News & Editorial


21 September 2023

Sarah will discuss where ideas come from, and the fun and hard work of being a full-time writer. Discussion of a book’s life from the first inkling of an idea to publication. Sarah will touch on the importance of setting and character in writing and how it informs her own writing. Using stories and photos, she will take students behind the scenes of a writer’s life.

Duration: 30 – 45 minutes
Please note this presentation can be delivered to large groups of up to 300 students.

Sam Smith


21 September 2023

Author of over twenty bestselling picture books, Zanni takes kids through the magic of picture books and helps them write and illustrate their own. Kids learn visual literacy skills, literary writing style and formatting techniques.

“I like Zanni Louise because she talked to us (she didn’t just speak) and she has put a picture in my head for when I’m older that I might be a book author.” – Student at Shearwater, Mullumbimby

Sam Smith


15 December 2021

For Term 1, 2024, join author Zanni Louise for a series of masterclasses where students will learn and experiment with a range of creative writing techniques and genres. Classes are designed to be fun and celebrate the joy of storytelling.

This is a FREE year-long program 5 sessions per term – Registration essential.

Dates: for Term 1 – 2024

Thursday 15 February 

Thursday 29 February

Thursday 14 March

Thursday 28 March

Thursday 11 April

Time: 5 – 6.30pm
Where: Lismore Children’s Library, Lismore Central Shopping Centre, 44 Carrington Street, Lismore 2480
Suitable For: 8 – 12 years

Author of over twenty kids’ books, including bestselling picture book series HumanKindZanni Louise writes and draws every day and hopes she will keep going until she’s too old to hold a pen!

Sam Smith

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15 December 2021

Join author, poet, podcaster and journalist Samantha Turnbull for a series of masterclasses where students will learn and experiment with a range of creative writing techniques and genres. Classes are designed to be fun and celebrate the joy of storytelling.

We are hoping to run the 2024 Ballina Masterclass in the second half of the year. Watch this space for more information.

2024 Term dates:  TBC

Samantha Turnbull

Samantha Turnbull is a children’s author and podcast producer with the ABC. Her books include Fierce Girls, Remember the Rainbows and The Anti-Princess Club series. She is also a qualified primary teacher and loves competing in poetry slams.

Amy Shaw

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25 October 2021

Sarah’s workshops are very interactive and practical, and students will start writing straight away. She’ll teach them freewriting (her #1 tool) and brainstorming, and guide them in coming up with their own story idea and story plan. She will draw on examples from her own work and that of other writers in exercises on character, plot, setting and dramatic tension.

Sarah will hear some of the young writers read their work; she’s well known for her detailed, constructive feedback. There will be time for student questions throughout, and at the end. The 90 min option allows for more feedback and questions.

Duration: 60-90min
Suitable for small groups (up to 30 students)

Sam Smith

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25 October 2021

Sam will teach students how to write and perform slam poetry. Please note, this workshop includes video, so an IWB or computer and projector with speakers is required.

Topics covered

  • Poetry
  • Performing/public speaking with flair
  • Self-expression

* Workshops Poetry for the Page and Poetry for the Stage can be combined

Sam Smith

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25 October 2021

Sam will show students the steps she followed to write the beautiful poem that features in her picture book Remember the Rainbows. Students will then write their own poetic masterpiece, experimenting with techniques including repetition and rhyme.

Topics covered

  • Writing from real life
  • Emotive language
  • Poetic devices

* Workshops Poetry for the Page and Poetry for the Stage can be combined

Sam Smith

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25 October 2021

Drawing from her extensive experience in podcasting, Sam will show students how to tell stories for the ears. Students will use weird and wonderful props to create sound effects for broadcast. Students will then use those sounds to inspire and enhance stories crafted specifically to be heard.

Sam Smith

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25 October 2021

Sam will teach students how to come up with a cracking story idea, create unique characters, build an escalating plot, and pull it all together to write a bestseller.

Topics covered

  • Ideas and inspiration
  • Creating characters
  • Plotting and planning

Sam Smith


25 October 2021

This presentation and workshop explores the elements of creating a childrens’ picture book, using Benjamin’s popular book The Travel Bug as an example. In this workshop, children are assisted to develop their own idea in a group setting (group verse writing) and create a 2-page spread.

Sam Smith


25 October 2021

Misa Alexander present a dynamic workshop using the picture book Fergus & Delilah to explore diversity and inclusion. Students will have the opportunity to explore the similarities and differences of the characters through life-sized props, discussion, illustrations and a bit of dance and music thrown in the middle.

Students will then work alongside Misa as they draw their own characters and reflect on how they can be inclusive of others. Finally, participants will make their own blockhead craft, complete with wires for hair, that they can take home or showcase at school!

Topics covered

  • Differences and Similarities
  • Character choices
  • Inclusion
  • Storyline
  • Power of Illustrations

Curriculum outcomes 

  • Examine Literature
  • Recognise similarities and differences in individuals and groups, and explore how these are celebrated and respected.
  • Understand that people use different systems of communication to cater to different needs and purposes and many people may use sign systems to communicate with others.
  • Explore ideas, experiences, observations and imagination to create visual artworks and design.

Sam Smith

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25 October 2021

Míša’s Dynamic Still Life workshop explores a wide variety of artistic techniques and skills. Dynamic Still life is taking one object and exploring it in several ways. Misa will introduce students to different techniques on how to visually interpret one object. Students will begin with continuous line drawing and move to pastel scratching, pen and watercolour painting and finally a layering approach with acrylic paints.

Topics covered

  • Inspiration
  • Analysing still life
  • Application of varying techniques
  • Defining spatial awareness
  • Explore abstract thinking
  • Overcome failure
  • Learn new things

Curriculum outcomes 

  • They demonstrate different techniques and processes in planning and making artworks.
  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively
  • Expressing themselves

Sam Smith

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25 October 2021

Míša is passionate about art and loves to inspire and encourage students of all ages. In this workshop students will first explore and discuss art portraiture in history and the evolution of style followed by learning a practical guide to proportions of the facial structure and how to create a face.

Students will then learn to think outside the box with a continuous line drawing of an object (ie. A pear) followed by another continuous line drawing of themself using the right side of the brain to look at the light & shadows as well as the details in their faces. They will then turn this base drawing into a masterpiece with colour, texture and collage.

Each art session is tailored to specific age groups.

Topics covered

  • Inspiration & history of art
  • Defining spatial awareness
  • Exploring abstract thinking
  • Overcoming failure
  • Learning new things

Curriculum outcomes 

  • Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks
  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively
  • Expressing themselves
  • History

Sam Smith


25 October 2021

What are some of the remarkable patterns and processes which sustain life? In this workshop, students are invited to dig a little deeper and grow their ecological-literacy skills by delving further into the science behind Wonder Earth. Children will gain greater understanding of their earth home and how it works. Children will get the opportunity to explore in their own words what it means to belong to this vastly interconnected world.

Topics covered

  • Scientific understanding
  • Patterns and processes which sustain life
  • Interconnection
  • Reflection of our relationship to the world

Curriculum outcomes

  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively
  • Responding and composing
  • Reading and viewing
  • Working scientifically
  • Living world
  • Earth and space

Sam Smith


25 October 2021

Have you ever had an experience in nature where you really paid attention and for a moment felt you were part of everything around you? In this workshop, children will deepen into their own personal experience and connection to the Earth. Through creative writing and using the themes as inspiration from Wonder Earth, students will reflect on both the heart-felt significance as well as the scientific importance of a personal ‘wonder earth moment’, and create a class Wonder Earth book!

Topics covered

  • Experiences in nature for story inspiration
  • Patterns and processes which sustain life
  • Creative writing with scientific themes
  • Reflection of our relationship to the world

Curriculum outcomes

  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively
  • Reflecting on learning
  • Responding and composing
  • Living world
  • Earth and space

Sam Smith


25 October 2021

Would you like your students to stop and marvel at the amazing world around them and build their ecological-literacy? The Earth has so much to share if only we stop, listen and wonder. Come along on a beautiful journey of what it means to belong to our earth home through exploring a BIG version of the Wonder Earth book. Celebrate the colors and patterns of the natural world. Hear and tell an earth story. Blending creative writing with inspiration from nature, children reflect on their relationship to the world around them.

Topics covered

  • Ecological themes such as the sun, water, food and patterns of nature
  • Processes and relationships which sustain life
  • Creative writing with nature themes
  • Reflection of our relationship to the world

Curriculum Outcomes 

  • Speaking and listening
  • Writing and representing
  • Thinking imaginatively, creatively and interpretatively
  • Working scientifically
  • Living world
  • Earth and space

Sam Smith

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25 October 2021

In this fun workshop, kids will develop an original character, plot their story and get plenty of time to write. Even the most reluctant writers experience writing as fun and learn something new about themselves. Zanni works one on one with both reluctant and advanced writers to inspire them to tell their story, in the way that best suits them.

Topics covered

  • Brainstorming ideas and unleashing creativity
  • Story planning and story structure
  • Free writing
  • Basic editing tips

Sam Smith

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