Come to Clunes 2019!

Stuck for weekend plans with the kids? Readings Kids shop manager Angela Crocombe recommends heading out to Clunes Booktown for its 2019 festival. Here she shares some of her most anticipated child-friendly events from the program. Read our full write-up of the main festival here.

It’s only a few days until the 2019 Clunes Booktown Festival starts, and I can’t wait to visit this beautiful heritage town in all its autumnal glory. There is a massive line-up of talented Australian authors, but as the manager of Readings Kids, I am particularly excited by the line-up of authors ready to entertain the young and the young at heart.

This year, for the first time, Readings will have a dedicated children’s book stall in the Kids Village. So I’m looking forward to experiencing some of the fun activities going on in that space all day, including physical theatre troupe, Asking for Trouble, who will be performing and giving circus skills workshops. Escapee from the circus world, author Ailsa Wild, will be sharing some of the stories from her wildly successful Squishy Taylor series, as well as getting the kids to write too. Melbourne Young Writer’s Studio will also be in the village both days giving workshops on writing mini-books as well as screenwriting for film and TV.

More workshops and talks are happening at the festival with some extremely talented authors for kids aged 8–12, including the award-winning Gabrielle Wang, who writes action-packed fantasy stories, such as A Ghost in My Suitcase, which was adapted for the theatre last year. and its sequel, Ting Ting the Ghosthunter. For kids who like scary stories, Jack Henseleit will be terrifying us with his horror series, The Witching Hours, based on real fairy tales.

Young adults are also spoilt for choice with a number of fantastic YA authors in the program, including Sarah Epstein, whose book Small Spaces was shortlisted for the Readings YA Prize; Nicole Hayes, who has three YA novels and is also an expert on footy; and Danielle Binks, agent, youth literature advocate and editor of the anthology Begin, End, Begin. Occasional YA authors, Alice Pung, who wrote Laurinda and Jane Caro, who has written a historical fiction YA series, the latest of which is Just Flesh and Blood, are also in town, and we’ll have their books available as well.

There is so much entertainment and inspiration to be had for book lovers in Clunes this weekend. It’s an easy day trip from Melbourne, so I highly recommend you come along and join in the fun. Just remember to bring cash as the ATMs can be in high demand and pack warm clothes just in case the weather is brisk. Hope to see you there!

You can find the full Clunes Booktown Festival 2019 program here.

A weekend pass is $10 for adults, $5 for secondary school students (aged 12-18) and free for children under 12 years. Certain panels and author talks occurring over the weekend are also ticketed.

Please note that organisers advise visitors to withdraw cash from an ATM in advance, as there there will be very limited ATM access on site. Readings will be hosting two stands this year, and both will have EFTPOS facilities.

Find more information and book your tickets here.

Angela Crocombe is the shop manager at Readings Kids.

Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology

Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology

Danielle Binks

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