It takes me thousands and thousands of words to flesh out a character, but how clever are the artists who can capture someone without needing to use any words at all. I was blown away (again) by the finalists in the Archibald Prize for portrait painting at the Art Gallery of NSW.
So many great stories here, but here are a few of my favourites.
And Sydney makes a spectacular setting for any story.
I’m excited to be part of this year’s Queensland Online Literature Festival (22 Aug-9 Sep). The festival is an amazing opportunity for school kids from all over Queensland to hear from some of Australia’s best authors. Thirty writers are involved this year and you can connect with them whether you’re in Boulia, Biloela or Brisbane (or anywhere in between).
My slot is 10.30am on Tuesday August 30. It’s a very special day because it’s also my son’s 18th birthday!
I’ll be talking about where I got the ideas for my Hazard River adventure series for young readers and the inspiration for my Choose Your Own Ever After stories. I’ll also share how you can get ideas for your stories.
The perfect reading material for young adventurers – the Hazard River series.
Dymocks Brisbane is offering FREE SHIPPING on book orders as part of the Online Literature Festival. Contact them on 07 3007 2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order.
If your school would like to be involved you can register on the Queensland Government site here. (Only Queensland schools can register).
Other great writers and illustrators on the program include Pamela Rushby (pictured above), Michael Gerard Bauer (pictured at top of page), Samantha Wheeler (pictured at top), Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton, Tristan Bancks, Jack Heath and Dave Hackett.
I’m all talked out after a week with a brilliant bunch writers and illustrators at the Central Queensland Literary Festival – sharing stories with clever students and aspiring novelists by day, by night debating lofty ideas like: Can the Broncos beat the Eels? (It turns out they certainly can!)
Rockhampton put on perfect winter weather for the creative invasion, which meant that in between workshops, we absolutely had to visit Great Keppel Island. The trip turned into more of an adventure than an outing when we missed our ferry and had to hail a speed boat, but who’s complaining when the sun is out and there’s a stunning beach at the end of the journey.
The week also included a visit to the beautiful Botanic Gardens, a fantastic steak at the Criterion Hotel and a self-guided tour of Rockhampton’s bull statues.
Love you Rocky!
Ready for anything (even high-school students): Justin D’Ath, Meredith Costain, Robert Favretto, Julie Fison, Pamela Rushby, Michael Gerard Bauer, Royce Bond.
Photo credit: Marjory Gardner
MIA: Paul Collins and Elaine Ouston
Very much missed: Kevin Burgemeestre
A great big thanks to Elaine Ouston of Morris Publishing and Ford Street Publishing’s Paul Collins for inviting me to be part of this year’s festival and to the staff and students of St Peter’s Catholic Primary, St Paul’s Catholic Primary and Emmaus College for making us welcome. Loved sharing stories with you!
I’ve read the research: hanging out in nature reduces stress levels, enhances creativity, improves intelligence and even makes you a nicer person. So after three days of stomping through muddy gullies, tramping up mountain tracks and following black cockatoos on Queensland’s spectacular Scenic Rim, my latest story should basically write itself.
As for the impact of all of that delicious food I consumed while enjoying nature – I’m still looking for appropriate research to support my theory, but I’d say: it’s got to be a bonus.
I’ll let you know!
Walking, eating and snapping the view at Spicers Peak Lodge, Scenic Rim.
Copies of Como ficar com Rick – the Brazilian version of How to get to Rio have just arrived and don’t they look delicious. The book is part of the Choose Your Own Ever After series which lets you decide how the story goes.
In Como ficar com Rick Kitty Maclean has to choose between going camping with her two best friends or visiting a chic beach resort with popular-girl Persephone. And who knows, she might bump into the very cute, Rick, at Paradise Point.
Thirty writers, illustrators and performers, 75 schools, 4000 students, teachers, volunteers, storms, howling winds, misplaced authors, missing cars, laughs, tears and an unforgettable sunset – that was this week’s Voices on the Coast.
And I loved being part of it.
It was so much fun sharing stories with students and hanging out with a heap of amazing authors. I laughed at Sarah Kinsella and Russell Fletcher’s
hilarious improvisation, and shed tears at Philip Wilcox’s poignant poetry. I loved Gregg Dreise’s didgeridoo performance and was touched by Children’s Laureate, Leigh Hobbs‘, sincere words on writing.
Now, I return to my desk a little fatigued but enriched by the incredible creative buzz of the festival.
Thank you to my gorgeous Immanuel Lutheran College introducers and the clever media crew for keeping my talks and workshops running smoothly and to the super-talented Samantha Wheeler for being such a great roomie at our comfy beachside digs – the Mirage, Alexandra Headlands.
A massive congratulations to coordinator Kelly Dunham on a wonderfully successful youth literature festival. You are a legend!
I look forward to seeing you again on the Sunshine Coast soon!
The full line-up for Voices on the Coast 2016: (Some didn’t make the photo but I’ll let you work out who was there and who wasn’t!) Deborah Abela, Christine Bongers, Janeen Brian, Peter Carnavas, Gary Crew, Shelley Davidow, Gregg Dreise, Kirsty Eagar, Brain Falker, Fleur Ferris, Julie Fison, Serena Geddes, Leigh Hobbs, Dean Jacobs, Andrew King, Sarah Kinsella, Russell Fletcher, Jan Latta, Rebecca Lim, Lynette Noni, James Phelan, Darrell Pitt, Leila Rudge, Katryna Starks, Ellen van Neervan, Nova Weetman, Samantha Wheeler, Philip Wilcox, Lesley Williams, Tammy Williams and Kelly Dunham (Festival Coordinator).