2024 IGS Literary Festival

The International Grammar School recently hosted an inspiring celebration of literature, creativity, and the arts during our inaugural biennial IGS Literary Festival.

This year’s theme, Into the World, marked a significant milestone as the festival coincided with the 40th Anniversary of IGS, highlighting the School’s longstanding commitment to fostering an enriching educational environment. Organised by Ms Patrice Marchbank Director of the Bibliothèque, the event spanned two eventful days from 2 to 3 May, drawing in a vibrant community of students, authors, illustrators and performers.

The festival was a dynamic arena for literary and artistic expression, featuring a wide array of activities designed to spark creativity and deepen the appreciation of the arts. Students and staff had the unique opportunity to participate in author talks, hands-on workshops, and dramatic performances, making the IGS Literary Festival a cornerstone event in the school’s calendar.

Students and visitors participated in activities ranging from drama workshops facilitated by professionals from the Sydney Theatre Company to creative writing sessions led by renowned authors and illustrators.

Some of the Highlights Included

Author Discussions: Engaging talks by celebrated authors such as Sarah Ayoub, Felicity Castagna, Kirsty Everett, Tim Harris, Felicity Plunkett, Wai Chim and Mark Smith, who shared insights into their writing processes and the stories behind their books.

Illustration and Creative Design: Interactive sessions with Matthew Lin, Ms Lana Casey and Ms Felicity Harrold, as well as workshops with celebrated artist and proud Bundjalung woman Charmaine Ledden-Lewis

Drama and Performance: Workshops conducted by visiting artists from the Sydney Theatre Company and the Shock Therapy acting troupe, and crowd favourite poet Harry Laing offered students a platform to explore theatrical expression and performance skills.

IGS alums Sarah Street and Mia Morrissey, shared and inspired students with their post-graduation experiences and achievements in the arts.

Gleebooks also had a stall, selling literature of all kinds including the works of our visiting authors.

The impact of the IGS Literary Festival was evident, as it not only enriched the school’s cultural landscape but also motivated students to explore their own creative potential. The enthusiasm and collaborative spirit witnessed during the festival underscored the importance of such events in fostering a thriving artistic community.

See what everyone was up to!

Ms Marchbank highlighted the exciting prospect of gathering student works inspired by the festival. She announced plans to collect various student creations, including essays, poems, and short stories, with the aim of compiling these pieces into a commemorative volume that celebrates the students’ artistic and literary talents. She encouraged all high school students to contribute their works through the Bibliothèque Canvas page, offering them a unique opportunity to become part of the school’s tradition of creative expression. 

As IGS anticipates the next festival, we look forward to seeing the creative seeds sown during these two days germinate into literary and artistic growth among our students. 

My favourite thing about the Literary Festival was…

I love how there are whole-school festivals to celebrate creativity and appreciation for literature and arts, not just for sports.

Seeing students get involved – particularly those who might not normally engage in other classroom activities.

Getting the opportunity to write freely and with little restriction during designated times

The poetry was really interesting, and I didn’t even know I was so good at it until we did that activity with Harry Liang, when I wrote a poem about an office light.