Ballarat and Willylitfest

I headed up the Western Highway this week for two days working in Ballarat. The first day was 3 sessions with the Young Writers, selected upper primary students from 6 Ballarat and regional schools. Sue Lawson and I conducted writing workshops and local teachers conducted sessions on technology and writing. It was a very rewarding day at the Soccer centre, and despite a little oops when the students accessed the wrong outdoor greenspace, everything went really well. The students saved some of their best questions for the wrap-up gathering.

The following day I started young, with a combined community and a fathers-led playgroup. The rest of the day was spent with Sebastopol Primary School students, exploring history, the high alps and discovering just how un-ergonomic my paper plane/bird was. But it did, with the assistance of some able pilots, achieve the aim of traversing the 300 years covered in Bird to Bird and facilitation discussion about what happened in which century. The art from the final group (Prep, Yr One and Yr Two) of Dingo and her habitat, was fabulous.

Home again, home again jiggedy-jig. After a day of birthday celebrations out of town, Sue Whiting and I joined the fun of the Williamstown Literary Festival. Sue gave away 5 fab tips for picture book writing, and then she and I interviewed each other about the impact of other jobs on our writing craft and career. The weather was perfect for staying indoors – in this case, the Williamstown Town Hall, where all manner of sessions explored the myriad ways of story.

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Bird to Bird and Bird

On Saturday ‘Bird to Bird’ visited Newport Libraries for a launch/welcome event. Michael Lang, librarian was on hand to host. It was Michael who first seeded the idea for this book and it was great to be able to share it with him and his lovely family. I talked a little about how this story developed then after a reading, it was over to the children to make and decorate their own ‘birds’.

Once they were done, it was time to see how far their birds would travel. Markers on the floor indicated the passage of the more than 300 years covered in ‘Bird to Bird’. The winning bird travelled 275 years. Impressive. No one made it into the future, but perhaps that’s appropriate!

Michael and family had themed their outfits to ‘Bird to Bird’ – though one family member chose an ancient cousin in the dinosaur. Spectacular. But one young man starred with his bird outfit. Well played, young sir!

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