Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Book reviews by Matilda, Writers' Festivals

Event review: Perth Writers Festival 2017

Review of Family Day at the Perth Writers Festival 2017
by Matilda, 11, WA

On Sunday 26 February 2017 it was Family Day at the Perth Writers Festival at UWA. This year there were kid curators who were interviewing authors and illustrators at the Tropical Grove. I thought all the kids did a very good job and asked some great questions.

Mechanica by Lance Balchin.
Mechanica by Lance Balchin.

I also really liked the creativity stand run by Remida.

They provided heaps of interesting recycled materials so we could make robot-ish animals like the animals in the fantastic picture book Mechanica: A beginner’s field guide by Lance Balchin.


Here’s a photo of me with the robot caterpillar creature I made:


Robot caterpillar junk construction


There was also a giant board with wings set up by the children’s author and illustrator Kylie Howarth. You could decorate a feather and write on it what you would do if you had wings. This is how I decorated my feather:

Feather: if I had wings I would live with the birds.

When Kylie Howarth had glued your feather to the wings, then you could get your photo taken as if you had wings yourself:

Photo of Matilda with wings


My favourite session at the Tropical Grove was the drawing duel, when James Foley and Donovan Bixley drew robotic cats with some suggestions from the audience. My favourite session at Writers Central was the Pandemonium event, which included swing dancers and a band.

Overall, it was a really great day and I recommend everyone to go next year!

I give this event 5  stars.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  The Silver Donkey. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!


Posted in Events, Writers' Festivals

2012 Perth Writers Festival

Other people wandering about at the Perth Writers FestivalYesterday was Family Day at the Perth Writers Festival and we had a brilliant time wandering about the grounds of UWA listening to free talks and bumping into authors and illustrators of our favourite books.

Here’s a photo of other people who were also wandering about enjoying the literary goodness of the day.  ———————————————————————->

We started the day in the tropical grove listening to Cristy Burne talking about school camping trips and Japanese horror stories (it turns out there’s not much difference). James Roy was giving out some good writing tips to keen young writers in his audience. Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac had their audience roaring with laughter, stamping feet … and throwing plastic fruit … as they performed the story of The Greatest Liar on Earth—their new picture book. There were also baby animals to help launch Karen Blair‘s book Baby Animal Farm (and cupcakes, too). And heaps of other author and illustrators talks which we didn’t get to because we were so interested in each session we kept forgetting to duck out halfway through to check out the others that were running at the same time. (OOPS—did you go to any others? Let us know what you thought in the comments!)

Here’s a photo of Briony Stewart, author of the Kumiko and the Dragon series.

Briony Stewart, Perth Writers Festival 2012

(She looks like she’s singing opera in this shot, but actually she’s talking about the bravery of the characters in her story.)

And a shot of author and comedian Oliver Phommavanh signing a copy of Thai-riffic! for us.

Oliver Phommavanh at Perth Writers Festival

And we just had to take a photo of this art installation by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa. It is called Breathing Flower and it was floating on the reflection pond at Whitfield Court. It’s HUGE and amazing to look at. And it’s there for the Festival of Perth (not just the Writers Festival) but we reckon it makes a good writing prompt for a story or poem …

Breathing Flower (art installation by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa)

If you’re in Perth, did you go to Family Day this year? Who were your favourite speakers? (Was there anyone else you wish was a speaker?)

Posted in authors, Events, teachers' resources, Writers' Festivals

Kids CYA Conference in Queensland

The CYA conference is the Children and Young Adult Writers and Illustrators Conference. It’s actually a conference for adults interested in children’s and young adults books and writing them. But now there’s something for kids, too.

The CYA conference will include a kids’ conference, called Hatchlings, aimed at children 8 – 18 years old, who are interested in writing and illustrating, or who want to meet the authors/illustrators at the conference.

There will also be book launches by Paul Collins, Jo Thompson and Aleeseah Darlison and dads are welcome to come for Fathers Day Tea!

Venue: QUT Creative Industries Precinct, Kelvin Grove. Building Z2, Level 3.

Ages: 8 -18

When: 5 September 2010

For more info:

Posted in Events, info, what we're reading, Writers' Festivals

Imagine This! Imagine That!

Can you imagine where I’ve been? Last week I flew to Sydney for the NSW Children’s Book Council conference: Imagine This! Imagine That!. I had a fantastic time meeting authors and illustrators, children’s librarians and lots of people who love books.

Some of the authors and illustrators gave talks about their books and about how they work with an author or illustrator to put a book together. One of my favourite parts:  Stephen Michael King and Glenda Millard talking about the Kingdom of Silk books. While Glenda was talking, Stephen Michael King got busy drawing some of his characters. Here are two of his drawings in progress.

"Stephen Michael King drawing Mutt Dog"
Stephen Michael King working on a picture of Mutt Dog
"Stephen Michael King drawing The Man Who Loved Boxes"
Stephen Michael King drawing The Man Who Loved Boxes

I had the best time chatting with writers (and getting advice about writing), and at the conference bookshop I bought books (of course!), and collected catalogues from publishers so I can see the books to look out for this year.

Here are some of the books I bought at the bookshop (I could have bought so many more than I did, but that would have made my bag awfully heavy and I had to get it on the plane back to Perth).

"The Return of the Word Spy cover""ABC Book of Australian poetry""How to Heal a Broken Wing"

Now I have lots more books to read (and review for you), and some new writers, illustrators and bookish people to interview too. Stay tuned!

~ Rebecca

Posted in Events, teachers' resources, Writers' Festivals

Rosalie writers’ festival … and book trailers by kids!

Today I was at the Rosalie Writers’ Festival. Rosalie Primary School have a three-day festival every second year, where local authors and illustrators (and editors!) come in and talk to the students about their books and work.

I was lucky to meet the year 2s and 3s and watched them write some amazing poetry! (It was also fun to catch up with a bunch of authors and illustrators in the staffroom in between sessions!)

On their festival website, you can find book trailers made by the year 4 students. The one at the top of this post I especially liked, for Lighthouse Girl, by Dianne Wolfer and illustrated by Brian Simmonds. You can find more of the Rosalie students’ book trailers on the festival website. Do you have a favourite?

Posted in Events, teachers' resources, Writers' Festivals

Byron Bay Writers Festival 2010 – Kids’ Marquee

The 2010 Byron Bay Writers Festival (NSW) will host Australia’s best kids writers  in the kids marquee on Saturday 7 August from 9.00am – 2.30pm.

AGES: Kids between 6 and 16

ACTIVITIES: storytelling, activities and an opportunity to meet authors during book signings.

COST: $25 or $20 for members of the Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre. (Each Kids Pass accommodates one accompanying adult allowing access to KIDS SESSIONS)

The full Festival program has not been released yet, but discounted Early Bird 3-day passes are now available. The full program will be released on 4 June 2010. For more information, you can visit the Writers Festival website.

Posted in competitions, Events, teachers' resources, Writers' Festivals

Short Story competition for 8-12 year olds

The Norman Lindsay Festival of Children’s Literature will be held 20 – 21 March 2010 at the Norman Lindsay Gallery, Falconbridge, Blue Mountains.

As part of the festival, there is a short story competition for 6 to 12 year olds. You can find more details, and an entry form on their website. (Lots of books to be won!)

Happy writing!

Posted in Events, teachers' resources, Writers' Festivals

Perth Writers Festival Family Day 2010

The Perth Writers Festival program is out!

You can find a link to the program for the Family Day sessions on the Perth Festival website at:

and the program for Family Day special events can be found here:

Our local library had a stack of Writers Festival programs on the counter, so if you’d like a quick way to get your hands on a hard copy, you could try your library!