Students from Green Valley Public School in NSW won an award for their first-ever attempt in the 2018 Write a Book in a Day competition.
Write a Book in a Day is a challenging competition for adult writing groups and young people in Years 5 to 12. Teams receive unique parameters to include in their story. Plus, every book must be completed in one twelve-hour stretch!
Located in the Greater Western Sydney region, the school has just over 400 pupils. Ten of their number participated by not only writing and illustrating a book for children in hospital but also raising money for kids’ cancer research through The Kids’ Cancer Project.
Under the moniker Green Valley Vipers, the budding authors won Best Book Primary Division NSW/ACT for their seven-chapter story titled Swooped about Dave and a magical magpie.
The team name belies the kind and inclusive nature of the students who inscribed their book with a very thoughtful dedication.
“This book is dedicated to all the children who are going through a tough time right now. We wish you all a speedy recovery and hope that you enjoy our story.”
Writing credits go to Adiana Hing, Amelia Lee, Anviya Joby, Brian Van, Jorja Grech, Nia Hagarty, and Simran Kumar with illustrations done by Cassandra Rawlins, Krystal Phommachanh, Vivian Nguyen.
Jora and Nia were invited by event organisers to give a short speech at the awards ceremony held at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. We share it here as they provided an excellent summary of how the Viper’s day played out along with insights into how well they worked together while being challenged and having fun along the way.
We are Jorja and Nia from Green Valley Public School. This is the first year our school has participated in this competition.
Our Write a Book in a Day experience consisted of many ups and downs. Some of these included writer’s block, eating pizza, finishing our chapters and falling off chairs.
Our day began by writing our prompts onto large pieces of paper and pinning them to the wall. Our school was given an astronaut, a magpie, a driving instructor at Parliament and with hidden treasure.
We then brainstormed different story ideas that would fit using the prompts. Once we had “quietly” decided what our story would be about, we split off into groups of illustrators and writers. In those groups, we assigned each person to a chapter to write or illustrate.
After doing so, we started to concentrate and focus on our individual work. Whilst the illustrators designed the pictures, the writers wrote until their brains were fried. We ate our lunch but our brains were still set on the story. Once lunch was over, we ran towards the office to put our faces back into the screens.
We wrote and wrote until it was almost PIZZAA TIMME. We definitely needed some brain food. We could sense the end was near so we pulled our socks up and said, “THE PIZZA IS COMING WE CAN SENSE IT, GET BACK TO WORK!”
Once our first draft was done, we went out into the fresh air to read it altogether to ensure it flowed well.
After some changes again, we were happy with the final product at around 6pm. We had created a book called Swooped!
Some of the hardships we faced were when some of our progress wasn’t saved and we had to restart, and also making sure each chapter linked well with each other. We also found it a little hard at first to link together all our parameters.
But overall, when we add all of the pros and cons of this experience, we came out feeling much better than we expected. We had created a whole book! What an accomplishment by a group of ten Year 6 students.
We would like to thank the organisers of this project for everything they have done and for making such a worthwhile competition. We are very honoured to of had this opportunity and we hope that all the children who read our story get well soon. Once again, thank you.