A new festival celebrating storytelling is bringing 24 nationally and internationally celebrated children’s book authors to Perth this week, including literary luminaries Chris Riddell, A.F. Harrold, Jesse Andrews and Leigh Hobbs.
Alongside the 2017 Children’s Laureates from the UK, Ireland and Australia, a swag of award winning authors and illustrators including Melbourne-based Tai Snaith and Aviva Reed will be attending the festival.
Scribblers Festival has kicked off workshops with a group of ten creative teens who will be leading the charge in planning, creating, and producing podcasts live during the Festival from their very own Conversation Caravan. The inaugural program also features dedicated programming for schools and families, a poetry-reading train conductor and creative workshops spanning live cartooning to collective cartography to haikus upcycled from castoff books.
Festival Director Katherine Dorrington says the festival is a collaboration between FORM and the Town of Claremont exploring the impact storytelling can have on helping children navigate the world.
“We want to ignite and nurture a lifelong love of reading,” Ms Dorrington says, “for children to experience the wonder of meeting their favourite storytellers, to sit spellbound as they breathe life into their words and make their characters dance off the page.”
The Festival will include three days (9-11 May) of school-specific programming to be hosted by Scotch College. A weekend for families (12-13 May) will include a Mother’s Day Market, and starting 1 March, a Golden Feather Treasure Hunt will engage children from across Western Australia.
Scribblers Festival is the only festival of its kind in Western Australia. It is the natural evolution of a dedicated two year pilot program developed by FORM, trialing creative learning in primary schools and steered by internationally recognized creativity expert Paul Collard.
“With a focus on visual literacy, students will learn how we make meaning from words and images with hands-on activities, conversations and discussions with visiting authors and illustrators,” Ms Dorrington says. “The schools programming will also include an evening of professional development for teachers to discuss these topics directly with participating industry professionals.”
Encouraging children and young people to think outside of the box means teaching them to solve the problems of the future. Through the experiences Scribblers Festival brings to the community, FORM hopes to offer the gift of thinking differently, imaginatively and independently; and also to show parents, carers, families and educators that this gift can be nurtured through the natural aptitude the younger generation has for experimentation, fun, and play with words.
FORM’s project space, The Goods Shed in Claremont will serve as the hub of Scribblers Festival, with branch-off workshops and talks at the neighboring Claremont Lawn Tennis Club, and marquees outside both venues.