For a group of Hunter students with a passion for writing, the LitFest2444 festival on the Mid-North Coast was the stuff of literary dreams.
The third annual LitFest2444 program at Newman College campus in Port Macquarie held last week included 25 workshops by 31 expert tutors covering such diverse subjects as writing, filmmaking, podcasting, animation, and performance.
Nine year 11 students from Maitland's All Saints College joined more than 500 from state and independent schools across the Mid-North Coast.
Attending a day-long creative writing workshop run by young adult fiction author Kirsty Eagar has inspired 17-year-old Adam Fuller.
"There's no doubt that what I've learned today will help me get better marks in Extension English in the HSC next year," Adam said.
"But, it has also given me the confidence to think about writing a novel myself, or even pursuing writing as a career, such as in journalism."
All Saints English teacher Bonne Rae said the English curriculum was no longer focused on written words on a page.
"That's the wonderful thing about LitFest; It's about storytelling in all its modern forms," Ms Rae said.
"Today's high school students can explore their creativity through film, podcasting, vlogs and any number of other ways. LitFest gives them the opportunity to use technology to express themselves on whatever platform is right for them.
"My students are already enthusiastic writers, but I've been very impressed by how engaged they've been. As an accomplished author, Kirsty has shown them how a professional writer goes about the creative writing process as well as inspire them to believe in their abilities."
Ms Rae would love to see a LitFest closer to home.
"It's not that far to come (to Port Macquarie), but it would be wonderful to have a LitFest closer to home, so every Hunter high school student could enjoy creative workshops that interest them."