Tristan Bancks | Australian Children's & Teen Author | Kids' & YA Books


Monday, August 15, 2016

Exploding Chickens Student-Made Book Trailers!

Entries are rolling in for my My Life Video Book Trailer Competition in partnership with Dymocks Children's Charities

I'm particularly enjoying this entry from 'Sir Rex' (who appears to be a cat, but he / she thanks Brianna, Lindsay, Cathy and iMovie in the credits). 

The graphics in this video are super cool! Nice work C Mills :)

And, look at this funny not-yet-exploded chicken in the entry from Elain Whitton! So. Good.

Top prize is $500 cash for the filmmaker plus $500 worth of books for your school. Entries close 31 August 2016 at 11:59pm.

In other words - it's not too late to get involved! >>

Before I go, I have to share some storyboards the awesome students at Mt Waverley Primary School have been working on ahead of their entries. Boom! 


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

National Bookshop Day 2016

Happy National Bookshop Day!

Saturday August 13 is National Bookshop Day 2016. Don't forget to support your local bookshop by buying a book and sharing a photo with the hashtag #nationalbookshopday.

Being in a bookstore is an escape from the world, and one of my favourite places to be.


Friday, July 29, 2016

Byron Writers Festival 2016

Byron Writers Festival begins in a few days' time. It's one of finest and funnest (?) events in the country for children's and teen literature. This year I'm doing panel sessions with authors John Marsden (Tomorrow When the War Began), Jesse Blackadder (Dexter, Paruku), Anna Fienberg (Tashi) and literacy expert Catherine Kennan (Sydney Story Factory) as well as Sunday's Kids Big Day Out (a few tickets for KBDO still available, I think.). My events times are below. I'd love to see you there!

In the leadup to the festival I have been visiting schools all over Northern NSW as part of Byron Writers Fest's new StoryBoard program, taking authors into schools and bringing reading, creativity and literacy to life for thousands of kids throughout the region.

StoryBoard has just been granted $50,000 in funding by the state government to buy a StoryBoard bus so we'll be travelling to schools everywhere, keeping it weird and inspiring kids to use their imaginations and their own lives to tell stories and make their own myths.

My Session Times at Byron Writers Festival 2016

Saturday 6 August

Kids and Creative Writing
Saturday, August 6, 2016
Banksia Room
4:00pm - 5:00pm
With: Jesse Blackadder, John Marsden, Catherine Kennan, me.

Sunday 7 August

702 Statewide broadcast- Kids Rool
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Banksia Room
11:00am - 11:30am
With: Simon Marnie, Anna Fienberg (Tashi) John Marsden

Kids Big Day Out: Meet Tristan Bancks
Sunday, August 7, 2016
12:10pm - 12:40pm
(I'm dreaming up some fun stuff involving exploding chickens.) (Probably not real ones.)

Books to Screen
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Banksia Room
Pitching the film adaptation of my book Two Wolves to screen producers, broadcasters and filming funding bodies. Two other author / screenwriter teams will also pitch their films and the judges from Porchlight Films, Screen NSW, Foxtel and eOne Entertainment will choose the winning pitch!

'Keep it weird.' - Dave Eggers
Encouraging kids to write from the inside out, tell their own stories, make their own myths.

And have fun.
BIG thanks to Coralie Tapper for the images and to Coralie, Jesse Blackadder and Edwina Johnson for getting me involved in StoryBoard.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Life Search for a Book Title

Hey, I've just started editing the fifth book in the My Life series and it needs a title! Some of our ideas are below and I'd love you to tell me which you like best or even suggest your own. Just click on 'Comments' below this post. Or leave your ideas for me on Instagram, YoutubeFacebook or Twitter.

If I choose your title for the book I'll send you a signed copy of the entire series including the new book when it's released March 2017! But we must choose a title by 27 July 2016. Go to it.

My Life & Other Runaway Cars

My Life and Other Failed Experiments

My Life & Other Disastrous Decisions

My Life – Disaster Zone

My Life & Other Practical Jokes

My Life & Other Catastrophes

My Life and Other Ingenious Plans

My Life and Other Weaponised Muffins


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Making Sense of Humour

Funnyman author Oliver Phommavanh has just launched his new book, The Other ChristyHere, Oliver gives tips on how kids can write their own funny stories...

[NB: This afternoon, Wed 29 June 2016, 4:30pm-5:00pm Oliver and I are having a Chicken-Off on my new Exploding Chickens game. See if you can beat me and Oliver and, maybe, beat AMY9, the current high-scorer. Spread the word! We'll be chatting while we play in comments on this pic in my Instagram feed. You can chat, too, or leave your comments below this post by clicking 'Post a Comment!'.]

Kids often ask me how they can come up with funny stories. I reply by asking them another question. ‘What makes you laugh?’

I believe it’s a good place to start because you need to make sense of your own humour first. When I’m doing writing workshops, kids are drawing from all kind of places to write humour. Here are some examples:

  • The funny things they see and read. It could be books and TV, but more recently it’s what they see on YouTube or the memes they see on social media. 
  • Gross humour. Some may say that it is a cheap laugh. But I would rather have a kid write about boogers then write nothing at all. It’s instant gratification. If I find a kid who can’t get past those kind of jokes, I get them to expand on it. So you’ve got a fart gun. Why not make it a fart bazooka? Or if their punchlines (last line) always end with eating boogers, try to come up with some unlikely scenarios at the beginning. In Tristan Bancks’ My Life stories, there are some great examples of pushing the gross to the max and in clever ways. [Thanks Oliver - ;) Tristan.] 
Comedian and Kids' Author Oliver Phommavanh.
  • The example you’ve just modelled. If I gave the class an example of a kid who licks weird things, I guarantee that almost half the kids will come back to me with someone who does the same. So make your example count. 
  • Embarrassing moments. In my latest book, The Other Christy, the two girls Christy and Christie try to outdo each other with who has the most embarrassing family. They’ve come up with the embarrometer, where they give their moment a rating of 1 to 10 based on how embarrassing it is. Embarrassment is a universal feeling that everyone can relate to, so there is usually a lot of scope for kids to take these feelings and turn them into funny scenarios.
  • Bring the weird out. I always tell kids to make every character weird in their stories. I don’t mean that every character has to have giant ears and green skin. I usually play a game like Two Truths and a Lie, where kids have to try to find something strange and unusual about them. Maybe they’ve broken 7 bones in their body. Or they’re scared of pumpkins. In The Other Christy, Christy Ung has a pet rabbit named Barbeque. Yes, Barbeque the rabbit. No wonder her grandpa always chases him with tongs. 
So everyone has a funny side that they can tap into for their stories. Once they get into the habit to look for the weird and draw from their own funny experiences, they’ll be writing funny stories in no time!

See you at 4:30 in the inaugural BATTLE OF THE EXPLODING CHICKENS.

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