Round up your littlest reading fans, and your budding authors and illustrators because it’s time for the Melbourne Writers Festival – there’s lots of fantastic family and kids events on this year’s program.
The Melbourne Writers Festival gives people the opportunity to hear authors, illustrators and those involved in publishing and media speaking about books, the industry and current affairs. The 2015 Festival has an amazing line-up of renowned international and Australian authors with everything from Louis de Bernieres talking about the inspiration behind his much-loved novels to Annabel Crabb and Kate Grenville talking about the roles of wives and mothers.
For kids and families, the festival has an exciting program of events, including performances, creative workshops and exhibitions.
Comedian Frank Woodley introduces us to the world of his newest character, Kizmet (fairly sure my kids will ask “Mum, who will laugh more in this, you or us?” – I’m a big Woodley fan) and Helen Kocis Edwards explores the fun of collective nouns in a workshop devoted to zeals of zebras and belts of asteroids.
Family programming culminates in one very special event –illustrators Kitty Crowther and Shaun Tan, both winners of the biggest prize in children’s literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, discussing their work.
The focus of the majority of children’s events is ‘hands-on’. This year, kids have the opportunity to try watercolour painting with Elizabeth Honey, learn about the power of simple line drawing with Elise Hurst and hone their comic-book art with Gregory Mackay. A highlight for pre-schoolers will certainly be a delightfully messy and arty painting workshop with Ann James, the illustrator of I’m a Dirty Dinosaur.
Also look out for Tai Snaith, author and illustrator of the brilliant book, The Family Hour, who is presenting the Sticks & Stones, Animal Homes workshop, and Indigenous Hip Hop Projects, which is presenting a free interactive workshop that is sure to include some inspired beats.
The Melbourne Writers Festival runs from August 20-30, 2015. Find the full program and booking details online (note that many events are free).