StoryArts Ipswich Weekend Workshops – March 29 & 30

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StoryArts Ipswich Weekend Workshops

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In alternating years to our festival, the Ipswich District Teacher-librarian Network organises a weekend of workshops where The Arts meets Literature.

Create a character

Sounds Spooky Characters

Saturday 29th March
Venue: Ipswich Community Art Gallery, D’Arcy Doyle Place, Ipswich
Time: 9:00am – 4:30pm
Cost: $77.00 (incl GST)
Tea and coffee provided. BYO lunch or drop into an eatery in the mall or at D’Arcy Doyle Place.

This is a hands-on modelling workshop with Sarah Davis who will show you how to create a character using sculpey polymer clay. This is the technique she used to create the characters in Sounds Spooky which was on display at Ipswich Library during the StoryArts Festival Ipswich in 2013. The exhibition then travelled to Marks and Gardner Gallery at Mt Tamborine.

Numbers for the workshop are limited to 20. Costs of basic materials are included. Sarah suggests you bring along any interesting fabric scraps/fake fur/feathers/wool etc… any material that you might want to use to create clothes and hair etc for your character.

Visit to see samples of artwork.

The Facilitator

Sarah Davis used to get into trouble for doodling in class, but now she can scribble to her heart’s content and call it “work” – she can hardly believe her luck. Sarah won the CBCA Crichton Award in 2009 for her first picture book, Mending Lucille (written by Jennifer Poulter) and since then has illustrated more than 20 books and had her work recognised by many major awards in Australia and NZ. Sarah illustrated the hugely popular “Fearless” series, written by Colin Thompson, and Anna Branford’s “Violet Mackerel” books, which are becoming well-loved Australian classics. Sarah is a versatile artist who works in many mediums and is constantly experimenting with new ways to create visual stories. She has an honours degree in literature, and her love of language plays an important part in her process, with the interaction between text and image being paramount.

Sydney Story Factory – What we do, how we do it, and how you can do it too

Sydney Story Factory

Sunday 30th March
Venue: Studio 188, Brisbane Street, Ipswich
Time: 9:00am – 12:30pm
Cost: $55.00 (incl GST)
Tea and coffee provided. BYO lunch or drop into an eatery in the top end of town.

The Sydney Story Factory is a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people in Redfern, Sydney. Trained volunteer tutors offer free help to write stories of all kinds. Programs target marginalised young people, and those from Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds, but are open to everyone.

Find out how the Sydney Story Factory was set up, what it does and a bit about what has been happening in London and other parts of the world. Matt Roden will share the history of the Story Factory, and what it has achieved in the 18 months since its doors opened. He’ll discuss the many varied workshop programs that the Story Factory runs, share some of their outcomes and discuss how their workshop programs are designed. After answering questions about the Story Factory, Matt will assist those in attendance in constructing their own 2 hour creative writing workshop for children. The group will share the ideas, discoveries and hiccups they encounter when trying to instil students with a love of creative writing.

The Facilitator

Matt Roden has worked as a writer, designer and educator in Sydney and London. He was a Creative Projects Manager at the Ministry of Stories in London, and has assisted in the opening of the Sydney Story Factory from its early days, and now works with the team as a Deputy Storyteller, programming and running workshops and facilitating volunteer and fundraising projects. He has worked on education and arts packages with the NSW Reconciliation Council and Underbelly Arts Festival.

From page to stage…

The Tuckshop Kid at Studio 188 Ipswich

The Tuckshop Kid at Studio 188 Ipswich

30th March
Venue: Studio 188, Brisbane Street, Ipswich
Time: 1.30 – 3:00pm
Cost: $22.00 for session 2

THAT Production Company offers a practical journey of finding the potential of a story or book to be brought to the stage. Participants will learn practical techniques and develop insight into the art of developing a play. THAT Production Company is an independent theatre company based in Ipswich, Queensland. They produce classic and contemporary texts and cultivate theatrical experiences that resonate with our quest for understanding the world around them. They collaborate with people from a range of backgrounds and experiences. Their work varies from Frank Wedekind’s German Expressionist classic Spring’s Awakening and Eve Ensler’s world-wide phenomenon The Vagina Monologues to Edward Bond’s drama Saved and the Australian premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Ruined (Ipswich Festival, 2013). Our new works have included a stage adaptation of the children’s book The Tuckshop Kid by Australian author Pat Flynn (StoryArts Festival, 2013), and the suburban-apocalyptic drama Thursday’s Child (Anywhere Theatre Festival, 2013).

The Facilitator

Cass Ramsay is a writer, performance maker, arts administrator and creative producer for THAT Production Company, which she co-founded. She has a Bachelor of Secondary Education and a Bachelor of Applied Theatre, both from Griffith University. She worked on her first full length play, Actually Alice, as a part of JUTE Theatre Company’s award winning Enter Stage Write program. Her work was then read at the National Regional Playwrights and Theatre Makers Conference. In 2013 Cass wrote Thursday’s Child for the Anywhere Theatre Festival, Lost & Found: The Quiet Carriage for Spare Change Collective, co-wrote an adaptation of the children’s book The Tuckshop Kid by Pat Flynn with Timothy Wynn for the 2013 StoryArts Festival, and co-devised Envelope as a part of the performance collective The Vertebras, for Metro Arts 2013 Season of Independents. She also attended the Australian Theatre for Young People’s National Studio for emerging playwrights, and was the project journalist for Crack Theatre Festival 2013.

Download all the information hereStoryArts Ipswich Weekend info

Download the Booking Form and Tax Invoice hereinvoice for sessions

Daily Sessions – Dave Hackett a.k.a. Cartoon Dave

A snippet of one of the daily sessions for children at StoryArts Festival Ipswich 2013 featuring Cartoon Dave.

Watch the video below to witness the total amazingness that is Cartoon Dave.  Watch him draw at supersonic speeds, boggling the minds of the children in the workshop.

Video Trailer for StoryArts Festival Ipswich 2013

Our videographer Peter Allert has been hard at work again.   Check out this adorable snippet of scenes from StoryArts Festival Ipswich 2013.  We very much look forward to seeing you all again in 2015.


Book Links Writing & Drawing Competition – The Winning Entries!

We are pleased to be able to share with you the winning entries for the Book Links Write or Draw a Funny Story Competition.  Congratulations to all the children who won, and to everyone else for having a go.  Writing and drawing is a fantastic thing to do, so keep practising kids!


The Winners with Andy Griffiths

write funny story James Burford

Blue tongue lizard by jasmine tulloch

funny story comp Lauren Church funny story Ethan and Layla 1 funny story Ethan and Layla 2

Gala Dinner at the Mangy Hound Jazz Club – inspired by “Herman & Rosie” by Gus Gordon

Jazz was the theme of the night, inspired by Gus Gordon’s picture book “Herman and Rosie”.  From the ritzy venue – The Mangy Hound Jazz Club – to the band, and right down to the placemats, this was a night to celebrate all things jazz.


The Mangy Hound Jazz Club had been decorated by the Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network ladies, and what a fine job they did.  The placemats were a standout feature, and many were taken home as momentos of a pos-i-lute-ly stunning evening.

The Fassifern Five provided the music.  They were the bee’s knees, the cat’s miaow, playing jazz tunes from across the decades.  Whenever the tables were clear of food, the dance floor was full of people getting their wiggle on.

Everyone was dolled up to the nines in their jazz garb.  Creative types don’t need much encouragement to dress up.  Clearly there were some prom-trotters amongst us, their outfits were a feast for the eyes.

Gus Gordon was sitting pretty, just in front of the stage.  Word has it that he was absolutely chuffed with the night that was inspired by his picture book “Herman and Rosie”.  Congratulations and thanks must go to the Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network for all their hard work in setting up The Mangy Hound as a swanky venue.

The Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network celebrated the 10th children’s literature festival that they have put on.  I for one hope there will be at least another 10 more.  Congratulations again to the Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network for their tireless work at putting on such a stellar, action-packed Festival that is enjoyed just as much by the adults present as the children.

A brilliant night was had by all the cool cats at The Mangy Hound Jazz Club, if only it were a permanent venue.  Thanks to everyone involved in the making of such a grand night, and special thanks to the Big Cheese Jenny Stubbs for making it all possible.

Andrew King – Ambassador for Science & Engineering to Children

I know Andrew well, we work together with Book Links – the Centre for Children’s Literature.  I know that he is an Engineer, and is not used to working with children.  But I have to say, within 1 minute of this session starting, I knew that this was not a hindrance to him in the slightest.  The kids were rapt that they would be learning about engineering and robots.

Andrew showed a photo of Engibear on Mars, the kids could almost not believe that Engibear was there, but Andrew insisted he was but had hurried home for StoryArts.  Andrew quizzed the kids about the order of the planets and 1 kids said he knew them all. He came up to the front and recited them in order correctly, what a whiz kid.


Andrew showed them a video of a rocket on land to indicate how fast it went, the kids were amazed.

At this point I realised Andrew is gifted at interacting with kids.  He is loads of fun, and the kids felt very comfortable talking to Andrew.   He had checked with the teachers to see if it was OK for the kids to yell out.  They were allowed and did not stop for the whole session.  As there were only 10 children it was not too chaotic.  Even as a fully fledged adult I really enjoyed Andrew’s session.

Andrew told the kids about how he came up with the idea for “Engibear’s Dream”.  Engibear was developed as Andrew and his young son played engineering games.  They drew pictures and wrote stories about Engibear and Bearbots.

Andrew read from “Engibear’s Dream” with the illustrations displayed on the big screen.  The kids acted out some of the scenes, and helped Andrew read some of the words.  I wish I could slot in a video to this post as the kids enjoyed it so much, my words can’t do their joy justice.

Next up was an activity drawing rockets, so the kids could rocket to outer space and “read across the universe” (which was the theme for Book Week 2013 if you did not know).  The only problem was that some of the kids wanted to draw Bearbot instead, and they told Andrew in no uncertain terms.  They all got down onto the floor to draw.Their teacher had a go too, and the kids counted down and the rocket blasted off the whiteboard.

Here are the kids proudly showing off their drawings.


Andrew talked briefly about the next book which features a bridge that looks like a dinosaur, the kids were amazed.


The kids enjoyed this session immensely.  And I have to say that I did too. Andrew really got me thinking about how I may give author presentations in the future.

To find out more about Engibear, click HERE.