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Thousands of school students laugh into literature

An author-illustrator “mischief maker” who has produced shows for Nickelodeon and an author-comedian who is inspiring children to write funny stories across Australia and Asia are two of the drawcards at this week’s Voices on the Coast festival, presented by Immanuel Lutheran College and USC.

The 24th youth literature festival will be held mostly on campus at USC Sunshine Coast on Thursday 18 July and Friday 19 July.

Mick Elliott (Squidge Dibley) and Oliver Phommavanh (Don’t Follow Vee) will be among 23 presenters delivering talks and workshops to more than 4,000 students from Years 4 to 12 from schools across the region.

Festival coordinator Kelly Dunham said presenters looking at the lighter side of life were popular this year, including theatre artist ‘Professor Frankie Falconette’ who performs characters, creatures and adventures from the Harry Potter series.

USC Doctor of Creative Arts graduates Dean Jacobs and Emily Larkin will present talks on visual literacy and dystopian fiction, respectively.

“One of my favourite parts of the festival is seeing the children lining up to meet the people behind some of their favourite characters, and QBD is partnering with us this year for the book signings,” Ms Dunham said.

Several additional sessions called Voices Plus will be held in the community, including award-winning columnist Jane Caro at a literary breakfast on Saturday 20 July at Immanuel Lutheran College.

The author of novels from Just a Girl to Accidental Feminists will also talk to high school students in three sessions at USC on Friday.

Ms Dunham said parents and teachers wanting tips on how to encourage reading in children of all ages would enjoy a public talk by Peter Carnavas and Megan Daley on Thursday evening at Immanuel Lutheran College.

“Megan is a guru in teacher-librarian land and she’s got so much common sense advice in her book Raising Readers: How to nurture a child’s love of books,” Ms Dunham said.

For program and ticket details or call 07 5477 3437.

The USC campus at Sippy Downs will also open to the general public this Sunday 21 July for Open Day. Register to attend.

Voices on the Coast presenter Mick Elliott
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