Category Archives: Performances

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.


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.

Tanya Batt – one of the world’s best storytellers

Tanya had the kids’ full attention from the get go.  I have to admit that I can’t convey in words what Tanya does.  Tanya’s gift at theatrical story telling is something I have never seen before, yet the world needs so much more of.

Tanya opened the session with an Indian story that was sung by her and the kids.  It had an amazing beat, with great actions, the kids really loved being involved in the story.

Tanya told us the tale of her childhood.  When she was younger she wanted to be a superhero or a Jedi Knight, but ended up being a storyteller, which in my mind is a quite like a superhero anyway.   She showed us her house, including a picture of her outside composting toilet which she calls her Princess Poo Tower.  We saw pictures from her international travels.  Tanya showed us a picture of her truck called Little Red Riding Truck, which has sadly broken down recently.  We learned about all the ways that Tanya is involved in storytelling in New Zealand.  Tanya told us her hobbies are yoga, hula hooping, hanging out with her grandparents, gardening, fishing and doing crazy things like riding her pink electric bike around the farm chasing pigs.  The last thing is something I must try.

Tanya shared an African story about why rocks live for ever.  It started with a couple of turtles from way, way, way, way, way, way back in time.  They wanted to have children, but had to give up their immortality.  Tanya kept the kids very much involved throughout the story.  She gave brilliant imitations of various animals in the story.

Tanya told the group another story about faeries.  A woodsman featured in this one.  She continued to involve the children in the storytelling process, asking them questions about fairy tales, characters and what they would wish for if they could.  Tanya has this gift of relating traditional tales to current ones, switching from the original story to a present day situation without interrupting the flow of the tale.

Tanya was asked if the sounds affects in her stories are real, she turned off the microphone and showed them they were.  She was asked which was her favourite book, and how long has she been storytelling for.  One insightful child asked her what she would wish for.  Tanya wished that everyone could find a job that they absolutely love and can make a living from. Her other wish was to understand all the languages in the world.

When the session had ended, a lot of the kids were trying to make all the different sound effects that Tanya made. I can imagine that the bus trip home was quite noisy.

To find out more about the amazing worlds that Tanya conjures up through storytelling, visit her website here.

Meredith Costain launches “My First Day at School”

Book Launch – My First Day at School

Guest blog by Yvonne Mes (writer and illustrator)

Meredit Costain book

Meredith Costain’s latest picture book, a verse picture book illustrated by Michelle Mackintosh was launched on Sunday at the StoryArts Festival in Marburg.

As sometimes happens in the publishing industry the actual books themselves were still making their way to Australia and didn’t make it in time for the launch. But book plates were available and everyone rushed to the bookshop to order their copies.

As a part of the celebration, the four main characters of My First Day at School, Zach, Amira, Zoe and Ari and their teacher Mrs Mellor were voiced and performed by the talented (and very patient) students of Tivoli State School. They performed various scenes/ verses from the book accompanied by props and music. My favourite was the part where a student desperately needs to go to the toilet, his expression was hilarious.

Meredith was thrilled to see her story come alive and very impressed with the students’ acting abilities and efforts. Meredith presented them with one of her books.


Meredith Costain has written over a hundred books for children. From picture books  including Doodledum Dancing which was an Honour Book in the 2070 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards to novels for older readers such as the Year in Girl Hell. She has been writing poetry since she was a little girl, thinking up poems while riding her bicycle.

You can buy My First Day at School here

And you can find out more about Meredith here