Sydney Writers Festival Primary School Days

Writers Festivals are such a stark contrast to the day-to-day life of being a writer. At the end of a festival part of you dreads returning to the mundane world of making your own breakfast, feeding the dog, putting bins out and facing the blank page in the winter of each 6am wakeup. The other part of you knows that a cushioned world is no place to find stories. Only other people’s.

Primary School Days at Sydney Writers Fest this week has been such a treat. Oliver Phommavanh, Emily Rodda and Oliver Jeffers were my fellow partners in crime. Hotel in the city. Mornings spent writing in the sunshine. Incredible 800-strong audiences of kids giddy with excitement about books, stories and creativity. It is an amazing organisational feat by a really warm, wonderful team of people at SWF. I have loved every bit of it. Here are some pics from the week…

Setting up at Sydney’s beautiful Town Hall.

On stage at Sydney Town Hall.
The audience at Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay.

Kids gave me lots of tips on great books to read.
My view of my signing buddy, author / illustrator / artist, Oliver Jeffers.
I promise my head isn’t that much bigger than Oliver’s. I’m standing slightly in front of him. Seriously.
The kids at Parramatta Riverside Theatre were heaps of fun and lots of big readers!
Quite difficult signing on the curve.
Spent mornings walking and writing around the Harbour’s edge, searching for
solutions to the end of my current book.

Chandelier being lowered into place ahead of Vivid Festival.

My morning writing safaris took me around the Opera House and into the Botanic Gardens. The noise from ferries and construction and people walking by somehow helped me focus on the story.

With Oliver Jeffers and the lovely Eve from HarperCollins.
And the version where I thought everybody was pulling a face.

Now, home. Write book. Enjoy stillness. Read. Hopefully do the above all over again sometime soon.


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