I'm a children's author, wife and mum in no particular order. I perform these jobs simultaneously and I love them all!

Thursday 31 March 2016

The Newcastle Writers Festival - Day 3 - Primary School Groups

Over 600 kids experienced our festival today thanks to a wonderful team of book-loving and book-creating people. Another wonderful day! Here is a summary of the scrumptious talent that oozed all over Newcastle today.

Lisa Shanahan entertained kids with stories about chooks, pirates, bears and dragons. And what a lovely lady might I add. The children who crossed paths with Lisa will truly remember their time with her. And lucky us! We got to have a sneak peek inside her new picture book titled, The Whole Caboodle, illustrated by Leila Rudge.

Judith Rossell educated her audiences about Victorian villains. She is such a talented and interesting lady. I admire anyone who can write and illustrate. My copy of Withering by Sea - A Stella Montgomery Intrigue is divine, luscious, and now signed - complete with pretty stickers and stamps. I can't wait to read it.

Serena Geddes told Disney and Lulu Bell illustration stories and shared how she designs new characters. The kids soaked up every word and loved seeing her sketches and research.

Renee Price entertained kids with acting, singing, puppetry, story telling and fun during her Digby Fixit Live! shows. She is another person who oozes multiple talents.

The Lessons of a LAC team, Lynn Jenkins and Kirrili Lonergan had a wonderful time sharing their hints and tips about how to help settle worries with the assistance of Curly and Loppy.


Tony Flowers was a huge hit with kids and teachers. He stepped them through the process of illustrating and gave the kids a great tip: 'It's better to show improvement than be perfect. No one likes a perfect circle.' What a great tip!

Samantha Turnbull got into the nitty gritty of writing with up and coming young authors. She is also a slam poetry advocate. What a delight! See, I told you we had talent oozing out of this city!

Kombi Co. coffee anyone? How cool is this mobile coffee van. It has been and will continue to be strategically positioned out the front of the festival every day this week.

MacLean's Booksellers has been wonderful. They have provided a pop-up bookshop every day of the children's program. Kids have been able to get their hands on signed copies of absolutely top quality Australian literature.

I love the buzz that fills the air at children's literature events. The kids reported back to me with wonderful comments and then returned to school with a spring in their steps. What an honour it is to work on such an exhilarating local event.

Tomorrow is a smaller day in the kids program so I'm off presenting at a PD conference instead. I will be attending the Opening Night of the Main Festival tomorrow evening. I may miss the opportunity to blog tomorrow. *sigh* But then we hit the ground running for the Saturday Family Fun Day at Newcastle Library. There will be so much to tell you about. Until then ...

Wednesday 30 March 2016

The Newcastle Writers Festival Kids Program - Day 2 - Primary School Groups

The Newcastle Writers Festival Kids Program entertained and inspired over 800 children today. It helps when you have amazing presenters, kids, teachers, parents, library staff and volunteers making the show come together so beautifully.

So here I am, with a pair of heavy eyelids, sipping a cup of tea busting to tell you all about it. Please ignore any typos. I'm just glad this post is ready before midnight!

Samantha Turnbull entertained the kids while talking about her wonderful book series, The Anti-Princess Club. You may have seen her on our local NBN news earlier tonight.

Deb Kelly hosted two amazing workshops on how to write Haiku Poetry. She will be launching her new book, Ruby Wishfingers on Saturday.

Tony Flowers wowed his audiences with his amazing talent and funny stories in his 'Text To Pen' sessions. Congratulations on the release of your new picture book titled, Hello, Tony. Due for release 1st April.

Stig Wemyss (audio book voice for Andy Griffith's books and the Aussie Bites books) had his audiences in stitches during his STIG LIVE shows. Even our volunteers were highly entertained!

Michael Gerard Bauer told stories of how Eric Vale and Derek Dale came to life during his 'Dog Tales and Epic Fails' sessions. He showed lots of photos including ones of his son. His son actually illustrated these series.

Paul Russell challenged and inspired upcoming young authors in his writing workshops titled, 'Sense-ational Writing'. You could hear a pin drop during these. I was very close to ruffling some feathers in there at one point. They were just too studious!

I had the privilege of entertaining some youngsters today too. We had a long and interesting chat about how picture books are made. The accompanying adults were just as mesmerised by the process. I was very excited to debut my new Keynote skills including controlling the presentation from my iPad! If you have any idea about what I just said, you should be impressed. Getting technology to work the way you planned is always a challenge when presenting. I couldn't get the wifi to work but I managed to cope. I was just happy to successfully connect my Apple MAC to an adaptor and then to a projector by myself and make it work! Oh, and I got to wear my new, fancy shoes. They're not black!

Well, that's it for now. I'm looking forward to what tomorrow brings and sharing the day with Renee Price, Lisa Shanahan, Serena Geddes, Judith Rossell, Lynn Jenkins and Kirrili Lonergan. Tony Flowers and Samantha Turnbull get to come back and have some workshop fun, too.

See you here tomorrow night.