Students celebrate the beauty of words

First prize winner at the Literary Lunch at St Josephs Catholic High School went to Louise Ellsmore from Smiths Hill (front) and Dominic Mortimer from the Illawarra Grammar School, Mahalia Crawshaw from Smiths Hill and Holly Small from St John the Evangelist. Picture Eliza Winkler

First prize winner at the Literary Lunch at St Josephs Catholic High School went to Louise Ellsmore from Smiths Hill (front) and Dominic Mortimer from the Illawarra Grammar School, Mahalia Crawshaw from Smiths Hill and Holly Small from St John the Evangelist. Picture Eliza Winkler

STUDENTS from high schools around the region got together on Tuesday to celebrate the art of the written word.

The annual Literary Luncheon, held at St Joseph Catholic High School, gave students the chance to share their appreciation of various pieces of literature. 

High schools students from Smiths Hill, Holy Spirit, The Illawarra Grammar School, St John the Evangelist and St Joseph’s participated in the event. 

The presentations were judged by the Associate professor of the English literature Program at the University of Wollongong, Louise D’Arcens.

Teacher Helen Sara said the event was in celebration of the “beauty and artistry” of language and the written word.

“It gives a chance for the students to express their appreciation for literature,” Ms Sara said.

“We have students from different schools speaking on various pieces of literature, about why it appeals to them and why it is important that this type of art continues.”

Books selected by the students varied from Shakespeare classics to modern novels such as The Book Thief and A Thousand Splendid Suns. 

St Joseph’s High School teacher Ruth Russell said the students had presented more contemporary texts this year that reflected the Australian curriculum.

“We have had a lot of new texts this year and some of the classics as well,” Ms Russell said.

“The students have a diverse range of interests, but some of the presentations included newer texts from the curriculum that focus on more cross-cultural literature.”  

There were four winners on the day; first prize went to Louise Ellsmore from Smiths Hill with her presentation on The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. In second place was Dominic Mortimer from the Illawarra Grammar School, Mahalia Crawshaw from Smiths Hill and Holly Small from St John the Evangelist. 

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