Allayne Webster Inspires students at Northfield Primary School

On Wednesday 23 October, a beautiful spring day, the Premier’s Reading Challenge visited Northfield Primary School. Marketa Berryman, the SSO in charge of the library, arranged for 100 year 6/7s to listen to Allayne Webster, one of the State’s leading authors.

Allayne spoke about the joy of reading all types of books and the number of words that go into books. Students who are writing stories one page long, are writing about 300 words. That is the length of a picture book. They could be published if their story was interesting.

Allayne talked about her inspiration for writing. She loves listening to children and young people talking to each other. Their language, idea and experiences start her thinking and often translate into her stories. So do the stories of adults, like Nikko who inspired the book Paper Planes. And of course, there are her own personal experiences. Her recently released book Sensitive, tells the story of a 13-year-old girls trying to fit in by reinventing herself.

Allayne said there are no limits. Just Jake, a story told by a 13-year-old, was published by Penguin. Little Book of Rules, published by Simon & Schuster, was written by a 9-year-old author. Lauren Fuge, at 14 years of age and from Salisbury High School, had her story When Courage Calls published. So, age is not a limit. Students can be authors right now!

There is a great future for students who might want to be involved in the world of writing. There are jobs galore, from editing to journalism, marketing, publicity, typesetting and more.

Finishing up with questions from students, Allayne spoke about many things, including her inspiration – Judy Bloom, the US author.

Rachel, a student who found Allayne’s presentation very interesting, said that her favourite moment was discovering who inspired Allayne. Rachel is a Harry Potter fan who wants to become a criminal lawyer, which could in Harry’s world, see her representing Voldemort.

Mustafa, a year 7 student, said he loved to read fact-laden books like Guinness Book of Records and that Allayne’s message that not all authors get paid as much as you might think was particularly interesting for him.

Have a question about the Challenge?

Please email our Premier’s Reading Challenge mailbox or call for assistance. We look forward to hearing from you.