Specialist children’s program at the 2019 Shoalhaven Readers’ and Writers’ Festival

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Back for its second year, the 2019 Shoalhaven Readers’ and Writers’ Festival is taking place 26-27 July – with an extra special festival for children. The theme for this year is ‘adventure’ and the headlining children’s events will take place in Nowra, just two hours south of Sydney.

We’re excited to see our popular AWC presenter, children’s course creator, and podcast co-host – Allison Tait – as director and one of the children’s authors in town for a program of school visits and author talks.

From the media release:

Two “rock stars” of Australian children’s literature, Jacqueline Harvey and Jack Heath, have booked their adventure for this month’s Shoalhaven Readers’ and Writers’ Festival on 26 and 27 July, 2019.

The festival, in its second year, has a commitment to nurturing children’s literacy in the Shoalhaven area, and Heath and Harvey will be joined by local talent; bestselling author and director of the children’s program, Allison Tait and illustrator Cheryl Westenberg. 

Allison, who regularly visits schools, says the power of children meeting the authors of the books they love can’t be overstated.

“I love being able to show local kids that someone who went to school right here in the Shoalhaven has written stories that are read right around the world,” Ms Tait said.

Allison’s children’s adventure series The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher have enjoyed international success.

“If I can do it, why not them? Some of the most original and insightful story ideas I’ve ever heard have come from kids in this area.”

The school visits program on Friday, July 26 will reach 1600 children.

Allison said a conscious effort had also been made to create a program of free sessions for local families which will be held at Nowra Library on Saturday July 27.

Jack Heath, the author of more than 30 action-packed books for kids including the LIARS, Danger and Countdown to Danger series, can vouch for the importance of author talks for helping kids develop a love of books, reading and writing.

“If I hadn’t met Jackie French when I was a little kid, I might not be a writer today,” he said.

“Knowing there’s a human being behind the words really changes the way kids think about books and writing.”

Jacqueline Harvey, who created the popular Clementine Rose, Alice-Miranda and Kensy & Max series, said she can’t wait to meet Shoalhaven’s young readers.

Harvey will also be guest-of-honour at a special screening of The Public at the historic Roxy Cinemas in Nowra at 6.30pm on Friday 26 July. Tickets are $25 and the movie night will raise money for the 2020 SRWF schools program.

It’s set to be an amazing event for children who are avid readers and aspiring writers.

Visit the Shoalhaven Readers’ and Writers’ Festival website for more details and to book tickets.


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