World Book Night 2023
On 20th April, students from schools around Ljubljana came to Gimnazija Vič to join in with our event for World Book Night. This is a way of celebrating books and literature while also encouraging people to find time for reading as part of their regular routine.
Our school, through the work of teachers from our English department, has marked this occasion for over a decade now and this year was especially important for both students and mentors as it was the first time in four years that we were able to hold the event in person.
Every year we choose a theme as a basis for projects and activities. This year, the writer Judith Kerr was selected as 2023 marks one hundred years since the birth of this incredibly popular writer for children and young people. Our focus text was named as her iconic children’s title, “The Tiger Who Came to Tea”. While it might seem unusual to choose a book for very young children as a text for teenagers to focus on, it allowed for discussions on how language is learned, comparisons of popular books written for that level of readers in different countries, a range of creative projects, and much more besides.
The book also provided the inspiration for the themes that would be used for the 2023 micro-story competition organised by the Gimnazija Vič Book Club. A collection of words and phrases were taken from the text as a way of inspiring young writers to come up with some original tales of their own. Not only do they have to write their own short stories but they have to present it in one hundred words or fewer. This leads to a competition that brings in issues of creativity and skill with the English language.
As always, the standard of entries for the competition was exceptionally high. The judges praised the range of ideas on display, the clever use of language, and the ability for the writers to surprise the readers even when using such a strict word limit.
From over 300 entries, a shortlist of about 90 were presented in a special publication, and then the judges worked to choose their absolute favourites. This led to a total of 17 stories for which the writers were given special commendations and book prizes.
The specially commended pieces were read out and the prizes were awarded at our event in April. This allowed us to celebrate other cultural moments with special significance in 2023. A varied programme was organised which included students giving performances of spoken word and music and, with the selected pieces ranging from Shakespearean sonnets to contemporary jazz, there was something for everyone to enjoy.
The mentors of the Gimnazija Vič Book Club, Blanka Klobučar and Tim Gallagher would like to thank those who travelled from other schools to be with us for this event and who worked with us on the range of creativity through this school year. Many thanks to the pupils, teachers, and project mentors from:
- OŠ dr. Ivana Korošca Borovnica
- OŠ Brezovica pri Ljubljani
- OŠ Dobrova
- OŠ Kolezija
- OŠ Škofljica, PŠ Lavrica
- OŠ Šmartno pod Šmarno goro
We also have to thank the writers, editors, and judges who worked on the short story competition for giving us the possibility to produce another great publication. In addition, we would like to extend our thanks to the readers, actors, musicians, members of the school choir, presenters, and artists who all made their special contributions and led to it being such a great occasion.
These types of events are a wonderful way of promoting creativity and the appreciation of literature by creating such a positive atmosphere. Everyone connected to the project at Gimnazija Vič very much looks forward to future opportunities for cooperation like this in the years ahead.