Melbourne Writers Festival 2011 Schools Program

June 10th, 2011


Melbourne Writers Festival 2011 Schools’ Program brings stories to life with myriad events for students and young people, at Federation Square

  • Monday 29 August to Thursday 1 September 2011

Designed first and foremost to get young people reading, the 2011 Schools’ Program is a highly diverse and entertaining program that is more relevant and accessible than ever before.
Featuring a number of free events, the program is aunique opportunity to immerse primary and secondary students in books, reading and the world of ideas, and to share with kids what it is about reading that can be truly transformative. Packed with sessions involving the superstars of international writing for kids, students will have the chance to get up close and personal with many of their most popular authors across the four days.
Highlights include the opening day session entitled ‘Why I Read’ with US writer Maggie Stiefvater (author behind the sensational Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy), with our very own Kate Grenville and Nick Earls; celebrated New Zealand writer Brian Falkner will be involved in a number of sessions, as will Australia’s favourite ‘science guy’ Dr Karl sharing his adventures in science; and an exploration of Graphic Novels with three of Melbourne’s favourite comic artists.
New themes explored this year include ESL events, non-fiction strands focusing on science and history, creative writing workshops delivered in partnership with Museum Victoria, and sessions exploring how new technology interacts with writing.

This year, 48 authors will participate in the 2011 Schools’ Program:
Randa Abdel-Fattah   Steven Amsterdam     Tristan Bancks   Bernard Caleo   Jane Caro   Kathy Charles   Tim Clare   Sherryl Clark   Meredith Costain  Lisa Dempster   Terry Denton   Mick Edwards   Brian Falkner   Archie Fusillo   Peter Goldsworthy  Neil Grant 
Pat Grant  Kate Grenville  Andy Griffiths  Johannes Jakob   Dr Karl Kruszelnicki   Sofie Laguna   Mike Lefroy  Alison Lloyd  Maile Meloy   Mark Norman  Mandy Ord  Michael Panckridge   Tim Pegler   Oliver Phommavanh   Alice Pung   Alison Reynolds   Sally Rippin Emily Rodda  Briony Stewart   Maggie Stiefvater   Penny Tangey   Carole Wilkinson   Lili Wilkinson   David Williams   Sean Willmore   Luke Wright   Shu HongYong   Arnold Zable    Judith Zander   Emilie Zoey Baker   Mawia

New partnership with Museum Victoria – an exciting series of workshops exploring our multicultural identity and cultural heritage as Australians today
Mon Aug 29 – Thur Sept 1
In partnership with the Immigration Museum, MWF invites brilliant local writers to join students on a tour of the museum’s brand new exhibition, Identity: yours, mine, ours. Students will tour the exhibition with museum staff and one of our participating writers – Alice Pung, Archie Fusillo, Arnold Zable and Randa Abdel-Fattah, and take part in a creative writing workshop afterwards.
Social and natural history from Australia and beyond
Mon 29, Tues 30, Wed Aug 31 – ‘Our Australian Girl’
Featuring Sherryl Clark, Gabrielle Wang, Alison Lloyd and Sofie Laguna.
A new series, exploring Australian social history and female characters from many different angles.

Tues Aug 30 – ‘Bringing History to Life’ with Jane Caro, Mike Lefroy, Carole Wilkinson.
How do writers make the past come alive? Three writers who specialise in making people and places from long ago seem vivid and real—whether in fiction or non-fiction—share their tips and experiences.

New sessions designed specifically for ESL students, celebrating the magic of storytelling in Chinese, Sudanese, and Indigenous languages
Tue Aug 30, Thur Sept 1 –‘Traditional Stories’
Featuring readings from students, Mawia and Mick Edwards. Storytelling in different languages. FREE

Tue Aug 30
‘Wicked Warriors and Evil Emperors’, with Terry Denton and Alison Lloyd. The Qin dynasty in China was a time of gruesome goings on. From when he was 12 years old Emperor Zheng ruled with an iron fist, but achieved extraordinary things. Come and hear his fascinating story, and try and keep down your lunch!

Science sessions
Wed Aug 31 ‘Octopuses – Wizards of the Sea’
Hosted by Dr Mark Norman, Head of Science at Melbourne Museum – he knows more about the octopus than anyone else on the planet!

Mon Aug 20 ‘Adventures in Science’with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki
Presenting his latest swag of super science stories, with an audience Q&A for all those burning science questions

Wed Aug 31 ‘The Project’ with Brian Falkner
The award-winning author shares his amazing action-adventure sci-fi novels including The Tomorrow Code, Brainjack and The Project.

Graphic novels
Tues 30 Aug – ‘Graphic Novels – YES OR NO?’
With comic artists Mandy Ord, Bernard Caleo, Pat Grant. What ARE ‘graphic novels’, where did they come from, and why does the term cause such bitter disagreements amongst comic book makers? Year 7-9, 10-12

Thur 1 Sept – ‘Drawn Stories’ with artist and storyteller Mandy Ord.
Explore Mandy Ord’s books and ideas, as she shows you how to build full-blown stories from your own drawings.

New technology
Thurs 1 Sept –‘Global Student’
Exciting project linking students from Western Victoria with schools in China and Malaysia to share stories, videos and Wikipages through specially created websites. Featuring a live video link up with overseas schools, this session is a must for teachers and students interested in learning more about innovative classrooms and the ways in which classrooms can connect, communicate and collaborate across the globe. Year 7-9, 10-12

Tue Aug 30 –‘Vision Boarding with Tristan’ hosted by Tristan Bancks.
From soundtracks to storyboarding, movie trailers to animations, for Bancks writing a book is a totally three-dimensional experience. Learn techniques on how you can fuse TV, the web, video and old-fashioned books to write your own brilliant stories.

Performance poetry
Tue Aug 30 –‘Out Loud!’
Slam poetry event hosted by Emily Zoe Baker. Students who’ve been working on slam poetry performances throughout the year come to Fed Square to compete in a poetry showdown.

Thur Sep 1 –‘Live Literature’
Tim, Luke, Hannah – three performance poets from the UK who have very different approaches to poetry, but share a desire to make it arresting, provocative, challenging.

VCE Events
‘Texts in the City’ builds on VCE programming from previous festivals. FREE
Held at the Wheeler Centre, featuring Kate Grenville (The Secret River, Mon Aug 29), Peter Goldsworthy (Maestro, Thur Sept 1) and Alice Pung (Unpolished Gem / Growing Up Asian in Australia, Tue 30 Aug).
Regional Victoria tour
Mon 29 Aug–Fri 2 Sept – featuring Kirsty Murray, Sue Lawson, Chris Morphew and Heath McKenzie.
All four writers will be travelling to Kyneton, Geelong, Wangaratta and Frankston to give presentations and workshops. Includes some free events.
Write Across Victoria 
The popular annual creative writing competition for Victorian students in years 7, 8 and 9 is back.Over $3000 in cash and prizes tobe won! The winning story will be published online and in Express Media’s Voiceworks magazine. Entries close 5pm Friday 29 July. The winner and finalists will be awarded during MWF’s Schools’ Program by Alice Pung and Tim Pegler.

School’s Program 2011 sessions are programmed for students from Grade 5 through to VCE students.
Full details of the Melbourne Writers Festival Schools’ Program 2011 are available from

Tickets: $7 per session (except Immigration Museum sessions, $10 per person).
Schools’ program bookings: 9999 1199 or Enquiries can be emailed to

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