Snapshot at Voices on the Coast

Author Karen Foxlee meets a student who wins  a book prize – she asks the audience the question – What’s the best thing about life? His answer – Waking up each day and learning a whole lot about life and myself. Her shortlisted book Lenny’s Book of Everything tells a marvellous story about feeling different and a set of encyclopaedias. Karen started with the idea of what if?

Stories are everywhere, They tickle your mind and heart when you least expect them. At Voices on the Coast, Sippy Downs University, hundreds of eager children and adults meet for unexpected surprises. Workshops, talks, catch up time, reading – what more could you ask for on a perfect winter’s day. Books to buy, authors to meet and tips from the experts.



Illustrator Frane Lessac from Fremantle explored picture books about history. Simpson and his Donkey and Midnight, a fabulous horse story. Frane took us inside the double page spreads and drafts of editing that her husband Mark Greenwood writes. As a team, they travel, research, explore and work on many drafts before the book comes to life.

Frane showed the children how she dips into a feather to make the quills of an echidna come to life. Her Australian animals series are favourites. Gouache paints are used in her studio to bring to life soldiers during war or animal heroes like Midnight.

Other excellent titles are seen on the book tables. Challenging fiction that engages the readers, pushes boundaries and allows the imagination to grow.


When things get too hyped up with the crowds, there’s always times to sit alone and read.




At break time, there’s a rush to the QBD stand to purchase a book.


Whether you meet author Oliver Phommavanh ( How to write funny stuff) or bump into Peter Carnavas ( Quiet Stories in a Noisy World), perhaps you might listen to Emily Larkin, Kellie Byrnes , Allison Paterson, or Thalia Kalkipsakis ( Get it Right from the Start). Voices is a literary festival that is a winner. Today’s snapshot is for the first day – Thursday. It’s an annual event presented by Immanuel Lutheran College on the Sunshine Hinterland Coast – 24 years running and still going strong.

If you get a chance read Megan Daley’s book called Raising Readers. Use it daily as a meditation, a resource at home, in the schools and to buy as a gift. It has years of passionate research, understanding and knowledge.

This year I used the Voices app. to provide a simple download about the sessions and map. Most of the sessions are 45 minutes long and workshops an hour with smaller groups.

Watch out tomorrow. Here I come!

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M.J. Gibbs
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