English Incursion: Michael Pryor’s writing workshop

Lynette Sanchez Ruiz 10G

Everyone loves to read and, if you don’t, then you haven’t found the right book yet. But good books have to come from amazing writers and amazing writers aren’t born – they’re made. That’s why, on the 20th of August, aspiring year 9 and 10 writers attended a 2-hour writing workshop held by a famous and successful YA writer – Michael Pryor. A little background on Michael Pryor, for those who don’t know him: Michael Pryor is one of Australia’s leading science fiction and fantasy authors. He has published more than 35 books and over 50 short stories, such as the Law of magic series, 10 Futures, and Gap Year in Ghost Town. He has also been shortlisted seven times for the Aurealis Awards and seven of his books have been named CBCA Notable Books.

Among the 25 young writers in attendance was yours truly. I’ve always loved writing but have always struggled with crystallising ideas. Thankfully, Michael could help. One tip I found useful was the adequately dubbed Michael Pryor’s Four Stages Writing Process.

Step 1: preparation – the most important step. Every writer plans differently but every good writer plans well.

Step 2: the first draft – which is straightforward, plain, dull and ultimately rubbish. But don’t worry because then comes…

Step 3: rewriting – around 4-8 drafts. Do it again and again. It is a lot of hard and tedious work but it is ultimately worth it. And finally…

Step 4: the production and selling of your creation.

The workshop wasn’t all theory; it also included some hands-on tasks such as designing your town, drawing a map and creating your own character, using Michele’s methods of work. He made it very clear that preparation was critical and gave us good tips on how to succeed with both these tasks. Along with the planning, you must also nail all the three classic elements of a story: character, setting and concise series of events. Good story = nailing these. And if all fails try writing the plot the Disney Pixar way.

The workshop with Michal Prior was truly very insightful and answered many questions all young writers share. In fact, it got me out of writer’s block and I have finished a few stories that had been on my to-do list for a while. It was an honour to meet such a fantastic writer. Thank you, Michael Pryor, for holding this fantastic workshop and answering our many questions. And a massive shout out to Miss Lynch and Ms Brahmin, who organised this amazing opportunity for us. Thank you. Thanks also to Mr Spargo who ensured the transition to an online workshop was successful.

And you dear reader – thank you for sticking with me to the end. Hope you stay safe and maybe pick up a book, or write about that story or idea that has been on your mind for months now.

Skip to content