Australian Author of Children’s Books and Teen Books: June 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Room to Read Tanzania

In Tanzania, Africa, 89% of people live on less than US$1.25 per day. The teacher / student ratio is as high as 1:100. The 2009 Human Development Report ranked Tanzania 151st of 182 countries based on life expectancy, education and per capita gross domestic product.

Help us turn things around for children in one of the poorest countries on Earth by getting your school involved in the 2013 Room to Read World Change Challenge. You can raise a little or a lot. Just last week Nicholson St Public School in Balmain, Sydney, had a pyjama day and raised $237!

We are attempting to raise $25,000 by Children's Book Week (19-23 August) this year to publish a local-language book in Tanzania, for kids with little or no access to books at all. Think you can help?

There are lots of fundraising ideas on Room to Read's Students Helping Students page so take a look and if you'd like to get help us boost literacy for some of the world's poorest children email

(See what we achieved in partnership with students and schools around Australia in 2012 here.)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Byron Bay Writers Festival 2013

The 2013 Byron Bay Writers Festival program has just been released. I'm looking forward to the festival this year more than ever. There is no finer thing in this world than the combination of blue sky (most years), fine coffee and big ideas that is the BBWF. Below is a list of my sessions as chair and presenter alongside some fascinating writers and here's the full program. Hope you make it there.

Secondary Schools day Thursday 1 August SCU Marquee
10.45am – 11.45am
Seriously serial: there’s more than one book in this
Phillip Gwynne, Leigh Hobbs, Melina Marchetta
Chair: Tristan Bancks

Friday 2 August Blue Marquee
12.30pm – 1.30pm
Getting it write: captivating the younger reader
Libby Gleeson, Philip Gwynne, Leigh Hobbs, Judy Horacek, Melina Marchetta
Chair: Tristan Bancks

Saturday 3 August Blue Marquee
Story boarding: the impact of screen on narrative
Mandy Chang, Robin de Crespigny, Graeme Simsion
Chair: Tristan Bancks

Youth Day Sunday 4 August
11.45am – 12.15pm


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

World's Crankiest Grandpa Competition

My search for the World's Crankiest Grandpa, someone to rival Cliff Weekly from Kids Stink, is in full swing. Above is the brilliant June entry from 12-year-old wunderkind writer / illustrator Raph Atkins.

Raph's previous Cranky Grandpa drawing was the winner of the book prize for May. Congrats, Raph!

Below are some other June competition entries from Bardon Young Writers Week participants, completed in under ten minutes.

To enter the competition and WIN a copy of My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up, draw a Cranky Grandpa or maybe ask your Gramps to pull a cranky face, photograph it and send it in. You can email your entries here. [Remember the drawing or picture has to be your own. You can't just find one on the Web! ;-) ] Here is a Pinterest board of Cranky Grandpas I have put together to inspire you.

Cranky Grandpa Cat

Kids These Days...
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