Latest News


Expanded program will inspire and delight Hunter kids at the 2014 Newcastle Writers Festival

Hunter region children from preschool to primary school will be delighted by a dedicated Kids Program that forms an entertaining and educational prelude to the second annual Newcastle Writers Festival.

Running from 2-5 April 2014 at the Newcastle Region Library in the lead-up to the main festival (4-6 April 2014), the kids programfeatures author talks, as well as illustration and writing workshops.

“My vision for the festival is for all ages to have the opportunity to celebrate books and writing,” says Festival Director RosemarieMilsom.

“I wanted to introduce a vibrant and exciting program that will inspire kids, and encourage them to enjoy the rich heritage of children’sliterature available to them. Children’s literacy is the foundation of a dynamic community and an area close to my heart.

“With our second festival, the Newcastle Writers Festival committee has had the opportunity to work on a large, dedicated programfor children, their parents and schools.

“I thank all our authors and illustrators who are joining us in 2014,” Rosemarie says. “I would also like to acknowledge the enormoussupport of festival committee member and Newcastle City Library Public Programs Coordinator Carol Edmonds who has applied hervast experience and contacts to curating the children’s program.”

Some of the 2014 kids program highlights include:

  • Launching 2 April is an exhibition of original artwork by Australia’s internationally award- winning author and illustrator,Shaun Tan. It runs until 30 June 2014 at the Lovett Gallery, Newcastle Region Library.
  • On 2 April, a Preschool Day will be held at the library, where families and preschools are invited to join the NWF for aprogram of readings, craft, songs and stories.
  • As part of a comprehensive program of workshops for primary school children, 3-4 April, Creative Writing for Boys will bepresented by actor, filmmaker and author Tristan Bancks who aims to give boys the inspiration needed to release the wild beasts of their imagination.
  • On Saturday 5 April a Festival Family Hub will be the focus for kids at the Cultural Centre on Laman Street where familiescan enjoy author readings, Aboriginal story time, face painting, a craft zone, and more.
  • Artist Bliss Cavanagh has composed a multi-sensory kids writing zone for the festival that will inspire young writers to createa world where all things are possible.

Other authors participating in the kids program include local literary talents Ted Prior (creator of Grug), Deborah Kelly, Leila Rudgeand former blacksmith-turned-author Gerry Bobsien; author and stand-up comedian Oliver Phommavanh; award-winning creator ofsix picture books, Aaron Blabey; illustrator Liz Anelli; recipient of the 2011-12 Antarctic Arts Fellowship, author and public speakerJesse Blackadder; graphic designer, illustrator and Newcastle-based academic Ben Mitchell; and Aboriginal Arts Officer at NewcastleCity Council, Ray Kelly.

Details about all the authors and kids program components can be found in the Kids Program, available online Schools and education providers for children are invited to make group bookings for 3 and 4 April by contacting Julie Swane at or phoning (02) 4985 6692.

DATE: 30 January 2014


Amy Hurrell – NWF Vice President

0434 269269

Rosemarie Milsom – NWF President, Festival Director

0403 041588