Welcome to Katapult!
The Schools Program was held over two days. The first day (Thursday) was hosted by Cessnock Library and involved Kate and Jol Temple, Yvette Poshoglian and Tristan Bancks presenting in lots of schools in the Cessnock area. I heard they all had a hoot!
Books by Yvette Poshoglian
Books by Jol and Kate Temple
Tristan Bancks (photo from NWF 2014)
The second day (Friday) was held in Newcastle between Newcastle Region Library and Newcastle City Hall. Wonderful presenters included Leigh Hobbs, Yvette Poshoglian, Jess Black, Paul Russell, Kate and Jol Temple, Liz Anelli, Gregg Dreise, and Tristan Bancks. The kids were treated to presentations and workshops that left them inspired to read and write. This is always my favourite day of the festival. It takes me back to my teaching days.
There may be a story about a bus full of kids attending the festival getting a flat tyre before they even arrived which could have caused me as a program supervisor a minor breakdown, but everything worked out in the end - thank goodness :)
Books by Leigh Hobbs
Books by Jess Black
That night I attended the festival's opening night event: Jimmy Barnes - Working Class Man at the Civic Theatre. Jimmy told the story of his life in the Cold Chisel days as well has his solo career. He laughed, cracked jokes, sang, and shared his very personal journey with suicide, drug and alcohol addiction, and depression. I was left wondering how he's still alive!
Civic theatre just before Jimmy Barnes took the stage
On the Sunday, the festival hosted the Family Fun Day. Kids and their families were entertained by a host of guests and local talent including Zanni Louise, Gregg Dreise, Lynn Jenkins and Kirrili Lonergan from Lessons of a LAC, Renee Price from Digby Fixit Live!, and Emily S. Smith and Graham Davidson from Storytime Lane. This was another jam-packed event full of fun, dancing, entertainment and inspiration.
Zanni Loiuse and Digby's Moon Misison by Renee Price
Images from Lessons of a LAC
Of course I had to buy books at the festival. Here's a few of my purchases. My kids ran off with them as soon as I brought them home. Now I need to find them so I can read them.
Books by Jol and Kate Temple, and Zanni Loiuse
Congratulations to all involved in bringing the festival alive again this year. Thanks to all the schools and parents who brought their kids along. And congratulations to all the kids who threw themselves into the activities and stories presented to them.
Family Fun Day marquee in Wheeler Place
If you want to keep up with out-of-festival events and next year's festival to be held 5-7 April, subscribe to the NWF newsletter here.
One of these upcoming out-of-festival events: Terry Denton and Andy Griffiths are coming to Newcastle on the 15th July to present their new book, The 104-Storey Treehouse. Ticket still available here. Hurry! Tickets selling fast. I'll be there!
I look forward to doing it all again next year. I may even launch a book or two!
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Blast from the past: A photo of Matt Ottley and myself (NWF 2015).