Popular television personalities Maddie and Possum of Prime7’s Possum’s Club, will host the Byron Bay Writers Festival Kids Big Day Out on Sunday August 3. The exceptional lineup this year, designed to capture the imagination of children aged between six and twelve, includes Andy Griffiths, Mem Fox, Asphyxia, Nick Earls and Sally Rippin with local favourites Jesse Blackadder and Tristan Bancks.
Children’s author and festival board member Jesse Blackadder says Kids Big Day Out is a unique opportunity for young readers to see their favourite authors in person. ‘With much-loved writers such as Andy Griffiths, Sally Rippin and Mem Fox taking to the stage, kids have a chance to see the “rock stars” of children’s writing in the flesh, as well as discovering newer writers.
‘Kids Big Day Out is a popular format – each author talks directly to the audience for 30 minutes and you always hear howls of laughter and gasps of delight from the audiences – and that’s only the parents! The kids absolutely love it, and they have the chance to line up and meet the authors at the book signing afterwards.’
Multi-published children’s author Tristan Bancks, whose book My Life & Other Stuff That Went Wrong recently hit the shelves, believes the festival is a great way to contact with his readers.
‘Byron Bay Writers Festival is a huge highlight for any writer. I love the energy and enthusiasm of the audience, interacting with readers and brainstorming new story ideas.
‘Last year, they turned on me with a bucket of slime. This year, I have something devilishly disgusting up my sleeve.’
Festival director Edwina Johnson believes she has also introduced a festival first with the inclusion of puppeteer and author of the popular Grimstones series, Asphyxia. ‘The whole family will be mesmerised as Asphyxia unfolds her magical world of marionettes.’
‘I have a great passion for children’s literacy,’ says Johnson. ‘It’s so important to encourage a child’s enthusiasm for books and to build a life-long love of reading.’
Kids Big Day Out is being held on Sunday 3 August and children (who must be accompanied by an adult at all times) can attend with a special discounted Youth Pass. For more festival information or to purchase tickets, visit byronbaywritersfestival.com or call 1300 368 552.