It was great to meet some very young (9-12 year old) Melbourne writers in our online Gandal writing workshop last weekend hosted by State Library of Victoria. The writers’ initial ideas about bringing the voices of museum artefacts to life were really promising. For example, our discussions around a set of keys from Melbourne Zoo were fascinating and included some great lines. One key in the collection is mysteriously labelled ‘the magic horse’ and the young writers speculated about whether this key ‘might want to help keep the magic’ of the zoo. They wondered if the magic horse was ‘a horse in magician’s clothing’, a ‘carousel horse’ that had come to life or maybe ‘a magic horse dancing in the sky’. They suggested that the injured birds’ hospital could be run by other birds who would make ‘knitted wings’ to patch up their fellow birds. The key to the snake enclosure might be ‘scared’ of its job while the hippo round key might open a gate to reveal hippos running in circles around their pool. All lovely ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing how their writing develops.