Posted by: Diane Curran | August 2, 2009

Byron Bay Writers Festival – hanging out with the kids

I’m sure that we didn’t brainstorm any blogging topics for August and as I’m heading off to Byron Bay Writers Festival this Thursday, I thought I would blog about BBWF, and let the other gals blog about writers festivals they may have attended.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been to Byron Bay Writers Festival. Not sure if my first one was in 2001 or 2002, and I have missed one somewhere along the way. So that makes this year number 7. I think. But each year, I go with a group of my writing buddies and we eat, and drink, and laugh, and brainstorm and have loads of fun. There’s nothing like spending a couple of days away from home with your tribe.

Last year, I met William Kostakis at the Festival who I brought to this blog as one of our original guests. He had his audience mesmerised in the kid’s tent, reading from Loathing Lola.

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Earlier that day, I had watched Danny Katz and illustrator Mitch Vane in action. The kids were then encouraged to produce their own illustrations.

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I also met Lollie Barr, author of The Mag Hags,  a Young Adult book about a group of disparate teenage girls forced to work together to create a magazine for a school project.

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As you can see, I love The Kids’ Tent.

It dispels the notion that kids don’t read. If you hook them early enough, they are readers for life — and this is shown by the huge line of kids eager to get their favourite author’s signature on their books. The queues of kids for a signature from Morris Gleitzman or Andy Griffiths is very encouragings. Kids do read!

So let’s take a peek at the program to find out who will be visiting the Kids’ Tent this year.

Wendy Harmer – now I’m sure Wendy will be talking about her popular Pearlie series, but she also is working on a young adult novel.

Gretel Killeen – for her very popular “My Life is a Toilet” series.

Tristan Bancks – the Mac Slater, Coolhunter series, the upcoming Nit Boy series along with a young adult novel collaboration It’s Yr Life

Anna Fienberg – Tashi and Minton series

Cuzco are two brothers from different gutters. Through their music and literacy workship Wire MC, and Choo Choo promote the vision of Freedom Before Peace. They assist young people from socio-economically disadvantaged background to empower themselves by recording songs and poem.

Nick Earls – new novel The True Storyof Butterfish.

Looks like a great day in the Kids Tent, but does that mean I’ll have to forego most of the Saturday adult sessions? That will just depend on the new venue and the layout of the marquees. I may slip from one to another to see what attracts my interest.

So what Writers Festivals have you been to?

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