Write-a-book-in-a-day: The Not So Secret Garden

Write-a-book-in-a-day: The Not So Secret Garden

Arts & Culture Places

It all started at 7:30am on a crisp Sunday morning on 30 July at Woodbridge, the task of writing a book in a day – a creative challenge and fundraiser in support of children’s cancer research.

The self-named group of creatives, The Woodies began the task at 8:00am with the strict parameters and random words below.

Then followed a rather chaotic 40 minutes of discussion regarding the names, character descriptions, location, and so on. Finally, the team came to the point where they could begin to storyboard, dividing into nine chapters for the writers and clues for Ricky to illustrate.

By 12:30pm everyone had finished the first draft of the story, everyone read their chapter and identified the areas that still needed work so that the story flowed – a high degree of sensitive negotiation was required here.

The Woodies had a quick break for lunch and were off again, working together to improve the flow. Next, chapters were printed, and everyone took turns in editing a partner’s writing. All the while, Ricky was producing artwork to match the details in each chapter.

Further editing ensued until finally, around 5.30pm, fuelled on tea, coffee, snacks and biscuits, The Woodies we were satisfied with the story and the work of scanning the artwork, designing and formatting the book began in earnest.

And just like that, not much after 7:00pm one hour earlier than the deadline, the book was finished. The team were pooped, relieved and ecstatic -and had successfully written-a-book-in-a-day raising (so far) $866 in support of children’s cancer research.

A few well-deserved corks were popped, cheese and crackers eaten, a group photo taken and then they all went home.

Write-a-book-in-a-day: The Not So Secret Garden

The day was a huge success because of the below authors, who are volunteers, National Trust staff and/or people with long connections to the house:

  • Carol Astbury (NTWA volunteer)
  • Shirley Benton (NTWA volunteer, recently retired)
  • Jane Dewing (NTWA volunteer and volunteer coordinator for Woodbridge)
  • Bronwen Channon (NTWA former staff member, recently retired)
  • Jo Flynn (NTWA volunteer gardener at Woodbridge)
  • Deborah Cooper (local resident)
  • Gerry and Lois Crowley (local residents)
  • Christopher Oakeley (founder of Write-a-Book-in-a-Day – 2002)
  • And Ricky Arnold (illustrator and coordinator for NTWA Writers)
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