Melbourne Writers Festival Schools’ Program kicked off with the launch of the National Reading Hour on Saturday evening in BMW Edge. Author Felice Arena joined Hosts Amberley Lobo and Kayne Tremills (ABC3 TV presenters), John Boyne, Bernard Caleo, Jackie French, Andy Griffiths and Melbourne Ukulele Kollective to celebrate the joy of reading. Many excited children, parents and carers had the lucky chance to meet their favourite authors and enjoy book signings afterward in the Atrium in Federation Square.
The rest of the week saw students and teachers’ treated to a stellar program of events featuring Authors from across the world.
Penguin Teachers’ was present to listen to Morris Gleitzman in conversation with Jackie French and then later with John Boyne, (which as you can imagine made for fascinating listening) as Morris explained the process and thinking behind his latest book – After.
Doug MacLeod participated in a ‘in conversation’ with Scot Gardner, discussing the darker side of young adult fiction themes and enthralled (and grossed out) students by revealing the inspiration for his novel – The Life of a Teenage Body Snatcher. The following day Doug was interviewed by Nicole Armstrong of the Centre of Youth Literature, whose thought-provoking and well researched questions drew forth some truly inspiring, personal and hilarious responses from Doug as he spoke about his latest book – The Shiny Guys.
Graeme Base participated in an exciting event at BMW Edge with hundreds of excited students and teachers’ to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of his classic picture book – Animalia. Graeme spent time chatting to students and signing autographs both before and after the session. Teachers’ from Camperdown College presented Graeme with an inspiring and moving mini documentary of their year using Animalia in the classroom. (We will elaborate further on this and hopefully share resources)
Recent Prime Minister’s Literary Award Winner (Young Adult Fiction), Robert Newton participated in a sold out panel in ACMI Cinema 1, with fellow author Carole Wilkinson and chaired by Michael Hyde. Students and teachers’ were treated to the very personal story behind Robert’s novel – When We Were Two and a chance to hear Robert read from his book.
Melina Marchetta participated in panels, workshops and film screenings and those that were lucky enough to have gotten a ticket in time were truly delighted to have heard her speak and meet her. There was much anticipation for Melina’s newest book and last book in The Lumatere Chronicles – Quintana of Charyn (due September 26th)
Many other lucky students, teachers’ and adults bought tickets to panels and sessions with Sonya Hartnett, Oliver Phommavanh, Gabrielle Wang and Archie Fusillo and from what we heard and saw over our 6 days at Melbourne Writers’ Festival all were delighted to have a chance to see, hear and meet their favourite Authors and Illustrators’
National Literacy and Numeracy Week began on Monday August 27th and schools across Australia participated in a plethora of activities, including Read Aloud for Australia day, Wednesday August 29th at 2pm AEST. Participating schools shared reading of Aaron Blabey’s beautiful picture book, Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley. Ambassadors for NLNW2012, including our very own Aaron Blabey, gathered together in Canberra to launch the week-long initiative with Peter Garrett, Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth.
A wonderful and exciting week celebrating readers’, writers’, illustrators’ and literacy. Feel free to share your story from NLNW or MWF in the comments!