BRWF 2017 Program

Sponsored by Officeworks

The BRWF Schools Program has been an integral component of the Bellingen Readers & Writers festival from the beginning. In recent years over 600 students attending schools throughout the Coffs Coast and Bellingen areas have benefited from the festival’s visiting authors and poets.

The Schools Program is part of the festival’s commitment to promoting literacy and inspiring a passion for reading, literature and cultural production among the youth of our region.

We continue to encourage schools to join together to offer an author visit as a shared experience between neighbouring schools. It both shares the cost and makes for a fun day!

Date: Dates Friday 9th June 2017

Full day school visit $600

Workshops $10

For further details and bookings please contact:
Schools’ Co-ordinator: Brigitte Williams 0400645963

Ailsa Wild

Date: 9th June
Coffs Harbour High School ( half day 9am – 12am)
John Paul College (half day 1am – 3am)​

Ailsa Wild was an acrobat and a whip cracker who ran away from the circus to become a writer. She is now an author of children’s and YA fiction with two books listed as Children’s Book Council Australia Notables in 2017. One of these, her science-adventure graphic novel, The Invisible War (Scale Free Network 2017) is on the Australian Book Design Awards shortlist this year. The other, Squishy Taylor and the Bonus Sisters (Hardie Grant Egmont, 2016) a novel for children, is on the shortlist for the Readings Children’s Book Prize this year.
Ailsa’s memoir pieces have appeared in Meanjin and The Monthly and her plays have been performed at the Sydney Children’s Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival and across regional Australia. Ailsa works at City of Melbourne’s ArtPlay, supporting children to co-create with artists, and Kids’ Own Publishing, facilitating bookmaking workshops with young people. Ailsa has performed as a roving poet at folk festivals around Australia, including Woodford, Port Fairy and the National.

Ailsa Wilde

Ailsa Wilde

Squishy Taylor

Modern Family meets Harriet the Spy in this hilarious mystery series! Sita ‘Squishy’ Taylor is a cheeky, sneaky 11-year-old who lives with her dad and step-family in a very crowded apartment. Luckily for Squishy, their building is huge – and there’s always plenty of mysteries to investigate! Like… Why are tunnels both exciting and scary? How do dogs always know who the bad guys are? Why are pinkie-swears so important? Who’s storing toxic waste under the park?

Invisible War A tale of two scales

An illustrated science-history graphic novel exploring parallel experiences during WWI. The story takes place on two different physical scales – the macro-scale, from the point of view of a Victorian nurse supporting troops in the trenches of the Western Front – and simultaneously on the micro-level, from the point of view of the gut microbes which fight to keep her body alive when she contracts dysentery. This fictional story is based on accurate scientific and historical facts, in consultation with academic experts from Australia.


Zobi and the Zoox

Zobi and the Zoox tells the story of the microscopic friends living in a tiny coral polyp. With her home under threat from a warming ocean, Zobi, a brave rhizobia bacterium, teams up with a family of slow but steady Zoox (zooxanthellae). The coral becomes gravely ill and bacteria around them begin to starve. Can Zobi and the Zoox work together to save the day? Zobi and the Zoox is the second in the Small Friends series – stories of symbioses between microbes and larger forms of life.

Squib and vibro on the moon

This book is about a symbiotic relationship. It tells the story of a Bobtail squid and the bacteria that help it glow in the moonlight. First we meet Ali, an intrepid Vibrio fischeri bacterium determined to reach safety. Then we meet Sepio, a baby
bobtail squid who is still unable to glow. His dark shape is too obvious in the moonlit water and all kinds of predators lurk
nearby. Can Ali and Sepio help each other? What kind of dangers do they face? What can we learn from their adventure?


Chris Collin

Chris Collin

Date: 8th June.
Mary’s Primary School in Bellingen (full day)

Date: 9th June
Tyalla Primary School (full day)

Chris Collin is a full time author, presenter and managing director of Funkybooks Pty Limited, a company he created for the purpose of publishing and promoting his whacky, rhyming Australian Children’s books, all of which are best sellers. His first book Funky Chicken: A Bushy Tale of Crocs and Chooks was released in March 2013. This title is in the Australian curriculum (Queensland C2C) and was shortlisted for the 2014 Speech Pathology Australia (SPA)  Book of the Year Awards. It is also in the Premier’s Reading Challenge lists in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
His second book A Bug Called Doug was released in March 2013. The title is in Queensland’s Premier’s Reading Challenge and was long-listed in the 2015-2016 International School Library Network Awards (ISLN). It is a readers’ choice award which makes it extra special and with its many cross-curriculum applications, the book is widely used in schools and Early Learning Centres around Australia. Chris’ latest title Funky Chicken: Chooks in Space is the winner of the 2016  SPA Book of the Year Awards. The second in the Funky Chicken series, it was released in August 2015.
Chris presents and performs his interactive author presentations at libraries, schools, public events and literary festivals including Voices on the Coast and the Gold Coast Writers Festival. His role is to bring fun and funkiness to the world through his books. His engaging presentations are designed to encourage readers of all ages to ‘read for the joy of reading’!

Funky Chicken

According to legend, many, many years ago there was a great gathering of animals, right slap bang in the middle of Australia. You see, many of the animals felt they were more special than all the rest. This is the story of how they decided, once and for all, who was the most unique. Funky Chicken: A Bushy Tale of Crocs and Chooks is in the 2014 Premier’s Challenge Reading Book List in Qld, NSW and Victoria and was shortlisted for the 2014 SPA Book of the Year Awards.

Chooks in Space

Chooks in Space. It is more than just an audio CD – play it through any computer and watch this awesomely funky space story spring to life as a visual slideshow of the book itself, plus the song which plays as a lyric slideshow!


Doug the Bug Chris Collins

Doug the Bug. Truth is, at first sight he’s hideous and filthy, and he’ll give you quite a fright. If first impressions Ain’t what they seem, perhaps we are presumptuous, perhaps we’re mighty mean ’cause….


Gaye Chapman

Date: 9th June
Bellingen Primary School (full day)

Gaye Chapman is an Australian contemporary visual artist | painter of international standing and a multi-award-winning author | illustrator of globally published children’s books, she is based in Sydney, Australia. Gaye’s artwork for children, described as ‘dark chocolate’ and ‘Goth meets Laura Ashley’, has taken her to ‘off the page’ installations, exhibitions, theatre, film, and international recognition and publication of her picture books.
Gaye has recently been illustrating some outstanding picture books, including award winning books, Precious Little and Little Blue. She is currently working on three new children’s books commissioned and in development with Little Hare Books | Hardie Grant Egmont. She has more than eleven picture books (three collaborative) to her name and hundreds of her illustrations have been published in non-fiction books as well as literary and other magazines. Her picture books have been translated into four languages and published in Iran, China, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the USA and distributed worldwide and exhibited at the Bologna and Frankfurt book fairs.
Gaye has been awarded the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award; a White Ravens Selection for Outstanding International Books for Children; five Children’s Book Council Australia (CBCA) Notable Book Prizes (two collaborative); a Kirkus Star Award for Books of Remarkable Merit; a CBCA Honour Book Prize (collaborative); a New Work Grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council, and has been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award, the CBCA Chrichton Award for Illustration, the Aurealis Award for Speculative Fiction, the CBCA Book of the Year Prize (collaborative), and the Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children’s Literature (collaborative). Most recently her work for children has been acquired into the art collections of both the State Library of New South Wales and State Library of Victoria’s Dromkeen Collection.
Gaye has exhibited internationally as a visual artist and been awarded many prestigious art prizes for both fine art and illustration. She began illustrating for children in 1989 and is well known to younger readers from many years of illustrating for the Australian children’s monthly literary publication the School Magazine. First published in 1916, the NSW Department of Education’s School Magazine is one of the oldest children’s literary magazines in the world.

Gaye Chapman
Little Blue Gaye Chapman

In Little Blue a young boy finds a young girl (Little Blue) lost in the forest outside his home. The young boy offers to take her to his house, and when they arrive there the boys grandmother is speechless with delight on seeing Little Blue. As is turns out Little Blue is a ‘chink’ from the grandmothers’ Willow plate. There are clues throughout the story as to who Little Blue really is and young children will delight in uncovering these clues on subsequent re-readings.

In the evening Gaye Chapman

Oscar is bashful and longs for a friend to alleviate the loneliness of twilight. Can the gregarious Charlie find a way past Oscar’s shyness to become that friend? This story of two young woodland squirrels traces a friendship that takes goodwill and
perseverance to finally blossom. An encouraging tale that reflects many children’s anxieties about forming friendships, In the Evening is also a lesson in the art of gentle persuasion.


My sister Olive Gaye Chapman

A charming tale of the bond between sisters, and a celebration of the way children see their siblings as unique This is my big sister Olive. I Love Olive. And Olive Loves Me. I call her MY Olive. The narrator idolizes her big sister Olive and thinks that she is the best in the world at everything she does. But Olive knows that her little sister is the greatest at something very special.

Incredibilia Gaye Chapman

A stunningly evocative celebration of imaginative play. Little Georgie is the youngest, and this some-times means Max and Harriet forget about her. But Georgie is unfazed. She’s armed with a BIG imagination, and soon secures the attention of her neglectful siblings!


David Hallet

David Hallett

Date: 8th June
Bellingen High School (full day)

Date: 9th June
Coffs Harbour High School (half day 9am – 12am)
Coffs Harbour High School (1am – 3am)

David Hallett is one of Australia’s premiere performance poets and has been writing and performing his poetry since the mid-70’s. During the past 40 years David has developed an innovative, accessible, highly entertaining and original form of spoken word performance.
He has performed and toured extensively at festivals, schools, colleges, universities and writers’ centres; from cafes to cabarets to conferences, and radio and television. Twice winner of the Poetry Olympics at the Sydney Writers’ Festival at the Opera House in 1995, and again in 1997 at the Lyric Theatre. He won the Byron Bay Writers Festival Poetry Prize in 1999, the Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup 2003, the Spirit of Woodford Story Award 2005, the Woodford Festival Wordfood Poetry Slam 2012 and Byron Bay Writers Festival Poetry Slam 2013.
During the past 25 years David has managed and hosted two major spoken word venues on the North Coast of NSW: Byron Bay’s ‘Writers at the Rails’ and Lismore’s ‘Live Poets!’ He also featured at festivals and tours with the performance troupe the Stand Up Poets together with S Sorrensen, Christine Strelan, David Heilpern and Shana Gelin.
Since the mid-90s David has been giving poetry performances and master classes for high school students in English and Drama, and for tertiary students of creative writing. He has presented HSC master classes on Judith Wright, Emily Dickinson, Bruce Dawe, Peter Skrzynecki and Ted Hughes and he is currently giving HSC presentations on Wilfred Owen, Sylvia Plath and John Donne/Margaret Edson (with comprehensive study notes), together with his own popular and well-reviewed performance show Rhythm, Rhyme & Rap.
David Hallett’s poetry is broadcast regularly on ABC Radio 2NR, and his poetry has featured on Triple J and Radio National’s Poetica. David has also performed on ABC TV’s Sunday Arts as well as Book Chat and Quantum. David also featured in the ABC’s National Poetry Day show Voices, and his poetry featured prominently in the SBS documentary Nearly Normal Nimbin.


David Hallett. Dante’s Cafe Performance Poems 1992-2001

David Hallet Backwards