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Author Visit to Telopea Park School

Michelle Morgan - Thursday, April 06, 2017

I had the pleasure of talking to Year 9 students at Telopea Park School in Canberra this morning about my new historical novel for young adults, Flying through Clouds.

They were a great audience and asked such interesting questions. I interspersed historical photographs in my presentation to give the students an idea of what it was like to grow up in Australia in the 1930s.

With heartfelt thanks to Year 9, Library staff, English teachers and my enthusiastic helpers from Narrabundah College!

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Flying through Clouds Book Tour

Michelle Morgan - Friday, March 10, 2017

After the launch of Flying through Clouds in Bowral on 1 April, I'll be heading off on a Book Tour. I'll be following in the footsteps of my main character and visiting several places mentioned in the book. The Book Tour includes Book Launches, Talks and Writing Workshops:

1 April – Bowral Launch – BDAS Bowral Art Gallery 5pm (Bookings are required)

5 April – Canberra Launch – Paperchain Bookstore, Manuka 6pm

8 April – South Coast Launch – Gerringong Museum 2pm

11 April – Sydney Launch & YA Book Club – Better Read than Dead, Newtown 4.30pm

12 April – Book Talk & YA Writing Workshop – Ulladulla Library 10am; Nowra Library 2.30pm

19 April – Hunter Launch – Muswellbrook Library 11am

20 April – Book Talk and Launch – Quirindi Library 11am

21 April – Book Talk and Launch – Reader's Companion, Armidale 4pm

24 April – Brisbane Launch – Dymocks Brisbane 6pm

26 April – Gold Coast Launch – Broadbeach Library 10am

27 April – Book Talk & YA Writing Workshop – Lismore Library 5pm

28 April – Book Talk and Launch – Grafton Library 11am

1 May – Book Talk and Launch – Port Macquarie Library 4.15pm

2 May – Book Talk and Launch – Taree Library 3.45pm   

Hope to see you there!
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Another fun Children's Literary Lunch

Michelle Morgan - Friday, August 12, 2016

It was a privilege to be one of sixteen guest authors at the 2016 Children's Literary Lunch organised by CBCA Illawarra South Coast Branch. The 120 local school students and their teachers / librarians were an enthusiastic audience. I was lucky enough to be on a table with eight amazing students and their Teacher-Librarian from St Columbkille's Primary School in Corrimal.

After signing booklets and handing out bookmarks, postcards and other publicity material, the authors gave three minute presentations about their books. In my presentation I talked about Racing the Moon and billycart races, and then read an excerpt from Chapter 3, which is all about the Glebe Billycart Derby.

Tony Flowers entertained the kids after lunch with his amusing stories and simple illustrating techniques.

Many thanks to CBCA Illawarra South Coast Branch for organising and hosting this special event at the newly renovated Fraternity Club in Fairy Meadow.

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Byron Writers Festival 2016 highlights

Michelle Morgan - Thursday, August 11, 2016

It was a wet and windy three days at Elements of Byron in Byron Bay for the Byron Writers Festival 2016, but what an amazing program and range of authors.

So many sessions to choose from with six concurrent sessions from 9am to at least 5pm every day, not to mention two literary dinners.

Annabel Crabb was in fine form in her conversation with Chris Hanley. Her witty insights into political shenanigans brought gales of laughter and tears to the eyes. Annabel was joined by other political journalists, including Kerry O'Brien, Sarah Ferguson, Leigh Sales, Nikki Savva and Paddy Manning, all of whom have written books on political subjects in recent years. Their forensic discussion of recent events and players was fascinating.

Being a YA author, I was keenly interested in what authors such as John Marsden, Anna Feinberg, Nick Earls, Damon Young and Tristan Bancks had to say about their novels and writing process. Other authors that contributed to lively literary discussions, include Thomas Keneally, Debra Adelaide, Charlotte Wood, Anna Funder, Kathryn Heyman, Emily Maguire, Drusilla Modjeska, Kate Forsyth, Louise Doughty and Dominic Smith, all of whom gave thoughtful insights into their books and writing.

Something completely different was Archibald Prize Unwrapped, in which Rosemarie Milsom did a great job keeping the loquacious barrister, Charles Waterstreet in check while encouraging her introverted and talented artist brother, Nigel Milsom, who won the Archibald in 2015 with his stunning portrait of Charles Waterstreet.

My favourite sessions were Feminism Now and Indigenous Lives through Women's Eyes. Anne Summers did a brilliant job as chair of Feminism Now, allowing the younger feminist writers, including Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Melanie Joosten and Emily Maguire, to voice their concerns and individual viewpoints. You couldn't help but be impressed by their lively discussions and thought-provoking arguments.

The Indigenous writers were just as impressive, with Melissa Lucashenko chairing and contributing to the discussions with Delta Kay and Tara June Winch. Their love of Aboriginal culture, story and writing was inspiring. After hearing Tara read from her beautifully written novel, Swallow the Air, I went to the bookshop marquee and bought the book.

Mary Ryan's Books did an amazing job selling books at the festival. The bookshop marquee was often busier than the food and coffee stalls.

The sky was blue and the sun was shining when I left Byron Bay, inspired by all the wonderful authors I'd met.

Many thanks to the organisers, sponsors and volunteers who did an amazing job.

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A fun Big Book Day Out 2015

Michelle Morgan - Monday, September 14, 2015

It was such fun at Big Book Day Out yesterday. The NSW Writers' Centre was buzzing with kids, parents, authors and illustrators, all celebrating Australian children's / YA books and literature.

I was on the CBCA Illawarra-South Coast stand with authors, Di Bates and Sandy Fussell, as well as Catherine and her daughters, Erica and Freya, who helped Sandy make amazing balloon animals. Jacqueline Harvey, Lisa Stewart, Tristan Bancks, Ted Prior, Yvette Poshoglian and R. A. Spratt entertained the children on the outdoor stage while the younger children enjoyed stories and craft activities inside the story tent. I loved chatting to kids and their parents about books, in particular my YA novel, Racing the Moon. The kids loved the Racing the Moon balloons and were amazed at the large historical photos I brought along to show what it was like living in Sydney and going to school back in the early 1930s.

Thank you CBCA NSW and NSW Writers' Centre for hosting such a fabulous event!

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Big Book Day Out 2015

Michelle Morgan - Monday, September 07, 2015

BIG BOOK DAY OUT, hosted by the Children's Book Council of Australia NSW Branch, is being held at the NSW Writers' Centre in Rozelle on Sunday 13 September 2015 from 10am to 2.30pm.

I'll be one of the many children's / YA authors at this fun event. Bring a picnic, relax in the story tent, enjoy presentations by authors and illustrators or try your hand at one of the many craft activities. There is a book shop where you can purchase books on the day, including my debut novel, Racing the Moon.

See you at the CBCA Illawarra South Coast table between 10am and 12.30pm! Free face painting, craft activities and Racing the Moon balloons.

 

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Children's Literary Lunch 2015

Michelle Morgan - Monday, August 03, 2015

It was a very successful 2015 Literary Lunch of the Children's Book Council of Australia (Illawarra South-Coast) on 29 July. With more than 160 guests from schools around the Illawarra and South Coast and 15 guest authors, the day was all about stories and books - bringing them to life and encouraging a love of reading.

I had the privilege of sitting with students from Thirroul Public School and their Teacher-Librarian, Sonya. We chatted about books and writing, and about my novel, Racing the Moon. I brought along historical photos from the early 1930s to give them a feel for what it was like to live and go to school back then. The complimentary Racing the Moon postcards and balloons were a big hit with the students as well.

The really exciting part of the day was the three-minute pitch sessions by the authors and illustrators: Di Bates, Wai Chim, Bill Condon, Di Ellis, Wendy Fitzgerald, Tony Flowers, Sandy Fussell, Susanne Gervay, Lizabeth Klein, Oliver Pommavanh, Lisa Shannahan, Lexi Watt, Sue Whiting and myself. After lunch, Jacqueline Harvey, gave a lively presentation on her two children's series: Alice Miranda and Clementine Rose.

I was so busy chatting to students and signing their program booklets, I barely had time to eat. A big thank you to the CBCA ISC organisers and to the enthusiastic students and teacher-librarians who made the literary lunch such a special event.

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What a buzz at Big Book Day Out!

Michelle Morgan - Monday, September 01, 2014

It was such fun at Big Book Day Out 2014 at the beautiful NSW Writers' Centre in Rozelle. There was a real fairground atmosphere with so much happening - the variety of activities and talks was truly amazing. 

The sun was shining as authors and illustrators entertained children and their families at stalls, under trees, on rugs, anywhere there was room, and the audiences were enthusiastic and appreciative. The event was a kaleidoscope of books, talks, art and craft, readings, stories, signings, jokes, showbags, posters, postcards, bookmarks and balloons.

In my session, "The moon, balloons and books", the corny moon jokes were a big hit, as were the four copies of Racing the Moon that I gave away as prizes to the young people who answered my jokes correctly. Before and after the session, my husband and I couldn't blow up Racing the Moon balloons fast enough.

 

Who would have thought that a children's literary event like Big Book Day Out could generate such a buzz and excitement? Many thanks to the organisers - the Children's Book Council of Australia (NSW Branch) and Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Well done!

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Children's Literary Lunch

Michelle Morgan - Friday, August 08, 2014

I had such a great time on Wednesday 6 August at the 2014 Literary Lunch of the Illawarra South-Coast Children's Book Council of Australia. With more than 160 guests from schools around the Illawarra and South Coast and fifteen guest authors, the day was all about stories and books - bringing them to life and encouraging a love and enjoyment of reading and stories, whatever the genre.

I had the privilege of sitting with ten students and the Teacher-Librarian (Sharon) from Jamberoo Public School as well as Jean, a CBCA representative. The students had so many questions to ask about my novel, Racing the Moon, and their enthusiasm was infectious. The historical photos that I brought along to give them a feel for what it was like in the early 1930s (the period when my book is set) were a big hit.

The really exciting part of the day was the three-minute pitch sessions by the authors: Di Bates, Toni Brisland, Jill Bruce, Lynda Calder, WeiChim, Bill Condon, Di Ellis, Sandy Fussell, Peter Macinnis, Belinda Murrell, Lillian Rodrigues-Pang, Oliver Pommavanh, Lesley Vamos, Jodie Wells-Slowgrove and myself.

Each of the pitches were so different - some authors talked a bit about themselves and their writing, some concentrated on a particular book, story or character, and some, like Oliver, just went wild. The pitches were all timed and there wasn't a computer or Powerpoint presentation in sight. It was very entertaining and the students loved it. Lillian, a professional oral storyteller, also gave a longer and very energetic performance of one of her stories after lunch, which kept the audience captivated to the very end.

After the presentations, I was so busy chatting to students, signing their program booklets and generally having a lot of fun, that I forgot to take any photos!

A big thank you to the CBCA ISC organisers and to the enthusiastic students and teacher-librarians who made the literary lunch such a special event.

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Literary events for August

Michelle Morgan - Monday, August 04, 2014

I've been busy preparing talks for the following events:

Monday 4 August - Guest speaker at the Australian Federation of Graduate Women (Southern Highlands Branch) annual general meeting at Bowral Golf Club.

Wednesday 6 August - one of the guest authors at the Children's Book Council of Australia Illawarra South Coast Literary Lunch in Wollongong - I'll be giving a short talk to the 160 teachers, librarians, students and other authors attending.

Sunday 31 AugustBig Book Day Out, presented by the Children's Book Council of Australia NSW Branch, at the NSW Writers' Centre at Rozelle - I'll be one of the many children's / YA authors chatting to people at this fun event. Bring a picnic, relax in the story tent, witness children's illustrators in action, participate in the Costume Parade, try your hand at craft and enjoy the sunshine. See you at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators stand!

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