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Writers Talkfest

Our Writers’ Talkfest has been supported by the Stella Prize and local booksellers and is held annually around May. The event features engaging and challenging discussions on a different theme each year and includes acclaimed Australian authors.

Gender, Identity and the politics of being human, was the theme of our most recent event, featuring Clare Wright in conversations with Yves Rees, discussing their memoir All About Yves.

In 2021 we held an online event, with the theme ‘Writing Resilience’, Author and Northcote High School parent Ruth Clare hosted our panel of guests, Evelyn Araluen, Alice Pung and Sarah Krasnostein.

In 2020, our first online Talkfest featured Clare Wright in conversation with Kate Grenville, discussing her novel ‘A Room Made of Leaves’

In the 2019 Talkfest ‘Writing Mystery’, Clare Wright hosted novelist Toni Jordan, historian Judith Brett and crime fiction maestro Shane Maloney in discussion about the craft of literary curiosity.

In 2018, the theme was ‘Writing Violence’. 2014 Stella Prize-winning author and Northcote High School parent, Clare Wright, hosted the event and our guests were Helen Garner, Sofia Laguna, Jock Serong and Andy Griffiths.

In 2017, the theme was ‘Writing freedom’. Clare Wright hosted the event and our guests were Clementine Ford, Maxine Beneba-Clarke, Abdi Aben and Jeff Sparrow.

And in 2016, a panel of Australia’s finest writers discussed the topic ‘Writing Men’. The event featured Clare Wright speaking with Emily Bitto – 2015 Stella Prize winner – and Steven Carroll, Ruth Clare and Christos Tsiolkas, about how male perspectives and experiences are captured in literature.

Spoken Word Poetry

We have a strong tradition of Slam poetry at Northcote, both as a key part of our in-class curriculum and as an extra-curricular activity.

Poetry comes alive for the Year 8s when they learn about spoken word or ‘slamming’ in our English Curriculum. We are fortunate to work with seasoned slam poets including Emilie Zoe Baker, Alicia Sometimes, MC Mantra and Luka Lesson who spend a week in our school each year as poets-in-residence to teach the students about poetry and performance in a way that is fresh and dynamic.  This experience culminates in a whole Year 8 Poetry Slam.  Our winners then go on to represent Northcote High School in the Out Loud competition held as part of the Wheeler Centres Schools Program.  Finalists go on to perform their poetry at the Wheeler Centre Teen Gala.


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