Booked In! 2018

Judith Rossell, author/illustrator of wonderful books for children, was our featured 2018 Booked In! star.  Her visit took place May 7 -9, and consisted of in person visits to schools in the New England region – Armidale, Guyra, Uralla and Walcha, across a range of age groups and group sizes.  Also part of her visit was Livelink, a live interactive video link presented in association with the New England Writers’ Centre.  Some photos of Judith at Livelink appear here, and photos of her school visits will also be included as we receive them.

Judith shows a dummy book she created for “Bogtrotter”, a book she illustrated and Margaret Wild wrote.


Woolbrook P S watching, and participating, in the Livelink presentation.









Visit from Paula Stevenson

We were very pleased that Paula Stevenson could join our March meeting. She is a member of our Sub Branch, but lives on a farm near Scone, so attending requires special effort.  Paula spoke about life on her farm which has had virtually no rain for more than a year.  She told us about her writing activities – for New England Living magazine (She brought the current issue which contains two articles by her.) and showed us some relevant books, including some unique titles she has created for her grandchildren.  She mentioned the support she has received from her local writing group which meets in the Warrah Hall; and an online writing group mentored by Jen Storer. To conclude her short presentation, she read the text for a picture book she has written.  Read more in our meeting minutes:  https://cbcnewenglandnorthwest.wordpress.com/minutes-of-meetings/


A real treat for everyone

There was a real treat for everyone today at the November sub-branch meeting: local bookseller Michelle Wheatley, from  the lovely Armidale bookshop Reader’s Companion,  gave a fantastic talk, introducing us to a wonderful treasure chest of new children’s books, from quirky and unusual illustrated non-fiction to gorgeous picture books, fun chapter books and rollicking adventures and intriguing mysteries for middle-grade readers. Michelle shared her passion and knowledge in a most inspiring and engaging presentation and we were all able to have a good look at each book. A great morning was had by all! A list of books shown will be uploaded soon to our website.


Booked In! 2018

Never slow to plan for our next Booked In!  we are pleased to let you know, well in advance, that our 2018 author/illustrator will be Judith Rossell.

Judith is a writer and illustrator. Her books include maze and puzzle books, picture books and novels, and have been published in more than 20 languages. She has written 12 books and illustrated about 80. Her best-selling illustrated novels Withering-by-Sea and Wormwood Mire have won a number of awards. Her most recent picture book was Bogtrotter, written by Margaret Wild. She teaches Writing for Children at RMIT in Melbourne and has a cat the size of a walrus.
More about her books and her illustrations at:   www. judithrossell.com


We hope to have Judith visit us for three days at the beginning of May next year.  Check our minutes and posts for up to date reports.


Booked In! a big success!!

May 14 – 16, Armidale and Uralla school children were fortunate to have visits from popular children’s author, Tristan Bancks, and talented illustrator, Kate Durack.

Over two days Tristan and Kate visited seven schools during nine separate visits.  Also, a writing workshop and a book launch were part of the annual festival.  Below are a few photos taken at the school visits.  Support was gratefully received from the Armidale Regional Council and the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society/Rotary Club – Armidale Central in the form of small grants.

Our next regular meeting will take place August 12 in the meeting room of the new premises of the Armidale Memorial Library.  Note that this is the second Saturday of August, to accommodate the Armidale International Film Festival.

Photos from Booked In!

Tristan talks to avid audience at Newling Public School







Tristan with students from Uralla Central School





Kate with Newling Public School students and the results of their workshop


Booked In! is coming….

Our annual children’s literature festival – Booked In! – will take place this year from May 14 to May 16.  We jointly present it with the New England Writer’s Centre.  This year the school visits part of the Festival has received funding assistance from the Armidale Regional Council and the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society, Armidale.

On the Monday and Tuesday of the festival writer Tristan Bancks and illustrator Kate Durack will be visiting schools in Armidale and Uralla.  There will also be a bookshop event on Monday afternoon at 5.30 pm featuring Tristan, and a writing workshop on the Sunday.  Join us at Booked In!



March meeting – 4 March, 10 am – Armidale Memorial Library

Meeting theme:  Our Mythical Childhood: Classical Antiquity in Children’s Literature.
Liz Hale, an academic at the University of New England, will talk about her new project, the ‘Our Mythical Childhood’. This is a five-year project, funded by the European Research Council, which seeks to make an online international survey of the children’s literature that is inspired by Classical Antiquity.
What happens to Greek and Roman myths when they are retold or adapted for contemporary children?

What happens when they travel around the world?

How do retellings for young people use classical material in order to engage with key concerns (e.g. growing up, identity, family, fitting in, love, death, social justice)?
Liz is overseeing the gathering of material from Australia, New Zealand, and other areas of the global South.  She will share some of her findings, but is also very keen to hear from members about their own knowledge of children’s literature that engages with classical materials.  Please bring along any books or titles, and she will gladly incorporate them (with acknowledgement) in the project.
website:  http://www.kamar.domeczek.pl/OMC%20www/Our%20Mythical%20Childhood.html