Author in Residence MCC

A fantastic six week placement at MacKillop Catholic College, Warnervale. English Co-ordinator, Anne Lovett, engaged me, having chosen Collision as the novel for study for all of Year 10, Term 1 2016.

There was a formal introduction at the Whole School Assembly, so that the students and teachers realised that Mrs Berzins was also a writer, PJ Byer!! The kids are very friendly, and several even asked me to sign their copy of Collision.

After I spoke to all of the form in the theatrette about my writer journey and took questions, which included why did I write under a different name (explained it was my maiden name, I loved having solidarity with my sisters with the name, and the Germanic link to a key character in Collision, Gustav Becker.)

Over the next weeks, I workshopped Creative Writing with the six classes, working in with the teachers on specific needs of their class. It was really interesting seeing what stage the kids were in their writing, and we particularly focused on Character and Setting. On the other lesson, I did relief teaching, so I got to know the campus and students at MCC quite well in every sort of lesson, as well as English – Maths, Music, Art, Health Theory, TAS, Japanese.

I loved this experience, and hope we can repeat it another time.

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