Miss Llewellyn-Jones at home in Watheroo

After several outings in the city recently, Miss Llewellyn-Jones was pleased to be back in the Wheatbelt. As we approached Watheroo, after going uphill and d-o-o-o-w-n along the Mogumber Road, the countryside leveled out and we arrived in Watheroo. Miss Llewellyn-Jones and Teddy felt right at home amongst the windmills, wheat silos and wild flowers. Students at the Watheroo Primary School had no trouble recognizing Miss Llewellyn-Jones’s house as a converted silo – the type that was common in the ‘olden days’ but is no longer built in the corners of farm paddocks. Modern trucks and road-trains have made these quaint little storage facilities obsolete, but you can still find them, often neglected and falling down, on farms that were established in the last century.

As Writer-in-Residence I worked with all the students in the school to help develop their writing skills. Each student wrote a rough draft of a story of their own and we talked about what would happen when they went back to what they had written and tried to improve on it. In the Upper Primary classroom I told them the story of Lilly which, when told to me, sparked off the whole of the Eden Glassie Mystery Series. The students then wrote stories based on their own experiences of living on farms with dogs, horses, tractors, quad-bikes – all the same things that my characters live with on Eden Glassie. I hope to have an opportunity to see some of the finished work that these students produce.

Covers of all four books in the Eden Glassie Mystery series

During Term 3 I spent a week at Gibbs Street Primary School and on Friday I was given a guided tour of the displays of finished work in their Library. There were stories based on my workshops, reviews of my books and artwork produced by the students to illustrate the stories they had written. A lot of drafting and re-drafting had been done and the displays reflected just how much imagination, creativity and hard work had gone into these stories. Congratulations to everyone involved.

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