As part of the 2023 Book Week, students participated in the inaugural Write a Book in a Day (WABIAD) program. After an application process, thirty students from Years 7 to 10 were selected to work in pairs, including some pairs sharing both author and illustrator roles.
The program consisted of three parts:
During the initial planning stage, Siena students met with groups of Year 4 students at Hartwell Primary School. Students explored a variety of picture books to see what they liked or did not like, and then began planning the plot of their story and developing the characters for their book.
The creation stage was launched during a full day program held at Siena, coinciding with Book Week in August. Students spent the day creating their books and participating in workshops conducted by Siena teachers. The sessions included the following:
Demonstrations of the technical specifications required for printing were also included. Students spent the remainder of Term 4 creating their books, preparing them for printing.
International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) were purchased in preparation for printing. This means that the books are recognised as published, and Siena College is now considered a publisher. With the books having ISBNs, a copy of each will also be contributed to the State Library of Victoria, where all books published in Victoria are held, making them a part of the literary history of Victoria.
The final stage of the WABAID project was for Siena students to reunite with their Year 4 collaborators at Hartwell Primary and present the school with a finished copy of their books. The excitement was palpable, with students eager to see their names on the dedication page. Many Siena students brought their copies to be signed, making them even more cherished keepsakes. All students then enjoyed recess together, with many Siena students reliving the fun of the playground.
Books from the project now sit proudly in the lending collections of both Siena and Hartwell, and copies can be ordered at any time by anyone using provided links.
The WABIAD project was a hue success and next year’s books are already highly anticipated.