I'm passionate about books, writing and the publishing process, and I think it shows when I present to audiences young and old. My presentations are interactive and informative, and draw on my experiences as both a writer and an editor. I regularly present talks and workshops to all kinds of groups around the country and overseas, from pre-primaries to adults.

I've been a guest of the Melbourne, Sydney and Perth Writers Festivals, the Children's Books Festival and National Young Writers Festival, the State Library of Victoria conference, RMIT, Vic Uni, 3 Triple R, 100 Story Building, the Penguin Teachers Academy, the Wheeler Centre, Top Designs, and a zillion wonderful primary and high schools around Australia.

I charge according to the public appearance rates set by the Australian Society of Authors. Contact me or the folks at Booked Out Speakers Agency to arrange a visit.

Below are some of the most common topics I'm asked to present on. 

 

IMG_1030.JPG

 

Early Primary

The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade  + How to make a great character

  • Suitable for: Prep to Grade 2
  • Together we read The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade and use Alfie's story as a springboard for talking about common fears, and what makes a good book character. We then do a guided drawing activity together to create our own characters from sea creatures.

 

Primary

How Do We Make Books?: A behind-the-scenes look at the publishing process

  • Suitable for: Grades 3 to 6
  • This session debunks the myth that books flow from the fingers of an author straight onto the printed page! Together we look at the stages of publishing, from the many drafts that authors write - and why they're necessary - to the cover and design process behind every book.

Adventures in History: Writing historical fiction

  • Suitable for: Grades 3 to 6
  • In this fun, interactive session, we talk about what historical fiction really is, how we can draw stories from our past, and how I used research to shape the themes, setting and character of the Alice books in the Our Australian Girl series. 

Author Talk

  • Suitable for: Grades 1 to 6
  • What's it like being an author? Where do ideas come from? How long does it take to write a book? What do you do when you get stuck? When did you start? What do you read? How can I write better stories? 
    We bring the writing process to life in this lively Q & A session.

 

Secondary

The Publishing Process: From manuscript to finished books

  • Suitable for: Grades 7 to 9
  • An in-depth look at all stages and roles in the publishing process, from editorial work and all aspects of book design through to sales, marketing and publicity. 

A Book by its Cover: An interactive workshop on making covers and writing blurbs.

  • Suitable for: Grades 7 to 9
  • How and how much do book covers influence what we read? What kind of language makes a blurb effective? We compare and deconstruct contemporary examples before splitting into groups to create our own concepts.

 

Aspiring Writers

Children's Publishing Overview: What's out there and how to get published

  • Suitable for: Adult writers, beginners to experienced, with an interest in children's books
  • We break down the Australian children's book market in terms of age categories, themes and genres, and discuss what publishers are looking for. Includes practical tips for giving your manuscript the best shot when submitting to publishers.

Writing For Children: A workshop

  • Suitable for: Adult writers, beginners to experienced, with an interest in children's books
  • A practical, hands-on workshop offering different strategies for approaching your children's story. We break up discussions on tips and common mistakes with short writing exercises.

 

Aspiring Illustrators

Making Picture Books: A case study

  • Suitable for: Illustrators with an interest in the process of picture-book making
  • Using the case study of a published picture book, we look at the illustration process from start to finish, including common pitfalls and publisher requests.

What Publishers Are Looking For: Tips for illustrators

  • Suitable for: Illustrators with an interest in the process of picture-book making and cover design
  • An overview of what makes children's book illustration really sing. Includes tips for curating a strong folio and places to get your work noticed.
     

Teachers and Educators

Why Teach Historical Fiction?

  • Suitable for: Librarians and classroom teachers, Grades 3 to 9
  • Historical fiction doesn't just teach modern kids about life in a time gone by. Reading stories set in the past can have an impact on how they see the present, and shape the leaders of the future. An inspiring session on the benefits of delving into the past to breed empathy and resilience.

Historical Fiction and the National Curriculum

  • Suitable for: Librarians and classroom teachers, Grades 3 to 6.
  • Using the Our Australian Girl and Do You Dare? series as a guide, we look at the relevant National Curriculum outcomes that can be covered by using these quality works of fiction to bring the past to life.