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…
- spend time with inspiring kids and teens
- hang out with a bunch of other author / illustrators
- take some much needed time out scudding along the beach
David and I headed for the coast last Sunday afternoon, and were joined at the festival by other creatives Michael Bauer, Tristan Bancks, Deb Abela, Pascalle Burton, Kate Forsyth, Serena 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).
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.
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).
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…