Whitsunday Voices

The Mackay Festival of Arts is growing into a distinctive regional QLD presence.  This week it presents the annual Whitsunday Voices youth literature festival, which each year is attended by over 5,000 students.  2009 sees a stunning cast of authors and illustrators; people like Michael Gerard Bauer, John Marsden, Emily Rodda, Matt Ottley and Sally Rippin.

And me (*cheeky grin*). I’ve been invited to attend as an emerging author and illustrator, and will get the opportunity to be involved in the festival events and talk to a number of junior classes. The festival itself is held at my old school, so it will be an interesting experience standing up in front of kids in the very same classrooms I sat in as a student. Even some of my old teachers still work there. No doubt the experience of running into them in hallways will make me unconsciously duck away guiltily, feeling like a troublesome school girl again.

The festival itself runs on Thursday and Friday, but I’m in Mackay a day early. I had the fortune of being invited into the local ABC Tropical North studio to do an interview with the delightful morning show host, Aaron Stevens. It was lovely having the chance to speak about the great work the festival does in introducing a new generation of kids to books and reading, and to also be able to speak about my craft. While there I got to catch up with an old school friend, Melissa Maddison, whose dulcet tones present the news each day.

The Whitsunday Voices festival launch is tonight, and I’m all amped up for the beginning of what will be several days of writing and illustrating mayhem. I’m going in equipped with stories, art and even some little bookmarks I made for the kids I’ll be speaking to. Bring it on!

2009-07-14

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4 Responses to “Whitsunday Voices”


  1. 1 Karen July 15, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Have a great time, Katherine! What a wonderful experience for you. I did one of my teaching pracs back at my old primary school and some of my old teachers were still there – it was a very strange feeling!! I love the bookmarks. They are bound to be a hit :)

  2. 2 Lynn Priestley July 16, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Awesome post. I am so excited for you being there and being able to reach out to the kids and be heard. What a great opportunity. I know you will have a fabulous time. Love the bookmarks, too. Totally gorgeous. Enjoy enjoy enjoy…XXX

  3. 3 chrisbongers July 17, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I’m following in your footsteps, Kath. This week at Voices on the Coast at Sunshine Coast Uni; next week back to Biloela to launch “Dust” in my old home town. I will also be talking to kids at my two old alma maters and some of my old teachers are still there too (and I’m a heck of a lot older than you are!) It should be a hoot. We’ll have to compare stories at the doggy park on our return. xx

  4. 4 Katherine Battersby July 22, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Thanks for the votes of confidence! Chris, would love to have another doggy play date to talk festivals :)


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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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