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Steampunk costume ideas for the 2017 Dinner

by Tyrion Perkins

Now, you don’t have to come in costume to the dinner at Story Arts, but the theme is Steampunk – so how can you resist?

I couldn’t so I’ve done a bit of looking into what to wear, and I thought I’d share some of my finds with you.


Hire or buy:

Costume shops – my Google search only found a couple of outfits, but you might find something in person if you know a shop. (Photos from Camelot Costumes).Camelot costumes

Vintage Revival – a Lifeline shop at Annerley has a Steampunk section – one in women’s and one in men’s. Women’s has skirts, shirts, vests/bustiers, jackets. Here are some of my photos, including men’s hats and a vest. Most are $20-25. 468 Ipswich Rd.mde

Make your own:

Patterns – Only for mad keen sewers, as it is only a few weeks away. Simplicity have a range of patterns (both women’s and men’s). Search their site or I can email a list of my favourites if you like. Be aware the longer women’s skirts can be 6-9 m or material, corsets need boning, and with accessories, it can add up in price. Simplicity steampunk patterns

Simplicity patterns

Mask/Goggles workshop

There is a workshop at Ipswich on Saturday 26 August 9.30am-1.30pm on making them. $55 including materials. Contact Rosalie at Ipswich Library 3810-6815 to see if it is still possible to book.

Mask workshop

Accessories – Spotlight have a number of Steampunk accessories in their beads section – chains, open watches, packets of cogs, mini bottles, etc. accessories


A Google image search will find lots to inspire. Just Google “how to make a steampunk hat” to find a fellow who does video tutorials. (The first hat in the photos) He sells the patterns for his various steampunk hats and accessories like goggles online:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION re: Appraisal of Manuscripts and Illustration Portfolios at StoryArts Festival Ipswich’s Adult’s Weekend

Appraisal of Manuscripts and Illustration Portfolios

This information will be updated as editors clarify their preferences

Look at each editor’s / publisher’s website and their bio on the StoryArts Festival ‘Presenters’ page, and the descriptions below, to help you choose the most appropriate appraiser for your work.

Manuscript Formatting and Delivery:

Format for texts:  A Word .doc

  1. Title page with:
    1. Title
    2. Author’s name
  • Editor’s name and Appraisal day and time
  1. Genre – Picture book; Mid-grade; YA; Non-fiction
  2. Intended reader age
  3. Word count of the finished work, if known
  • Author’s contact details
  1. A synopsis of about half a page (probably not essential for picture books)
  2. An author bio that is relevant to writing – about half a page.
  3. Any particular problem/question you have regarding the text, if appropriate
  4. Unless the editor specifies something different, up to 10 extra A4 pages of text, portrait format, 12pt Times Roman type font, double line-spaced, 2.5cm margins.
  5. The text should be consecutive pages of one work, starting at the beginning of the story.
  6. In the header to each page, include the Author’s Name and TITLE of the work
  7. Number the pages


Name the file:

IPSWICH – Editor’s Name – Appraisal day and time – AUTHOR’S NAME – STORY TITLE – GENRE


Send it to Peter Taylor by August 12, but preferably before:

Ask for an email receipt of being read


Specifics for each editor


Lisa Berryman  –  HarperCollins

Happy to critique: Picture books; Mid-grade; YA

No narrative non-fiction; non-fiction; sci-fi; poetry collections; Christian

Currently acquiring: Early childhood to YA – Study the HarperCollins Australia website to get a sense of Lisa’s tastes and list.

Please send your manuscript a.s.a.p.

Illustration Portfolios: Happy to look at your portfolio on the day. Samples sent earlier will be helpful. NOTE: If it’s a collection of images as a PDF or a Zip file of more than 3MB, please add them to Dropbox or similar and provide Peter Taylor with the link along with your appraisal day and time.


Elaine Ouston  –  Morris Publishing

Happy to critique all genres except picture books

Illustration Portfolios: Send one sample jpeg and then bring your portfolio on the day.

Please send your work as soon as it is available, but will accept works up to August 19


Heather Curdie  –  Penguin Random House

Happiest to critique: Mid-grade and Picture books are preferred …but will also happily critique YA, Narrative non-fiction and Non-fiction.

Penguin Random House publishes a wide variety of genres and are always looking for new approaches, but generally does not publish poetry and rarely Christian text.

“If a picture book, I’d need the complete manuscript; for non-fiction, middle grade and YA I’d prefer 3 chapters.

It will be extremely helpful if each candidate can also add:

  • Short pitch blurb (think back cover blurb) plus a detailed synopsis, especially if Mid-grade or YA, and/or chapter breakdown & description if non-fiction.
  • Short paragraph on why this book should be published e.g. Other successful books it compares too; how it’s different/special; the market it will appeal to and why.
  • Author bio, focusing on why they would be an asset to our publishing house; how they can help make the book a success and what they’re doing to further their writing experience.”

Illustration Portfolio: “Happy to look at illustration portfolios as I’m regularly on the lookout for good illustrators for picture books. I’d prefer to see something electronically beforehand though, as well as a hardcopy portfolio on the day. Perhaps provide an illustrator bio which includes projects you’ve worked on, plus some samples of your work – could be a link to your website/blog. On the day (and preferably even beforehand) it would be good to see some children’s illustrations you’ve done, perhaps including illustrations of animals, children and adults, which demonstrates the breadth of your different styles.”


Ann-Marie Finn  –  Yellow Brick Books

Will critique: Picture books and Mid-grade only

No Sci-fi; poetry collections or Christian works

Acquiring: humour; quirky; fun

Illustration portfolios: If sent beforehand

Will accept work up to August 19


Kristina Schulz  –  UQP

Kristina will appraise YA, Mid-grade and Young readers

No picture books


Rochelle Manners  –  Rhiza Press and Wombat Books

Happy to critique: Picture books; Mid-grade; YA; Adult Fiction

No Erotica; no to particularly dark

Currently acquiring: Young Adult fiction, contemporary real stories

Rochelle will happily appraise Illustration portfolios

Advice for people who want to pitch work:

  • For children’s, see the Wombat Books Submissions page and watch my videos
  • For Rhiza Press, read any of our fiction to get a style of what we have liked. We are hoping to grow this list.

Please send works as soon as they are ready, but will accept them up to August 28

StoryArts Festival Ipswich FREE Family Program is now open for bookings!

Bookings are now open for our FREE Family Program!  Check out the Program, and book your tickets, HERE!

You can also find the Program below!

Sun., 3 Sep. 11:00 am

A Life of Crime
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Bearbots and Brobots tickets


Mon., 4 Sep. 4:00 pm

Bearbots and Brobots
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Animal Advocacy and Animal Health tickets


Mon., 4 Sep. 4:00 pm

Animal Advocacy and Animal Health
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Meet the Author: Matt Stanton tickets


Mon., 4 Sep. 6:00 pm

Meet the Author: Matt Stanton
Ipswich Girls Grammar School, Ipswich
Antarctica to the Reef tickets


Tue., 5 Sep. 4:00 pm

Antarctica to the Reef
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Making Mechanica tickets


Tue., 5 Sep. 4:00 pm

Making Mechanica
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Escape with Jack Heath tickets


Tue., 5 Sep. 6:00 pm

Escape with Jack Heath
Ipswich Grammar Sports Field, Wulkuraka
Journaling with Trace Balla tickets


Wed., 6 Sep. 4:00 pm

Journaling with Trace Balla
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Minecrafting a Story tickets


Thu., 7 Sep. 4:00 pm

Minecrafting a Story
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Dance, Skip, Sparkle and Twirl through Stories tickets


Thu., 7 Sep. 4:00 pm

Dance, Skip, Sparkle and Twirl through Stories
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Fictionalising science: Creating science-adventures on the micro scale  tickets


Thu., 7 Sep. 5:00 pm

Fictionalising science: Creating science-adventures on the micro scale
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Visual Narrative Workshop tickets


Sat., 9 Sep. 9:00 am

Visual Narrative Workshop
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Amazing Stories tickets


Sat., 9 Sep. 9:00 am

Amazing Stories
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
The Children Who Loved Books with Peter Carnavas tickets


Sat., 9 Sep. 10:30 am

The Children Who Loved Books with Peter Carnavas
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Calligraphy Workshop with Peter Taylor tickets


Sat., 9 Sep. 10:30 am

Calligraphy Workshop with Peter Taylor
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich
Harry  Potter Celebration tickets


Sat., 9 Sep. 11:45 am

Harry Potter Celebration
Ipswich Libraries – Ipswich Central Branch, Ipswich

StoryArts Festival Ipswich Adults’ Weekend Bookings are Open! Don’t miss out!

Bookings for the Premier Queensland Children’s Literature Event for Adults are now open!  Read on to find out why you can not miss this event!

Peruse the Program here!

Book here!

Adult Program:
The adult program begins with a free Friends of Ipswich Libraries
(FOILS)session on Sunday 3rd September at Ipswich Central Library with Singaporean author of the Inspector Singh mysteries, Shamini Flint. This is followed by a twoday conference at the Metro Hotel 9th
– 10th September. The program is designed for Teachers, Teacher -Librarians, Librarians, emerging writers and illustrators, readers and anyone with an interest in children’s literature. It is an opportunity to mingle with the writers and illustrators on an informal basis. Sessions will be both hands on and presentation style. All sessions are limited in number so book early to ensure a place.  Manuscript appraisals are available for full day attendees with Lisa Berryman – HarperCollins,
Heather Curdie – Penguin, Rochelle Manners – Wombat Books, Ann -Marie Finn – Yellow Brick Books, Elaine Ouston – Morris Publishing.
A formal dinner on a Steampunk theme will be held on the Saturday night.

StoryArts bookings are open – BOOK NOW!

Register your request for a booking for your school  for StoryArts 2017 NOW!  Bookings close on Friday, June 23!

click HERE to book!

And, if you’ve somehow not yet seen our phenomenal Schools Program, click HERE!

Come and enjoy the ultimate Children’s Literature Event held in Queensland!  Your students will be able to hear from, meet, and be inspired by the likes of Tanya Batt, Shamini Flint, Lance Balchin, James Foley – and the play for “My Dead Bunny”, Matt Stanton, an Exhibition of Narelle Oliver’s Illustrated and Written Gifts to Children’s Literature, and so much more!

2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Story Arts 2015 – an overview

Story Arts Festival Ipswich is a mammoth event organised by the Ipswich District Teacher-Librarian network, headed by Jenny Stubbs. This year there were 44 presenters spread over the 285 School sessions scheduled, 13 events for families out of school hours, and three days of 32 intensive workshops for the adult program.

safi events

It included a magic show, 3 theatre groups (That Theatre Company did at least 14 performances of Eric Vale Epic Fail that week), 2 children’s parties, an ongoing exhibition of Terry Denton’s artwork for the Many-Storey Treehouse books, complete with colourful treehouses made by local schools, and Andy, Terry and Jill from the books live on stage for the first time ever.

Residents would have noticed hundreds of primary school children filing down the streets of Ipswich for the week of 7-11 September. They were heading to venues dotted around the town centre to hear authors and illustrators inform, entertain, and at times amaze them. 195 sessions were scheduled in Ipswich, the following week 72 in Marburg, and 18 in Esk (a small number didn’t happen, but it was still phenomenal).

Schools Program 3 photos

James Moloney, James Foley and Sally Heinrich

Presenters worked hard, doing 3 sessions per day from 27 to 327 children in each session. Volunteers helping them included staff from public and school libraries, student teachers, up-coming writers and lovers of children’s literature, who all got a huge amount out of watching the remarkable art of these presenters. We also got to chat with them over lunch.

In the evening all of the events for families were free, except for the musical Mary Poppins playing at the Ipswich Civic Centre. Not many were booked out, and I’m sure more would have flooded in if Brisbane residents, especially in the south-west, realised how close Ipswich was to their homes, and what an amazing program it was. There was also a book swap – that raised $65 for the Indigenous Literary Foundation, which will be on-going.

Book swapper photo by Jenny

Friday photo

Picture book collaborations panel – Adult program

Upcoming writers and illustrators, as well as librarians, were the key audience of the Adult Program which ran from Friday to Sunday. Participants wrote and drew side by side with established authors and illustrators in small workshops. Many paid to pitch their current works to editors who either accepted their work or at least gave them useful feedback. There were keynote talks, a dinner with entertainment from some of the presenters, and an hilarious breakfast panel.

Story Arts Festival in Ipswich is held every two years, so will be back in September 2017 – put it in your diary now!


Tyrion Perkins attended Story Arts for the first time in 2015 as both volunteer and participant. She greatly enjoyed contributing and co-ordinating the blog with Yvonne Mes and other members of WriteLinks (Thanks to Sam Sochacka for blog set up and encouragement). Tyrion is working on her own books and hopes to be presenting them at a future Story Arts Festival.