of female characters.By the end of the workshop students had created 20 unique female characters which they now have the opportunity to develop and integrate into a story.

Kirsty shared with us her criteria for good writing:

  • originality, a fresh perspective, using your own voice
  • good use of language – how words work; poetry sharpens use of language
  • good characters – driving force in all fiction; characters define the shape of the story
  • structure – the shape of the story


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

christmas tree

Of course, it’s not Christmas yet, but many events have whizzed by – Speech Night last night; awards assemblies; various celebratory morning teas; year 9 and 10 transitions…

…the end is nigh…


Laureate Launch 2015 – guest author Chris Womersley

170505-111203-rev-womersley This year’s Laureate, our literary magazine, was launched in the library this afternoon, with award winning Australian author, Chris Womersley, as guest speaker. There is no doubt that Melbourne High School has an abundance of writing and artistic talent, and we celebrated this in style today. After his speech Chris presented our talented students with a copy of the Laureate. We were happy to see so many people at the event – parents (and possibly grandparents), teachers and students all enjoying a lovely afternoon tea and good company. Thank you, Chris, for coming and presenting your speech to encourage our students. Thanks to Mr Sam Bryant for organising the event. Thanks also to the talented students, including those who finished last year. Thanks to our principal, Mr Jeremy Ludowyke, and our assistant principals, Dr Janet Prideaux and David Smyth, for supporting the event. Thanks also to the teachers who came to support their students. Note: This was a photographer’s nightmare with everyone moving and shaking during the Laureate magazine presentations for contributing writers. Please excuse the blurry photos resulting from multiple filters attempting to block out reflection from all the ceiling lights and from windows. unnamed (8) unnamed (26) unnamed (11) unnamed (3) unnamed (1) Isaac Reichman presents Chris with a token of our appreciation. (… a couple of tokens…)unnamed (29) It was great to see our past students again. Many had contributed last year to this year’s Laureate. unnamed unnamed (25) unnamed (24) unnamed (23) unnamed (22) unnamed (21) unnamed (7) unnamed (20) unnamed (19) unnamed (18) unnamed (17) unnamed (16) unnamed (15) unnamed (14) unnamed (13) unnamed (11) unnamed (9) unnamed (6) unnamed (4) Interesting – I wonder what what they are pondering. unnamed (2) trio Richard Nicholas   The cover of the Laureate 2014 features art work by Hieu Nguyen, the student whose art was awarded the Melbourne High School Art and Cultural Trust & Melbourne High School Foundation Art Acquisition Prize 2013. unnamed (31) A big thanks again to Mr Sam Bryant for organising this very important event. Library staff always enjoy hosting school events, especially if they promote the talents of our wonderful students. Thanks also to parents/grandparents who joined us.

Tea duelling/Michael Pryor visit/ Steampunk dress ups

What a day we had – Michael Pryor’s visit and workshop, the Reading Awards assembly, and our inaugural Tea Duelling event (see previous post for information). Thanks, Denise, for making this happen down to the smallest detail. We even had Mr Brown’s original Steampunk composition playing. Well done to all the boys who participated in the duelling heats. There wasn’t much jousting but there was plenty of nomming and splodging. (Tablecloths definitely need a wash now). And, of course, much biscuit dunking and tea drinking.

I apologise for the bad quality videos but I think they were not uploaded in high definition. Lots of photos too so be prepared to scroll down a lot. Thanks also to Ms Buckland for the Reading Awards and workshop. Thanks for coming and for being such a good sport, Michael.

The videos are not in heat order.

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music poster shaking hands

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Celebrating readers – with Emilie Zoey Baker

Well, it’s that time of the year again – time to celebrate readers and award prizes for our best and finest.  This year we wanted to do something different from previous years when we awarded prizes to students who had read the most.  Our award winning readers will be recognised for enthusiastic reading in various categories and genres. With the inclusion of Goodreads as a reading/discovering/sharing/discussing platform for readers, we have added a prize for the richest discussion. This year we are honoured to have the (in her own words) furious cowgirl/superpoet, Emilie Zoey Baker, Spoken Word Performer, present our prizes to the boys. Emilie was the winner of the 2006 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup and is a multi-slam champion. In 2010 she started OutLoud, the first teen team poetry slam as part of The Melbourne Writers’ Festival, now in its third year. Our students are fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of a  poetry workshop with Emilie.

Here are some blurry snaps of some of our reading categories –

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And now, on to selecting the prizes!

Premier’s Reading Challenge at MHS

At Junior Assembly last week we were fortunate to have Michael Pryor, an ambassador for the 2011 Premier’s Reading Challenge, present the “George Georgiou Reading Cup” to 9K and make special reading awards to some of our students.
Overall, 249 Year 9 students completed the challenge representing 81% of the cohort – a fantastic result.

It was exciting to see our students enjoying a range of high-quality writing including Australian & international Young Adult literature. Choices ranged from literary classics such as Homer, Dickens, Hemingway, and Erich Maria Remarque through to modern classics by Hosseini, Toltz, Martel, and Hartnett. We noticed an increased interest in biographies, and non-fiction reading. Graphic novels have also been more popular this year, especially the socially illuminating books by Shaun Tan, Marjorie Satrane & Art Spiegelman.

Book prizes were awarded to  Stephen, Terrence and  Zhengyu for reading across a wide range of genres. Austin had an interesting selection of graphic novels. Jean-Marc tackled some challenging non-fiction. Yunxu is our Shakespeare enthusiast, and Leo read the most Michael Prior books. Congratulations to all readers and we hope you will consider entering the Challenge again next year.