Earlier this month I had the great privilege of presenting at the Newington College Literature Festival. Almost 30 authors, poets, journalists and illustrators from all over Australia gathered at the college to speak to students from Newington and other local schools.

I had lots of fun discussing creative influence with students in year 7. There’s a blurry line between ‘copying’ and ‘influence’, which sometimes scares young people away from being creative. It is important to discuss the power of influence and inspiration in generating ideas of your own.

It was fantastic to meet so many other writers and illustrators. I always enjoy listening to other authors when they chat about the writing process. It’s a great way to pick up new knowledge.

Pictured above – top row: Susan Gervay, Kate Forsyth, Matthew Lin, Tristan Bancks. Bottom row: James Moloney, Tim Harris, Phil Wilcox, Liam Pieper.

I had lots of fun presenting to stage 2 students at the Wyvern and Lindfield campuses. There were plenty of laughs, and I was able to share a few excerpts from the yet-to-be-released Exploding Endings: Screenshots & Laughing Gas.

After the Newington Festival, I scooted across to Manly for an evening spent with librarians from the NSW Catholic Schools Association. It was an incredibly enjoyable evening mixing with passionate teacher-librarians, booksellers, authors and illustrators.

The thing that struck me during this busy week, is how active adults are in encouraging children to read. Every person I met at the festival and event in Manly shared a common goal: inspiring a love of reading. In itself, that was inspiring for me.