I had the opportunity over the last few weeks to work with the amazing Jenny Stubbs and the Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network as assistant to Jenny in organising the StoryArts Festival Ipswich.
The StoryArts Festival Ipswich began in 1995 as the Ipswich Festival of Children’s Literature and has been held every two years since then. The festival offers free sessions for children and low cost sessions for adults and young adults with an interest in children’s literature such as teachers, librarians, and emerging writers and illustrators.
The festival increases awareness of the value of the arts in relation to writing and illustration and helps build and maintains increased audiences for children’s literature. The festival inspires young people to buy and read more books and to gain an appreciation of the processes involved in writing and illustrating while also enthusing teachers and parents about the value of stories and encourage them to promote literature to young people.
The festival has grown to be the largest children's literature festival in Australia and wouldn't be able to run without the support from many volunteers from the Ipswich Teacher Librarian Network and Write Links.
As an author I got to present to hundreds of school children in the Prep to Year 2 School Program and Year 3 to Year 4 School Program. For me, this is by far the best part of being an author, to be able to share my stories and enthusiasm for writing and creative arts with children.
As part of my sessions I revealed some of the stories which weren't in Meet Sidney Nolan and for my picture book Oliver's Grumbles I worked with groups of children to act out the story including flying cereal!
The StoryArts Festival has its own dedicated team of volunteer bloggers reporting on most of the festival sessions covering at least one session of each author and illustrator who was in attendance.
Maria Parenti-Baldi wrote this lovely post on one of my sessions with the Year 3s to 4s at the revamped StoryArts Festival website.
Children's Writer and Illustrator