Postcards from Byron: Trent Dalton gives a timely tribute to teachers

The next postcard in our series is from Trent Dalton, who takes us on a trip down memory lane and recounts his favourite fictional teachers.

Trent Dalton with Mem Fox

Hey dear Byron Bay book lovers!

Just a quick note to say how much I can’t wait to see you all again soon in the most beautiful place on planet earth. Wish I was there in a tent talking books with you but, alas, I’m here in my little bunker in suburban Brisbane, trying to teach my 13-year-old daughter how to express 33 over 5 as a mixed number.

Been wondering which famous teacher from literature would be the best to help a buffoon like me give my kids the home-school education they deserve. I was always a bit partial to Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey who gives our beloved Matilda the time of day and then some when the rest of the world seemed so utterly revolting. I’m sure my girls would appreciate the warmth and optimism of grown up teacher Jo March. Professor Grady Tripp from Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys would be handy for their school English periods; he could help me read the final proofs on my second novel, All Our Shimmering Skies, and I could help him to see the importance of actually handing that second book manuscript in.

But I guess the top of my girls’ home-school teacher wishlist would be the one and only Professor Albus Dumbledore. He could teach the girls about mixed fractions and the odd toad morphing potion and then he could cast a spell on their dad that transported him to the future, straight to the next Byron Writers Festival!

Here’s a postcard pic from my travels of late, pre-iso. This is me with a great teacher of teachers, that national treasure, Mem Fox. This photo was taken in a bookshop, shortly after Mem Fox had told me about the importance of handing in second book manuscripts!

Love you all. Stay safe. Stay connected. See you real soon. And here’s to the teachers!


About Trent Dalton

Trent Dalton is an author and staff writer for the Weekend Australian Magazine. His critically-acclaimed debut novel Boy Swallows Universe is a much-loved national bestseller. His second novel All Our Shimmering Skies is due for release this September. His books are available to purchase here from The Book Room at Byron (free same-day delivery within the Byron Shire). Read more about Trent here.

With thanks

These projects are supported by our friends at the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, who are generously funding participation fees for Australian authors, allowing us to re-imagine the 2020 Festival program. Please stay tuned for further news. Thanks also to our long-term funding partner, Create NSW.

Byron Writers Festival