Category Archives: Exhibitions

Social Media & StoryArts – please get involved!

Blogging, and Social Media, at StoryArts Festival 101

Social Media Accounts:

StoryArts Festival is moving with the times, and we now have an active presence on Social Media.  And we would love for you to join in.  The more the merrier as they say.


Twitter – @StoryArtsFest

Instagram – @StoryArtsFestivalIpswich


***to the StoryArts Blogging Team, please read all the way to the bottom of this post.  And if you are not on the team, feel free to read the instructions and submit as per instructions***


Please use the following StoryArts hashtags and tags.  Please also feel free to also hashtag and tag your favourite author, illustrator, presenter, or book.

You can also tag us on Social Media, as well as your favourite author, illustrator, or presenter.  Just search for them on the Social Media Platforms that you use.

















No photos are to be taken of children, unless it is of their heads, from behind a large group, with no identifiable children in the picture.  Pictures of authors and/or illustrators with their books are the ultimate pictures.  However, pictures of presenters working their magic are also great.



Feel free to do a ‘write up’ of any session you attend or present.  Technical edits will be done on your submissions.


Send to:

Please send all blog submissions to:

And if you can, please let Sam S know about it.



There is no guarantee that your submission will be published as there are editorial guidelines that must be adhered to.  However, we welcome submissions aplenty.

Bookings are now open for StoryArts Festival Ipswich 2015!

SAFI logo

Bookings are now open for StoryArts Festival Ipswich 2015!

To book, click HERE.

For all the information that you’ll need, check out the documents below:

Schools Programs

Information for Schools

programs – city selections

programs – Woodlands and Esk selections

High school program IGGS

High school program at WestMAC – Monday 14 September

Family Program

SAFI_Family_program 2015

Adults’ Program

SAFI_Adult program 2015

REMEMBER, to book, click HERE!

And many thanks to all our Sponsors and Partners:

StoryArts Festival Ipswich 2015 – partial program release, & bookings opening soon!


We are pleased to announce the release of some of the Program details for this year’s StoryArts Festival Ipswich!

Bookings will open soon for the 2015 Festival, being held from 6-16 September 2015.

There will be a number of programs this year: Schools, Families, and Adults.

You can check out the Families’ Program HERE!

And for all teachers, teacher-librarians, aspiring and emerging authors and illustrators, and even parents, check out the Adults’ Program HERE!

The Children’s Program is so absolutely jam-packed with awesomeness, that you will have wait just a little bit longer before you see all the marvellous things that we have in store for the children at the 2015 StoryArts Festival Ipswich.

Watch this space!  And make sure you subscribe to our blog to receive all the news hot off the press!  (You can subscribe in the top left corner, just below the Festival banner).

Yours in Children’s Literature,

The StoryArts Festival Team

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.



“Sounds Spooky” Exhibition by Sarah Davis

Located in the Ipswich Central Library, where all things book’ish should be, is an exhibition that can not be missed.

When Sarah Davis took on the task of illustrating Christopher Cheng’s book “Sounds Spooky”, she did what I have never seen before.  She constructed a 3D version of the location, a haunted house, and models of her characters, 2 of which have interchangeable heads.  These heads are on display at the exhibition.



She created dioramas of all the rooms in such intricate detail that it makes my childhood doll house look like a slum.  The attention to detail has to be seen to be believed.  Just take a look at the crockery hanging on the sideboard in the kitchen.


This exhibition must be preserved for generations of children and creators to come, such is it’s awesomeness.   Part of me wishes that Sarah had created this house big enough for someone to live in, I would move in as soon as possible.  If you have grandkids, kids, nieces & nephews, or friends’ kids you can snaffle for a few hours, make sure you take them in to the Ipswich Central Library to see this amazing, fantastic, inspiring and imaginative exhibition.

StoryArts 2013 Grand Opening

The Grand Opening of the 2013 StoryArts Festival was held at the Ipswich Community Gallery on a delightful Spring day.   The Very Hungry Caterpillar Exhibition was on display, and children who had artworks on display came along to show their efforts to friends and family.  The pride on the faces of the budding artists was a pleasure to witness.


          Madame Butterfly was the MC and drew us all into a state ready to experience the joy of a storytelling session from storytelling legend Tanya Batt.

Tanya told a Cherokee story about a time when there were no stories.  Tanya’s gift at telling stories in a theatrical manner was thoroughly enjoyed by the children who were completely captivated.  The same can be said of the adult’s present, such is Tanya’s gift that she can tell stories that appeal to children of all ages.


           Jenny Stubbs was thanked by Tanya and Madame Butterfly as someone who loves stories, libraries and children.  Jenny was cheered in by the crowd to do the formal opening, saying to the kids  “sorry kids, I have to do some boring things and talking”.

Jenny thanked the Indigenous Traditional Land Owners.  She acknowledged Indigenous, and non-Indigenous Storytellers.  She welcomed special guests including local councillor Andrew Antonelli, and authors and illustrators from near and far.  Jenny talked about The Very Hungry Caterpillar Exhibition as  “a project that values the creative output of children”.  She also spoke of the IDTLN (Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network)  having commissioned the script for “The Tuckshop Kid.”   On behalf of the IDTLN, Jenny  thanked the sponsors, venues and Somerset Regional Council, as well as all the members of the IDTLN who raise a lot of money to fund the festival.  We also found out that StoryArts is the largest free festival for children’s literature in Australia.

Madame Butterfly introduced the next stars of the show, author Mark Carthew and illustrator Mike Spoor.

Mark sang a song about what caterpillars eat called “Juicy, juicy green leaf”.  This song turned into an enthusiastic sing’a’long with the kids, and a number of adults too.  In fact, as I write this, I feel like breaking out in song as it was such a catchy tune.  I won’t though, I’m not known for my singing, and I don’t wish to scare everyone.


          Next up Mike drew a picture, using chalks, of a caterpillar.  There was a technical glitch with Mike’s paper falling to the ground, but he was swiftly assisted by two able adults and a one very keen kid (see below).  Mike’s glasses were trod on in the ensuing melee, but thanks to Shirley Stubbs’ timely mission to the local optometrist, I can report that the glasses are fixed.  Thanks also to Mark for jumping in with a song to entertain the children.  The paper was finally held in place, and Mike drew a really funny picture of a caterpillar that everyone loved, and got selfies with after the opening ceremony.



          Andrew Antonelli, a local councillor, spoke next on behalf of the local council who are fantastic supporters of the StoryArts Festival.   Andrew went on as follows, “When it comes to initiatives like this it is great to support groups like IDTLN.  The hungry caterpillar is a metaphor, the kids are the caterpillars.  Our young people need creativity, and need to maintain their imagination.  The jobs that exist now, did not exist 30 years ago.  And these jobs all need creativity and imagination.  It’s not just a project, it’s a milestone, you as parents will be able to think back to today as the day they built on their creativity and imagination.  I hope the little caterpillars in front of us take a big belly full of knowledge, and then go into a cocoon and come out as beautiful butterflies.  Kids, turn around and thank your parents for bringing you here”.

A really sweet ribbon cutting ceremony, involving a few kids from the audience, was held next, check out this cute photo….


          The six schools who participated in the Exhibition attended the opening ceremony and received participation certificates.  Look how proud these kids were…


After the presentation ceremony Madame Butterfly invited everyone outside to enjoy the bookshop and an afternoon tea of caterpillar cupcakes and fruit platters that reminded of everyone of the fruit from the book.  The cupcakes were scrumptious and a number of people were spotted sneaking one or more extra cupcakes, which they were more than welcome to.  Enjoy the Festival everyone, it is going to be spectacular!

P.S. if you want to see a short video from the Grand Opening, just click HERE

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Exhibition

Just before the official opening of StoryArts 2013 I had the opportunity to explore The Very Hungry Caterpillar Exhibition – a quilt project by Karen Walden and accompanying children’s exhibition at Ipswich Community Gallery.  I loved it!

Karen remembers “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” as her first book from kindergarten.  Her quilts are delightful with their textured detail and accurate portrayal of the scenes from the book.   Making the mini quilts involved the use of dyed fabrics, paints, colouring pencils, crayons and a sewing machine.


          Children from local schools were invited to participate and add their art projects to the Exhibition.   The schools involved were Blair State School, Fernvale State School, Riverview State School, Karalee State School, Tarampa State School and Kruger State School.  A big thank you must go to the teachers from these schools, and a bucket load of congratulations to the children who produced some outstanding artworks.


          Fernvale State School’s work “The Hungry Caterpillar Goes to School” features a huge Caterpillar (see above) who joined the children at school.  From the photos on display, it looks like the children really enjoyed the project, even when the caterpillar made them eat green leaves.  Here is a picture of the Caterpillar getting ready for a big adventure.


          It was a pleasure to see all the schools’ and students’ contributions to the Exhibition.  I implore you to go along and view Karen’s quilts and the student’s works.  It is especially great to see children’s artwork on display as this happens so rarely in galleries that are usually reserved for adults’ artworks.  Seeing the children show their artworks to family and friends was an absolute delight, and testament to the value of including local children in this stunning Exhibition.