School visits might be off the calendar but that doesn’t mean our authors are inaccessible: nine ways to touch base

Classes might be homeward bound, and book launches may be cancelled, but booksellers, publishers and writers will keep on keeping on. Here are eight happenings, or potential happenings, coming to a virtual world near you. If you know of any others you’d like us to share – please keep us informed!

Book an author for your virtual classroom
Author visits, particularly during CBCA Book Week (22-28 August), are a highlight of the year for many of our kids. Fremantle Press is happy to help you book an author to visit your school or class online. Please contact Chloe Walton on to discuss your needs.

Story Box Library
Story Box Library is a subscription based educational website, created for children to view stories by local authors and illustrators being read aloud by fantastic, predominantly Australian and New Zealander, storytellers. Story Box Library is assisting schools that are closed by providing free access for an initial two months during these uncertain and unprecedented time. There is also free at-home access available for families via participating public libraries.

Weekly Art Classes with Kelly and Will
Join author and illustrator Kelly Canby and her son Will on Instagram live for art lessons and a chat every Wednesday at 11am AWST! Make sure you have your art materials to hand for this fun and interactive session.
Instagram: @kelly_canby

Featuring Kelly Canby and James Foley among others, this is a weekly YouTube catch-up where illustrators and writers share the stories behind the stories.


SCBWI West Free Resources Hub
The WA branch of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has created the SCBWI West Free Resources Hub: a place where Western Australian writers and illustrators have uploaded activity sheets, videos, drawing sessions and more for anyone to access free of charge. Content will continue to be uploaded as it comes in so check back regularly. Follow @scbwi_west on Instagram for more information.

James Foley online gig at the City of Gosnells Library
Catch James for an online drawing demonstration followed by a Q&A session on his S.Tinker Inc. and Toffle Towers series. Go to City of Gosnells Library’s Facebook page or to James Foley’s Facebook page (@jamesfoleybooks) for all the details of how to get involved.


Sean E. Avery’s CBCA Make Your Own Story Book lessons on YouTube
Picture book writer and art teacher Sean E. Avery has launched a YouTube channel with lessons for kids on how to make their own story books. This is a great resource for young writers and illustrators who want to enter the CBCA Make Your Own Story Book Competition (closing 5 June).

YA book launches with OzAuthors Online
OzAuthors Online is a grassroots, community-led digital platform for book launches and author events, enabling the Australian books and literature communities to continue coming together during the crisis of COVID-19. They said,’The platform aims to connect readers to authors and booksellers, and keep sparking imaginations in isolation. Because Books are Family. Books are Community – and reading will get us through.’

Follow authors online
Most authors have their own websites and run social media channels where you can catch up on their news, chat to them, throw virtual tomatoes at them and have a bit of fun.
Use the search function on the Fremantle Press website to find the author you’re interested in. Links to their social media channels and website are located on their author pages!

Stay signed up to the Fremantle press enewsletter or be in touch via social media @FremantlePress for more online gigs. We’ll share them as we hear about them.



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