Gladstone 5th Curtis Coast Literary Carnivale

One of the wonderful offshoots of being a kids’ author is being invited to some of the most beautiful parts of Australia to be part of local literary festivals. Even in the last few years of bookishly hard times, with Borders and Angus and Robertson bookstores closing down, the GFC eating into people’s wallets and local bookshops being passed over for online giants, kids’ literary festivals appear to be remarkably safe and even growing.

The Curtis Coast Literary Carnivale is one of a number of thriving festivals purpose built to spread a love of books amongst kids.

Sunday 22 july gave the community the opportunity to listen to Frances and Jackie talking about writing kids’ books and David and Anne taking practical workshops on illustration, followed by all of them speaking on a panel. 

The weekdays saw over 4000 kids streaming through the doors of CQ University or being greeted by speakers who travelled to local schools. At night there were literary dinners, the opening of an exhibition by David and Anne at the local gallery and a thank you dinner with the wonderfully energetic committee. Jenny and Shirley Stubbs also appeared to present the Travelling Suitcases, a series of 5 cases with resources about 5 Queensland book creators.

At the end of each session, adults who attended were asked to fill out evaluations form and the committee were delighted to announce there wasn’t one negative comment.

If you have the chance to be part of this festival, you will love it! The kids are wonderful and the committee make this mammoth job look easy, with their faultlessly brilliant organisation and their care of the speakers, which meant we were pampered to the finest of details.

The other delight of this festival was that we got to celebrate Frances Watts winning the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Perfect!

Written by Deborah Abela