Family Day

Every year we dedicate a whole day of events for families – and this year we've prepared a fun-filled day for families of all shapes and sizes!

At Family Day on Sunday 5 May, we have something that will appeal to every kid at Carriageworks – from colouring in, badge-making and storytelling to musical performances and fantastic dress-up fun! Book in for a session happening in Track 8 and 12, or pop into The Big Backyard for free events running from 10am to 4pm.

Author Talks

Here is a selection of some of the exciting events that will be happening:

Fashionista: Express Yourself! 
Much-loved writer and illustrator Maxine Beneba Clarke returns to the Festival with Fashionista, a gorgeously illustrated ode to flaunting your passion and wearing your heart on your sleeve. Maxine talks about the characters, the fashions and how your personal style and flair can be the key to finding your confidence and owning your individuality. With this remarkable book not released until July –  this event will be a unique opportunity to get your hands on a copy months before anyone else! Hosted by Deborah Abela

The Never-Ending Quack Up!
Come along and witness a continuously unfolding tale unlike anything seen before on the Sydney Writers’ Festival stage! Watch some of Australia’s favourite children’s book authors and contributors to Total Quack Up!Sally Rippin, Oliver Phommavanh, Deborah Abela, and R.A. Spratt – join forces to create a ridiculous, funny and completely original story right in front of your eyes (with a little help from you!). Hosted by ABC RN’s Carl Smith

All the Ways to be Smart
From the pens and paintbrushes of two award-winning super talents comes one of the stand-out picture books of the last few years, All the Ways to be Smart. Join author Davina Bell and illustrator Allison Colpoys as they discuss the different skills that make every child special and unique – be it building boats, wheeling wagons or riding dragons. Radiant, life-affirming and gentle, All the Ways to be Smart fizzes with Davina and Allison’s vivacity and charm. Hosted by Deborah Abela

Polly and Buster: The Best of Friends
Join bestselling author Sally Rippin as she launches Polly and Buster: The Search for the Silver Witch, the final instalment of her brilliant new trilogy. In a world where monsters and witches are encouraged to stay apart, unlikely best friends Polly and Buster have formed a secret, heart-squeezingly happy friendship. Get your hands on an advance copy and hear Sally share her wonderful stories about kindness, staying true to yourself and standing up for the people and ideas you believe in. Hosted by ABC RN’s Carl Smith

Judy Moody and Stink's Guide to Life
Bestselling children’s author Megan McDonald invites the audience into the lives of her most popular characters – dynamic sibling duo Judy Moody and her little brother Stink. Join Megan as she shares tales from her own childhood, the everyday inspiration for her stories, and all the fascinating information she’s uncovered while doing her favourite thing – research! Packed with fun facts about the Royal family, Shakespeare and the solar system. 

The Big Backyard

Running from 10am to 4pm, make sure to stop by these all these free events for the goodies and stories you'll receive!  

The Storytime Clubhouse
Pull up a chair and settle in to hear your favourite children’s book authors and illustrators read their stories in the Clubhouse. With a different author dropping by every half-hour, you never know who you might meet!

Linda Jackson's Rainbow Menagerie
Get creative and make a colourful kaleidoscopic collage filled with Australia's native animals with Linda Jackson: artist, fashion designer, and author of the picture book Linda Jackson's Rainbow Menagerie.

Badge Making with Cheryl Orsini
Make a souvenir to take home with Cheryl Orsini, who will show you how to craft a badge of your own as a precious memento of your time at Family Day!

Russ the Story Bus
Read and relax in this magical library on wheels, covered with vibrant illustrations from Sophie Beer. Hop on anytime and pick from the hundreds of books available, settle into a beanbag, and let the stories take you to another place!

The Giant 13-Storey Treehouse Colouring-In Wall
Get ready to colour – we need everyone's help to fill in all thirteen storeys on The 13-Storey Treehouse's floors! 

The Illustration Space
Prepare to be inspired and delighted as five of Australia’s most talented picture book artists take turns creating an illustration live on The Big Backyard stage.