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There is also a strong theatrical element in Sofie’s presentations for middle and upper primary students. After speaking with students about the different inspirations for her stories, Sofie plays director and the students act out scenes from her novels. She has found this to be an excellent way of engaging the audience in her work and giving them a deeper understanding of character. Sofie also discusses the inspiration behind her work – from stories about embarrassing parents, to family holidays. She empowers her young audience with the belief that their own lives are rich with material for great stories. In 2004 the Australia Council awarded Sofie a writing residency in New York, at Art Omi in Ghent. It was here she wrote her first novel for young adults, Bird and Sugar Boy. The novel was published in 2006, (Penguin) winning Honor Book in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards 2007. Sofie uses this sensitive, moving story as a springboard for a discussion with upper primary/lower secondary students about families, best friends and the power of nature in our lives.
The different ways stories can be transformed into performance.
The different places we can find inspiration for stories and plays.
That we can use the difficult things that happen to us in our lives as creative inspiration. Doing this not only makes for good stories – it can also make us feel better.
In her presentations for lower primary students, including kindergarten and Preps, Sofie draws on her acting skills; she performs a play based on her book My Yellow Blanky (Omnibus 2002). Sofie plays the main character, an energetic and willful five-year-old, and the children from the audience play the other parts, complete with costumes and props. […]
Using her books as a springboard, Sofie discusses the importance of character in her own writing. She examines the different ways we can create strong characters and their importance in building a compelling story. Sofie’s audience learns how to create characters of their own and to develop the stories that lie within them. The sessions […]
Sofie has kept a diary since she was seven years old when her Polish grandmother bought her a blank book as a gift. When Sofie asked why the pages held no words or pictures her grandmother explained that the book was for writing stories about herself. Sofie has been keeping a diary ever since. In […]