Explore the 2024 Program

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Primary School Days

Join us for an engaging and educational journey into the world of literature. Sydney Writers’ Festival Primary School Days program is designed to inspire the next generation of readers and storytellers.

Our hugely popular sessions bring renowned children’s authors and illustrators to primary students for a fun, interactive and educational day that deepens their love of reading and writing.

The day is broken up into sessions and students will hear from all the writers and illustrators featured in the day's program. Our speakers will also be available during breaks to meet students, answer questions and sign books. A dedicated bookshop will be set up at the venue.

Five bestselling children’s book creators come together to share insights behind their bestselling work. You’ll meet Tasma Walton, the author of Nerra: Deep Time Traveller, a thrilling new series inspired by First Nations history; Kate and Jol Temple will turn their attention to the best (or is that worst) book baddies imaginable; Nova Weetman, author of Sick Bay, will share what she has learnt from writing TV and why she always leads with character; while American author Lev Grossman will reveal the real world problems at the core of his magical fantasy novels.

The Primary School Days program is best suited to school children in Years 3 to 6. 

View the brochure here or explore the full program below. 

Book into Primary School Days

🗓 Wednesday May 22: Pavilion Performing Arts Centre, Sutherland

🗓 Thursday May 23: Sydney Town Hall

🗓 Friday May 24: Riverside Theatres, Parramatta (supported by UNSW Sydney.)

🗓 Monday May 27: Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith – SOLD OUT

🗓 Tuesday May 28: The Concourse, Chatswood – SOLD OUT

🗓 Wednesday May 29: Sydney Town Hall (supported by UNSW Sydney.)

Sessions

Tasma Walton: Turning Back Time

When Nerra is gifted a box of artefacts from her late great-grandmother, the contents change her life. She has been chosen as the next deep time traveller but along with this ability comes an important responsibility to protect the Dreaming and maintain its balance. Nerra Deep Time Traveller is a thrilling adventure series inspired by First Nations history and drawing on traditional stories from the Boonwurrung people of coastal Melbourne. Tasma and Samantha will take you through the process of creating these books and share the importance of Nerra’s story.

It was previously advertised that Samantha Campbell would appear with Tasma Walton for this session. Unfortunately, Samantha is no longer able to participate.

Kate & Jol Temple: Evil Masterminds Vs Loveable Rogues

Get ready to join an evil mastermind convention as we take a look at our favourite book baddies! Why are baddies so useful for building stories? What makes a great villain? Using the devilish characters from their books like Frog Squad and dark fantasy series The Dangerous Business of Being Trilby Moffat, Kate and Jol take a hilarious deep dive into this murky world and explore how dastardly villains can provide terrific challenges for main characters.

Nova Weetman: The Strength of Character

Nova began her writing career in television and is now one of Australia's most beloved authors. Her contemporary novels explore the everyday challenges and pressures experienced by young Australians, while her time-slip novels focus on sidelined women in history. Here Nova will discuss what she learnt writing for TV, her approach to character-driven storytelling, and the importance of authenticity.

Lev Grossman: All Aboard for Adventure

Lev Grossman’s novels might feature fantastical locomotives and speaking animals, but they’re also filled with fascinating facts and stories about our planet and its inhabitants. At the core of Lev’s work is an important message about conservation. Come discover how Lev weaves together fantasy and reality and what has inspired these thrilling stories.

For more information about Primary School Days, please contact us: 

📞 (02) 9256 4200
📧 ticketing@swf.org.au

Read our FAQs

🕤 9.30am Arrive at venue

🕙 10am Morning sessions

🕦 11.40am Lunch break and book signings

🕧 12.40pm Afternoon sessions

🕜 1.40pm Book signings 

🕑 2pm Finish

Writers

Lev Grossman

U.S. author, Lev Grossman, has written seven novels including the bestselling Magicians trilogy, which was adapted for television, and the children's novels The Silver Arrow  (The New York Times Best Children's Book of 2020) and The Golden Swift. He is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Time, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Wired, The Believer, among many other places, and is a screenwriter.

Kate and Jol Temple

Kate and Jol are internationally awarded children’s authors of over 20 books for kids. Their hilarious picture books include the smash hit Bin Chicken series as well as their best-selling graphic novel series The Underdogs. Kate also writes the middle grade fiction series, The Dangerous Business of Being Trilby Moffat.

Tasma Walton

Tasma Walton is a proud Boonwurrung woman from the saltwater Country of Melbourne and surrounding coastlines. As an award-winning actress, she has appeared in numerous television productions, films and theatre. As a writer, Tasma’s first novel Heartless was nominated for an ABIA Award for General Fiction. As a mum, she is most excited about sharing some deadly stories featuring strong Aboriginal heroines and their adventures with Boonwurrung Creation Beings.

Nova Weetman

Nova Weetman lives in Melbourne with her family. She has written for TV and is the author of many middle grade and young adult novels including Sick Bay, The Edge of Thirteen, The Jammer and most recently Elsewhere Girls and Outlaw Girls (both with Emily Gale). Her books have been listed as CBCA Notables and shortlisted for multiple awards.

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