Sign up to receive our regular news and events announcements – we send about one newsletter per month.

Open Right

Karen Wood: Secondary Workshop – Make your own book

Session Info:

Karen’s sessions are relaxed and informal, with a strong focus on student participation. Students learn about the key concept of ‘inspiration’ and how professional writers source original and creative ideas. Rather than focusing on her own work, Karen aims to inspire and stimulate young minds to create their own stories, guiding them through the process of scaffolding; orientation, complication, events and resolution.


15 min power point presentation

Karen will share her real life story about a girl called Jess and her horse Diamond and tell students how they became the inspiration for her first book Diamond Spirit. After being contracted to write another 4 books in the series, she set off to find stories in the outback of Australia, travelling through Mt Isa and beyond, visiting remote indigenous communities in far north Queensland and searching for her characters, setting, and plot.

10 minute Reading Ch 18 from Moonstone Promise explores the differences between fighters, soldiers and warriors and depicts a traditional Aboriginal fight between the protagonist, Luke and an indigenous elder, Tyson. The reading shows how Karen’s research trip to Mt Isa inspired characters and themes.

15 minute Brainstorming session – In a fun interactive session, Karen will show a range of Allen and Unwin book covers and ask the students what they think the books might be about in terms of characters, setting, genre and plot.

Schools have the option to expand this session into a workshop in which students can create their own books. Or extend the brainstorming session with Karen and finish the session here.

Creating a book – Each student will select an original Allen and Unwin YAF book cover that inspires them (supplied by Karen). They will be encouraged to think about title, blurb, catch phrase, pictures and think about what the story inside could be about.

They will be given half an hour to plot out a basic story line for the book using the framework of orientation, complication, events and resolution.

Students can tick off further learning outcomes by typing their story out on a word processor and inserting it into the cover to make their own book.

Topics covered

  • Finding Inspiration – where do authors get their ideas?
  • Structuring a story – orientation, complication, events and resolution
  • How covers and blurbs are used to market the story inside

Find A Speaker


Browse by Audience
Browse by Type
Browse by Location