Patrick Guest

Photo of author Patrick GuestPreferred audience: primary and secondary students; adults

A born storyteller-come-overnight success, Patrick has had five picture books signed with Little Hare over the past two years. His stories are heartfelt explorations of courage, kindness and the joys of being a kid.

Patrick’s visits are interactive and fun, but he is always willing to bare his soul and discuss the deeper motivations behind his books. His first book, the best-selling That’s What Wings Are For, was inspired by his son’s battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and provides a perfect vehicle for celebrating diversity. His heart-on-sleeve Q&A session was very well received at the Eltham New Voices Festival last year.

With his latest book, Patrick challenges the audience to feats of daring and kindness en route to joining The Ricker Racker Club.

Catherine Bateson

Photo of poet and author Catherine BatesonPreferred audience: primary to adult

Catherine is a poet and award-winning writer for both children and young adults. She introduces poetry into her novels for younger readers whenever possible. Secretly, she longs to write a fantasy trilogy, but in the meantime she writes romance; her romance for young adults will be released in 2017 by Allen & Unwin.

Catherine regularly runs poetry workshops but also enjoys teaching fiction writing. As a long-time TAFE teacher of Professional Writing and Editing, Catherine has a lot of experience teaching adults.

She loves leading professional development workshops for teachers and runs structural editing and revision workshops as well.

Catherine has taught across the board – primary to adults – and enjoys that diversity.

Anna Ciddor

Anna CiddorPreferred audience: years 3-7

Anna has made her name as a versatile writer and illustrator of fiction, travel and historical books. Her Viking Magic series earned her fans throughout the world. Her latest children’s book, The Family with Two Front Doors, is based on her grandmother’s childhood in Poland in the 1920s – a heart-warming Jewish story that is not a holocaust story.

Anna inspires students with her enthusiasm. Hear the incredible stories behind the four-year research quest for her latest book. See drafts, editing samples and illustrating demonstrations. Taste food from the story. Learn how to braid ‘challah’ bread or how to write your own chapter.

Teachers’ notes are available for the book.


Phillip Gwynne

phillip gwynnePreferred audience: primary students through to adults

Phillip Gwynne has written books for kids, young readers, teenagers and adults.

He also developed the screenplay for the feature film Australian Rules, based on his highly awarded first novel Deadly, Unna?

Phillip is also the author of The Debt, a six-part high-octane thriller series for young adult readers, first released by Allen and Unwin in January 2013.

Phillip's talks focus on his own story: how one of eight children, who grew up in a house that had no books, managed to become a multi-award winning writer.

His talks are funny, moving and absolutely inspirational.


Houston Dunleavy

Photo of composer and conductor Houston Dunleavey

Preferred audience: high school students and adults

Houston Dunleavy is a composer, conductor, and educator. He has been Adjunct Fellow at the Australian National University, Musical Director of the Sydney Male Choir, Head of Composition and Production at the Australian Institute of Music and Senior Lecturer and Acting Head of School at The University of Wollongong.

He is now Musical Director of The Brighton Children’s Choir and St Oswald’s Anglican Church, Glen Iris.

His music has been performed around the world, is published by Wirripang, and has been recorded on the Wirripang and Move labels. 

Houston works with Laura E Goodin in collaboration with schools' teaching staff to form creative teams of musicians, writers, and performers who will create short music-theatre works that tell their own original stories.

The format is flexible and can range from one-day intensives to visits over an extended time, between which students work with their teachers on the musicals.

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