I’m going to Somerset tomorrow and Friday. Hooray! I’m looking forward to meeting the most inspiring authors and having a great time.
Of course, had I booked sooner I could have gone to a couple of magical workshops, but, as it is, they are sold out. Instead, I’ve bought tickets to see these wonderful authors speak to packed rooms (or in most cases squelchy muddy walk to the Marquees which will be hot – but I’ll be prepared). The Great Hall is air conditioned but at times hard to hear the kids questions. (the students ask the best questions)
Session 9.15 am to 10 am – Marquee 3
Michael Gerard Bauer’s first novel The Running Man was the 2005 CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers. Since then four more of his books has been shortlisted for CBCA awards including his very funny picture book Rodney Loses It! Which was the 2018 CBCA winner in the Early Childhood category. His other very popular and award-winning works include the Ishmael series, the Eric Vale series and Just a Dog. His most recent publication is the young adult novel The Things That Will Not Stand. Michael’s stories have been translated into 12 languages and sold in over 40 countries.
Session 10.15 to 11 am – Marquee 1
Bren MacDibble was raised on farms all over New Zealand,
so is an expert about being a kid on the land. Bren lived in Melbourne for many years, but now lives and works on a bus travelling around Australia. How To Bee, her first novel
for younger readers, won the 2018 CBCA Book of the Year Awards, The NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and the NSW Premiers Literary Awards, and was shortlisted
for several others. Her second children’s book, The Dog Runner has just been released.
Session 11.15 to 12 noon – The Great Hall
Zanni Louise is a picture book and fiction author based in Northern NSW. She’s written ten books for children, including
Errol!, Mum for Sale and the Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush series. Her books sell in 20 countries and have been translated into multiple languages. Two have been long-listed for the CBCA awards and Archie and the Bear was selected
for the White Ravens catalogue by the International Children’s Library. Zanni advocates for creativity and imagination and loves teaching writing to adults and children. She is part of the
Byron Writers Festival StoryBoard program.
Session 12.45 pm to 1.30 pm – Year 11 Common Room
The story of Clare Sultmann is one of strength, determination
and adversity. After a devastating blow, she demonstrates how
her unwavering determination has her standing on her own
The 23-year old aspiring lawyer woke up one morning to start
her normal daily routine and headed out to complete her
10km circuit run. Little did she know that very morning would
change her life forever. Over the coming months, she battled,
not only to stay alive but to save her legs and walk again on
her own two feet. Although the physical and mental obstacles
she faced were overwhelming, her strength and determination were unwavering. Standing On My Own Two Feet is Clare’s
first novel and autobiography which chronicles her journey
from despair to happiness with a myriad of life lessons learned
along the way.
Session 1.45pm to 2.30pm – Marquee 2
Lucas Proudfoot is one of Australia’s most versatile children’s performers, playing guitar, didgeridoo and stompbox to over 120,00 kids each year. He is a multi-platform storyteller, sharing stories through his music, books and live performances.
In recent years, he has been touring Australia performing his cultural show, Circular Rhythm, where he delivers an entertaining and contemporary Indigenous Australian music
experience, inviting young audiences to learn about
Indigenous cultures through a live show full of fun and interaction. He has shared stages alongside a host of Australia’s most renowned children’s performers including Hi5, Justine Clarke, Jay Laga’aia and Yo Gabba Gabba, performing his cultural show, Circular Rhythm. Lucas is a proud member of the Tweed Coast Aboriginal and Islander community and lives on
the Gold Coast with his wife and their young daughter. http://www.theproudfoots.com.au
After ending the day on a high I’ll be preparing for a shorter day on Friday. The authors I’ve booked on Wednesday are FaceBook friends and authors who inspire me. I’ll have a full review as usual after the event.
Session 9.15 to 10 am – Marquee 2
Karen Foxlee is an Australian author who writes for both
kids and grown-ups. Her first novel The Anatomy of Wings won numerous awards including the Dobbie Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, Karen’s first novel for children, (which I read and loved)
was published internationally to much acclaim while her second novel for younger readers, A Most Magical Girl, won the Readings Children’s Fiction Prize in 2017 and was CBCA shortlisted the same year. Karen lives in South East Queensland with her daughter and several animals, including two wicked parrots, who frequently eat parts of her laptop when she isn’t looking. Her passions are her daughter, writing, day-dreaming, baking, running and swimming in the sea.
Now the best part of Somerset is there are times you can get more bang for your buck by going to panel sessions. The next two are sure to be winners in my book.
Session 10.15am to 11 am – The Great Hall
Youth Writers Slam into the Future – Vivi Baker, Solli Raphael and Scott Wings
Vivi Grace Baker is a seventeen-year-old from the Gold Coast.
She grew up around words and books of all kinds, which has
led her to a passion for reading, writing and performing her
own. After joining the Wordsmiths creative writing club at
the beginning of high school, she discovered and pursued a
love for poetry and spoken word, and has since competed in the Australian National Poetry Slam two years running, and won the Somerset National Poetry Prize in 2017. Her favourite feeling in the world is sharing her words and stories with other people and she hopes to one day write enough okay stuff to create her own anthology.
Solli Raphael At 12, Solli Raphael is the youngest winner of the Australian
Poetry Slam held at Sydney Opera House annually. A budding humanitarian, he hopes to become an inspirational leader among his peers. Solli enjoys writing powerful and emotive poetry and performing pieces to instigate change in the areas he feels are critical for attention and action such as social equality, the environment and animal protection. As well as his school work and performing at festivals and public speaking events, this motivated teen enjoys playing the saxophone, swimming, drama and playing boules with his great-grandmother. He hopes to become a pilot one day. Now 13, Solli is keen to use
the platforms of performing and writing to tackle current social issues – big and small. He wants to encourage his generation to participate in conversations about issues that affect their lives, sending out the challenge, be a game changer!
Scotty Wings (Scott Sneddon) is a performance artist with a highly physical, poetic lineage. He is a passionate and consistent curator of shows, collaborations and host of events that embolden people and spaces. Scott’s performance and writing credits include but not limited to Poetic Threads,
commissioned by Red Room and The National Art Gallery Of NSW; Whiplash touring performance at Dancehouse (VIC), The Butterfly Club (VIC), Jungle Love Festival (QLD) and Underground Arts Festival (QLD). Scott’s work has been presented at The Edinburgh, Adelaide, Perth World and Melbourne Fringe Festivals; Undercover Arts Festival;
Melbourne Comedy Festival; and independently in spaces
both site-specific and traditional theatres across the world.
The previous session will stretch my creative mindset, poetry and young performers, it could be amazing.
Session 11.15am to 12 noon
Take Three Girls – Year 11 Common Room – Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood
Cath Crowley is a young adult author published in Australia and internationally. She is the author of The Gracie Faltrain
trilogy, Chasing Charlie Duskin, Graffiti Moon (I’ve read and loved) and Words in Deep Blue. In 2011, Graffiti Moon won the Prime Minister’s
Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction, the Ethel Turner Award for Young People’s Literature, and was named an honour
book in the Children’s Book Council, Book of the Year. Words in Deep Blue won the Indie Book Awards Young Adult Fiction of the Year 2017, the Gold Inky Award 2017 and the
Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. Her collaborative novel Take Three Girls, written with YA luminaries Fiona Wood and Simmone Howell, won the CBCA Award for Book of the Year: Older Readers 2018 and was shortlisted for a Gold Inky Award 2018. http://www.cathcrowleyauthor.com
Simmone Howell is the award-winning author of YA novels
Girl Defective, Everything Beautiful and Notes from the
Teenage Underground. She also writes non-fiction about
dream houses, teen movies and ways to map a city. She lives
in Melbourne and is currently working on a memoir about her formative female influences.
Fiona Wood is the award-winning author of three interlinked
novels, Six Impossible Things, Wildlife, and Cloudwish. The
books are published internationally and are Junior Library
Guild Selections in the US. Take Three Girls, co-authored
with Cath Crowley and Simmone Howell, won the CBCA
Book of the Year, Older Readers, was shortlisted for the
Indie and Gold Inky awards, and has been honoured by
the International Youth Library as a White Ravens selection.
Before writing YA fiction, Fiona worked as a screenwriter. She
lives in Melbourne. http://www.fionawood.com
That’s my very last session at Somerset for 2019. I will mull over lots of happy memories and try to decipher my many notes to write up my Storyfest report.