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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Growing up without the filter

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Clockwise: John Marsden (The Art of Growing Up), David Gillespie (Teen Brains), Eddie Woo (Woo’s Wonderful World of Maths), Gabbie Stroud (Teacher).

Should childhood be lived in a happy, idyllic bubble, protected from the realities of the big wide world? Not according to well-known and respected author John Marsden, who will be sharing his insights at Byron Writers Festival this year.

‘When I hear parents say “I want my children to enjoy their childhood; there’ll be time when they’re older to learn about those things,” I hear the voices of those who are scared of the vastness of the universe. These adults have a view of childhood as some kind of discrete interval, rather than just a few years from the continuum of life. How fortunate that the spirit, courage, and curiosity of many young people remain largely undefeated by such adults.’

In his latest book The Art of Growing Up, John pulls together all he has learned from over 30 years’ experience working with and writing for young people. He shares his insights into everything – from the role of schools and the importance of education to problem parents and problem children, and the conundrum of what it means to grow up and be ‘happy’ in the 21st century.

John has written more than 40 books, mostly for teenagers and children. Many people will have cut their reading teeth on classics like Tomorrow When the War Began and others in the Tomorrow series. He has won every major award in Australia for young people’s fiction.

His passionate interest in education led him to start two schools, Candlebark, near Romsey, Victoria, and Alice Miller School at Macedon, for year 7–12 students with an interest in the creative arts. John is at the coalface of education and a daily witness to the inevitable and yet still mysterious process of growing up.

John Marsden’s sessions at the Byron Writers Festival are a must for parents and educators. You can hear him on Friday 2 August at The Fine Art of Teaching with David Gillespie (Teen Brains), Gabbie Stroud (Teacher) and Eddie Woo (Woo’s Wonderful World of Maths) as well as Writing Process: The Agony and the Ecstasy with Isobelle Carmody and Karen Foxlee. Marsden will also be in conversation with Zacharey Jane on Sunday 4 August following on from Kids Big Day Out program.

For 1-day or 3-day passes, head to byronwritersfestival.com/tickets.


Recent Writers Festival news and articles:

Gran Slammers premier at Byron Writers Festival

The Grans slammed at yesterdays screening of the first Gran Slam poetry competition at the Byron Writers Festival.

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Welcome to Byron Writers Festival 2019! 

Now more than ever our world needs writers, environmentalists, poets, commentators, politicians, and artists who together can shape stories of hope, courage, and change. At Byron Writers Festival 2019 we proudly bring more than 140 writers together to create a program brimming with diverse voices.

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You’ll love the Byron Writers Festival if…

Check out what's to love at the Byron Writers Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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