A Voice on the Coast

The Sunshine Coast was grey and nippy-cool-windy, but the atmosphere was warm and welcoming for Voices on the Coast, organised by Immanuel Lutheran College and co-ordinated by the lovely (super-busy!) Kelly Dunham – with a willing support crew of volunteer adults and students … and family!


I was thrilled to be included in the line-up of creative people, and enjoyed myself immensely at all events, including the mix & mingle launch with teachers, librarians and book club groups. 


My sessions about ‘My Life as a Book’ passed in a whirlwind, but I’m so glad that I managed to squeeze in a snippet showing creative things my boys have done, with no TV in our house. I’m hoping it might inspire other kids to walk away from the TV/game console, and read a book or few… and get creative.


I  conducted two poetry workshops to encourage a play with words. Students and teachers both left saying they were inspired. So was I!



my face

afraid to look

in slow motion


I scream


sickening thud

eerily quiet

I run

I cry

I love the contrast caught between two erasure poems in one session – and the fact that out of 217 possible words, two young poets were brave enough to take so few (perfect) words for their poems.



a smile

is No answer



a smile is

the One

in a million

There was also a play with (limited) words in tag poetry, where participants were given a pile of word tags to choose and arrange their poems from. Some of the poems produced were;



one little noise

a mad thought


never growl forever

start crying

watch mum fear


the wolf big & wild

growl like a dog &

man understand wolf song


spin throw catch

cheering sports

longer competition high jump


disappointed lose


It was wonderful to see a range of ages engaged with poetry, words and whitespace, and producing such fabulous poems! And to hear from teachers, who were keen to take ideas away to explore further with class groups.


Funnily enough, Voices meant conversations, connecting with others in the Australian kidlit community. So many warm and wonderful people! Great to reconnect with old friends, and meet and make new ones. And it was fabulous (as always) to catch up with the gorgeous girls from UQP.


It’s a thrill to be invited to be a part of a celebration of literature. Thank-you to festival organisers for giving me a voice on the Coast in their 20th year. And thanks George Ivanoff for tweeting so many pics during the festival – some of them included in this.



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