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Celebration of written work . . . Christchurch writer Heather McQuillan, third from left, who is also the director of the School For Young Writers, and Melanie Dixon, editor of the Write On magazine, second from right, with young Waimakariri writers, from left, Liam Murphy, Jack Simpson, Jade Wilson, Jonty Howard and Amelie Antoniuk-Newall at the Write On Waimakariri launch in the Rangiora Library's Chamber Gallery.

By SHELLEY TOPP

The work of seven young writers was celebrated at the Write On Waimakariri launch in the Rangiora Library’s Chamber Gallery on Friday.

The young writers, all from Waimakariri primary schools, all have work in the latest issue of Write On magazine, published by the School For Young Writers, a not-for-profit organisation based in Christchurch.

“The writing was created during master-classes hosted by the Waimakariri Libraries and run by the School For Young Writers for North Canterbury school pupils,” Waimakariri Libraries’ learning co-ordinator, Jason Clements, said.

The master-classes included the recent KidsFest workshops, and the Poets Make History workshops at the Rangiora Town Hall, which culminated in the Rangiora Reflections concert in June to celebrate the history of the Rangiora Town Hall.

Five of the young writers, Liam Murphy, Jack Simpson, Jade Wilson, Jonty Howard and Amelie Antoniuk-Newall, all in years 7 or 8, attended the launch, with Tanith Watt and Alfie Hulatt unable to attend. Each of the writers who attended were presented with a copy of Write On magazine by Waimakariri District Mayor David Ayers, who told them he was looking forward to reading their work.

“It is really great to see young people writing,” he said. “Being able to write is a skill for life.”

After the presentation, four of the writers read their work to the audience.

The School For Young Writers’ executive director, Heather McQuillan, and Write On editor Melanie Dixon were also guests at the event.

Melanie said the children’s work “stood up” against adult writing. “I have got the best job. I get to read everyone’s work,” she said.

One of the youngsters, Jonty Howard, has also had his story, Turtle-neck Tony, about his grandad, included in The Commuting Book electronic reading initiative on Christchurch buses, which provides commuters with an option to read a short story by a New Zealand author while they travel.

Jonty said it was exciting to have his work included in the scheme.