Sarah Howell

photo of author Sarah HowellPreferred audience: ages 8 through to adult

Sarah is a founding member of Squishface Comics Studio. She self-publishes zines and mini-comics and is currently working on a graphic novel about Dame Enid Lyons. Sarah is the cartooning tutor at Box Hill Community Arts Centre and the graphic novels tutor at the Centre for Adult Education, Melbourne.

Sarah’s workshops are inspired by improvised theatre story generating exercises, combined with strong drawing principles to prompt the creation of comics that build on the individual’s strengths. Sarah's workshops include: 'Make a Mini-Comic' and 'Introduction to Graphic Novels'. She also does interactive live drawing performances.

Sarah is also open to collaborating with student wellbeing coordinators and youth workers.

Andrew Plant

Photo of author and illustrator Andrew PlantPreferred audience: prep to year 9

Andrew is an author and illustrator of picture books. He has presented sessions in schools and libraries from Alice Springs to Beijing and France. He also paints murals, and designs and builds theatre sets for schools and amateur theatre groups.

Andrew's latest book, The Poppy, is a story of Australian soldiers in France in World War 1. It was released in March 2014 by Ford Street Publishing.

Andrew explores the creation of a picture book through fun, rambunctious sessions drawing (literally) on the students' imagination. Early primary students learn about the basics of character and plot, whilst older students develop ideas on point of view and design.

All students leave the session with their own book in hand. Andrew’s presentations range from an hour to longer artist-in-residence programs.


Matt Porter

Photo of author Matt PorterPreferred audience: prep through to year 12, and adults

Matt is passionate about sharing writing tips with students through fun and interactive activities.

With 10 years of primary teaching experience he runs engaging sessions such as his 'gameshow hour' or a full classroom court case, both incorporating writing tips and activities.

Matt wants to show his students that writing can be enjoyed by everyone.

Matt is an author of hilarious children’s books. His first two books were published simultaneously in 2010. He has since published three stories in his Crazy Relief Teacher series as well as stories in Challenge Magazine


Nicky Johnston

Photo of author Nicky JohnstonPreferred audience: all ages

Nicky is a mum to four boys, a primary educator, an artist, a public speaker, and author and illustrator of children’s books. She is passionate about the importance of teaching resilience and positive emotional well-being in children, and provides teacher and parent professional development seminars demonstrating opportunities to do this through literature and the arts.

Her books include Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts, Happythoughts are Everywhere and Actually, I Can.

Nicky’s workshops focus on the fun of both writing and illustrating. Sharing her own experiences of publishing her books, Nicky instils confidence in children to explore and develop their own creativity. She displays examples of her own works from her childhood to now, noting her development and skills developed, leaving the children feeling encouraged and inspired.

Mark Carthew

Photo of author Mark CarthewPreferred audience: primary school students

Mark is an award winning children’s author, musician, educator and editor, and is well known for his books and series exploring wordplay. His books have involved collaboration with some of the world’s leading authors and illustrators.

Mark’s The Gobbling Tree, illustrated by Susy Boyer, won the Speech Pathology Australia’s 2009 Book of the Year. The Moose is Loose!, is illustrated by Matt Stanton and published by HarperCollins/ABC Books.

Mark presents interactive sessions for primary age levels as well as fun read aloud, musical story-time sessions for kinder and younger primary groups. Students have fun with stories, jokes, illustration styles, visual puns, puppets, songs, play-scripts, movement and gain insights into book creation & design. Mark also conducts talks to parents about literacy learning, adult writing groups, conference panels and keynotes.

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