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Author talks and events to delight young readers: Sydney Writers’ Festival program revealed

March 15, 2019

This year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival program has just been unveiled – and there’s plenty of fabulous authors talks, workshops and events to delight young readers.

The festival’s Family Weekend will kick off on Saturday 4th May with Aaron Blabey, internationally bestselling author of The Bad Guys, Pig the Pug and Thelma the Unicorn, live on stage at Sydney Town Hall. He will preview new stories, take questions, and draw his much-loved characters for the audience.

Other Family Weekend highlights include talks from Judy Moody author Megan McDonald and Polly and Buster author Sally Rippin, and a special step-by-step drawing workshop with Macca the Alpaca creator Matt Cosgrove, who will teach kids how to draw their very own alpacas and robots.

On the afternoon of Sunday 5th May, Sally Rippin, R. A. Spratt, Oliver Phommavanh, Adrian Beck, and Deborah Abela will host The Never-ending Quack Up!, a riotous romp that’ll see these beloved children’s authors invent an original story on the spot – with a little help from the crowd, of course.

There’ll be music to enjoy too, with Indigenous artist, storyteller, and musician Gregg Dreise bringing his didgeridoo and guitar to explore the power of musical storytelling and to share stories from his moving new book, My Culture and Me.

On Sunday 5th May, Carriageworks will also host The Big Backyard, a free, all-day occasion with no bookings required. Kids can help complete a giant puzzle with illustrator James Gulliver Hancock, listen to some of Sydney’s most exciting LGBTQIA+ performers at Rainbow Storytime, or pull up a chair and settle in to hear their favourite children’s authors and illustrators read their stories all day long at Storytime Clubhouse.

Meanwhile, the festival’s young adult program will return to the Riverside Theatres in Parramatta on Saturday 4th May, for a full day of exciting talks and panels featuring some of the most established and up-and-coming YA writers, including Neal Shusterman (author of Dry and the Scythe series, and scriptwriter for Goosebumps), Dhonielle Clayton (The Everlasting Rose; The Belles), and Lili Wilkinson (After the Lights Go Out).

The all-day YA program will revolve around the festival’s 2019 theme Lie To Me, and will see authors speculating on the possibilities for our planet’s future, exploring the politics of diversity and representation, and sharing their journeys through fan culture and its formative influence on their writing.

Sydney Writers’ Festival will run from Monday 29th April to Sunday 5th May 2019. To view the full program and book tickets, please visit the Sydney Writers’ Festival website.


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