As Margaret River gears up for its 9th annual Readers and Writers Festival local school students are being entertained and inspired by six authors as part of the Margaret River Young Readers & Writers Festival being held from 22 May – 02 June 2017.

Over 3,500 school children are expected to participate in author talks at schools as part of the 2017 Young Readers & Writers Festival – from Busselton to Margaret River, Karridale, Nannup and Augusta.

Authors this year include author and illustrator James Foley whose books include My Dead Bunny which was shortlisted for Picture Book of the Year in the 2016 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards and The Last Viking which won a 2012 Children’s Book Council of Australia Junior Judges Award, amongst several others.

Felice Arena’s books have topped bestseller lists and garnered several awards, including six Australian Children’s Choice Book Awards. His works include the incredibly popular Specky Magee series, the hilarious Farticus Maximus books, Whippersnapper, Wish, the Boyz-Rule and Girlz-Rock books, the action-packed bionic-hero series Andy Roid, and most recently the Sporty Kids series.

David Hunt will showcase his book The Nose Pixies, which is a hilarious picture book with a grossness that kids will love and a message that parents will adore. He will also talk on Australian history (with a good dose of humour of course), as depicted in his adult books Girt and True Girt.

Abdi Aden will share his experiences of growing up in Somalia, while Tim Baker will talk surfing and Sophie Hardcastle will speak on her experiences with bipolar 1 disorder. Sophie has written two books Running like China and Breathing Under Water and is now a mental health spokesperson for Batyr. She was recently named as one of Triple j’s ’25 Under 25 who are nailing it!’.

Festival Director Tanya Perdue said she was really pleased with the response from local schools. “Schools from Busselton to Augusta and everywhere in between are really excited about this years’ authors,” she said. “There’s something really special about giving kids the chance to meet the authors of the books they know and love – and to share a broader perspective as well.”

“This program would not be possible without the support of the Rotary Club of Margaret River, Margaret River

& Busselton Lions Clubs, Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, City of Busselton, Cowaramup Lions Club & Dunsbourough Lions Club. I would like to pass on my thanks to these organisations who help us to keep costs low and participation high. Providing opportunities for country kids to have access to such amazing writers and illustrators is what it’s all about,” she said.


Image credit: Christa Walsh