Voices on the Coast (Part 1)

Ah the serenity. Sun. Surf. Sand. Seagulls. Palms. Sound luxurious? It was.

What it doesn’t sound like is the venue for a children’s literature festival, but then again – this isn’t just any festival. Voices on the Coast is the award winning super festival held annually on the sunshine coast, which has been providing a gamut of literary talks and workshops for school aged kids since 1996. This year I was lucky enough to be a speaker at the festival, and was incredibly spoilt on 3 accounts: I got to…

  1. spend time with inspiring kids and teens
  2. hang out with a bunch of other author / illustrators
  3. take some much needed time out scudding along the beach

L to R: Michael Bauer, David 'Ghostboy' Stavanger, Kate Forsyth and me

David and I headed for the coast last Sunday afternoon, and were joined at the festival by other creatives Michael BauerTristan BancksDeb AbelaPascalle BurtonKate ForsythSerena Geddes and Oliver Phommavanh (just to name a few). We were put right next door to the party room (Michael – I’m looking your way) where the first night’s festivities were held – a dinner and general get together for all the festival presenters to meet and greet (and drink … sensibly of course).

L to R: John Flanagan, Lili Wilkinson, Serena Geddes, Kelly Dunham (festival organiser), me and Rebecca Belfield Kennedy

The next two days were chock full of workshops, whiteboards, pens, pencils and school uniforms. The first day was for secondary students (where myself and a few other picture book writers were stolen away to a local junior school for some talks) and the second day was for primary students. Other authors were also involved in late night panels, adult writer workshops and a further day of touring around libraries across the hinterlands. Unfortunately I was only just recovering from a cold as I set out for the festival, so by the last 10 minutes of my final workshop I had absolutely no voice left (I believe I was emitting a hight pitched tone heard only by local dogs). The kids were very kind and quiet for me, and as an illustrator I could luckily rely on drawing rather than talking.

On the final afternoon David and I headed to the beach for some super juices to try to recoup

After it was all over we had one day before we had to return to Brisbane, so checked out some local markets (and spent some of our hard earned dollars – I might just be wearing a new dress below).

Eumundi markets: Me arguing with a sign over some name calling ... he started it

Next post I’ll break down the workshops I ran at the festival, including some funny Squishy pictures the kids and I drew and wacky monsters we created…

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11 Responses to “Voices on the Coast (Part 1)”


  1. 1 Scott Chambers June 24, 2011 at 11:33 am

    And a good time was had by all by the looks! Hope you’ll have some copies of Squish to sell and sign at the CYA in September =) … and, of course, some inspirational words for us all!

    • 2 Katherine Battersby June 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      Thrilled you’ll be at CYA Scott! Looking forward to it. And Squish will indeed be at the book store there :) Thanks for the support. I’ll work on those inspiring words…

  2. 3 Lynne Lumsden Green June 24, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I’m betting you dazzled every child who attended your workshops, And it was lovely seeing you in reality, rather than virtually.

  3. 5 chrisbongers June 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    What a stellar lineup. I have very fond memories of meeting the magnetic Mr Stavanger at Voices on the coast two years ago – and hasn’t time flown since then!

  4. 7 Scott Chambers June 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Hope Brissie turns on some good weather for the CYA. Yep, after the glowing review MGB gave for Squish, sounds like it’s a must have for the collection! You should get yourself a little Squish stamp made up to accompany the autographs =)

    • 8 Katherine Battersby July 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks Scott :) And strange you suggest getting a stamp made up – I was already looking into just that! Clearly great minds think alike (ahem … which means you and the other person who suggested it to me…)

  5. 9 the man with three arms July 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Magnetic? No wonder he digs fridges..

    ..and i will have chilli with that

  6. 11 Scott Chambers July 11, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Yes K, I’ve been particularly sold on the idea of stapms since picking up a Terry Pratchett stamp from a little shop in Oxford, UK (it is of an orang-utan – should I say *THE* orang-utan, surrounded by the words “Unseen University”, with space inside for your name and a date). Couldn’t walk past it! I’m sure a squish stamp would be just as compelling =)


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About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:

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