‘The Sublime Sixes’, from King’s Christian College, QLD, live up to their name by raking in FOUR awards at this year’s Write a Book in a Day competition. Here, team coordinator Renee Sanson and some of the team’s members, share their experiences and some tips to help other teams get the most out of Write a Book in a Day
This year’s Write a Book in a Day competition was the biggest so far; seeing both a record-high fundraising total for research into more effective kids’ cancer treatments and the most participants ever! The creative talent on display was incredible, and everyone who took part did a fantastic job. But one team – The Sublime Sixes – truly stood out from the crowd.
The team took home Best Book and Best Illustration in both the QLD/NT and national primary school categories with their novel, Plan Bee. Speaking of their success after the competition, Ella Blazicevic − the team’s only member to have a hand as both an author and illustrator − said:
Below image gallery: King’s Christian College viewing the Award Announcement on 9 November.
"It was such a great opportunity to get closer to my peers, learn, and grow in art and writing. I was blown away by what we achieved in 12 hours. I pass on encouragement to future teams - have fun and enjoy the process."
Several of the team’s members clearly have a very bright creative streak, having participated, and won in previous years. But they’re not the only ones seeing regular success, the team’s coordinator and teacher Renee clearly has the Midas touch – over the past three years she’s now coached teams to SEVEN awards. Sharing her formula for success, Renee said:
“At our school, we have four foundational values, one of them being ‘learn passionately’. Under this value we have excellence, perseverance and curiosity – for us, that’s what this is all about: building on our foundational values.
“12 hours is a really long time, even for adults, so the students need to persevere − with brain breaks − and have excellence in what they do. Of course, we also like to have a lot of fun at the same time.
“We divide and conquer; the writing part can take a long time, so we have more writers than illustrators, but overall, it’s the planning phase that’s the most important part.
“Each student has a bit of gold they can bring to the challenge; you’ve just got to help them find it. Someone might get distracted in a lesson and start doodling, and you think, hang on a second, you’ve got some talent there!”
One of those kids was illustrator, Jacob Ripley, who said: “I really enjoyed drawing with everyone and sharing ideas. I was so excited to hear that we won. I was internally jumping around!”
As well as raising money that will support pioneering scientific research into better and more effective treatments for kids’ cancers, Plan Bee and the other 1,564 books written during the competition will be available for kids undergoing treatment in hospitals around Australia. Renee thinks that the positive impact the kids can have whilst taking part is important extra motivation, saying: “It’s such a good opportunity for kids to do something that will make a difference. It’s extremely challenging for kids who are in hospital, so if a book can be a little glimpse of hope or a way to transport them to another place, then that is so special.
“We’ll definitely do it next year, and it would be good to do more than one group per grade and even see if the high schoolers want to get involved because they haven’t done it before.
“I’d tell other teachers to just do it!”
A huge congratulations to The Sublime Sixes for their haul of awards this year – very well deserved. You can read their book − Plan Bee – by clicking here.