Inspiring Authors Story Arts Festival

inspiring authorsInspiring authors presented their book talks to Ipswich schools at Story Arts Festival.

YAY! I studied them up close, taking note of every word and every move.


I, Karen Tyrrell author, was thrilled to volunteer at Story Arts Festival. I’m a school teacher, writing STEM science superhero novels with humorous twists. I was SO lucky to watch and learn presentation techniques from four incredible authors.

Check out the inspiring authors below who write either comedy or S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths).

Inspiring authors – Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca Johnson motivates young readers to care for animals and solve mysteries, and to read and write books. She is a Gold Coast award winning STEM science teacher and children’s author of Juliet – Nearly a Vet series, Vet Cadet series, Steve Parish Story Book series featuring Australian wildlife, and the Insects series. In total, she’s published 105 books in the last 17 years, selling 3 million books!!

Rebecca Johnson & I

Inspiring authors –  Dave Lowe

Dave Lowe is an award-winning Brisbane author of eleven funny illustrated junior novels. Books include Squirrel Boy (superhero) series, Stinky and Jinks (Hamster) series, which sold over 100,000 copies worldwide. Dave’s latest series, The Incredible DADventure is about the hilarious, death-defying adventures of Holly and her explorer dad.

Dave Lowe

Inspiring authors – Matt Stanton

Matt Stanton is a hilarious, bestselling children’s author and illustrator, with half a million books in print. He’s the co-creator of 9 picture books, including mega-hits, There’s a Monster under my Bed Who Farts and This is a Ball (See CUBE picture). He launched his middle-grade series, Funny Kid. The first book in the series, Funny Kid for President, debuted as the #1 Australian kids’ book.

Inspiring authors – Andrew King

Andrew King switches kids onto engineering and design via his innovative picture books. Andrew is a Brisbane engineer, science teacher and STEM children’s author. His problem-solving apps, children’s activities and books Engibear’s Dream, Engibear’s Bridge and Engilina’s Trains are embraced by teachers, librarians, children and visionaries.

Andrew King

 #10 Author Talk Tips from Inspiring authors

Below I created 10 tips using the author’s talks above … plus a few tips of my own …

  1. Practise! Practise! Practise your talk until it shines. Make sure your talk is FUN, interactive, engaging and educating to children.
  2. Match your speaking style and format to the genre or theme of your book. Teach kids how to write your genre in simple steps. ie If you write funny, tell jokes. Always share writing strategies.
  3. Introduce your props (if any) early and get kids to engage with them.
  4. Build a strong rapport with your audience so kids want to listen and find out more about you as an author … and your books. Make your audience, the kids, feel something.
  5. Consider presenting a play where you invite 3 children to wear costumes to act out a scene as you narrate it. Get the audience to create sound effects.
  6. Share practical writing tips and advice to young writers to inspire kids to write.
  7. Consider a FUN interactive power point presentation with FUN questions, exercises, quizzes and photos of you the author as a child. Kids LOVE author-kid photos!! ? ? ?
  8. Read the most exciting, funny or engaging scene or page from your book using your most dramatic or funny voice.
  9. Let kids ask you author questions about your writing tips or your books. Make your answers personal as you can.
  10. Tell kids where you can buy your books. They’ll be keen to follow you and your books.

Special Thanks

Thanks to all the Story Arts Festival inspiring authors, illustrators, volunteers and organizers especially Jenny Stubbs, Yvonne Mes and Tyrion Perkins.

Inspiring Authors Story Arts Festival

Meet and learn from inspiring authors and illustrators at Story Arts Festival this weekend, 9-10th September. Check out the program. Book your tickets HERE …

BLOGGER: Karen Tyrrell writes empowering books to help kids live STRONG through humour and self-belief.  She’s a passionate writing workshop presenter and interactive story teller wearing fun costumes. Her acclaimed books Song Bird Superhero (Song Bird 1), Battle of Bug World (Song Bird 2) STOP the Bully, Bailey Beats the Blah, Harry Helps Grandpa Remember, and Super Space Kids series ignite imagination and positive self-esteem. Karen has won 3 awards, 4 literary grants and a mentorship

 Which inspiring Author presentation tips do you like?

What Presentation tips can you add to the list?

Please comment below… Or Like, tweet, or Google plus . Thanks 🙂

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4 comments to Inspiring Authors Story Arts Festival

  • Janet Hughes

    Hi Karen. All great tips but I think building rapport and engaging the kids, sharing ideas are the most important. I’ve observed the most commercially successful authors seem to do this in a natural flow, though I know they rehearse. I guess it’s the authors opportunity to create a relationship with their reader, then the reader wants to buy the book, get it autographed and have a keepsake . Nice work

  • HI Janet,
    I totally agree with your comment.
    Building that strong rapport with the readers is crucial for that child wanting to read the book and follow the author to future books.
    Many thanks for pointing that out.
    Karen 🙂

  • Yes excellent summary. I agree with rapport, Also your presentation must be engaging and entertaining for kids
    to want your books or follow you as an author.

  • Hi Maria,
    Always lovely to see you, especially this time at The Story Arts Festival.
    Thanks for volunteering and checking out my blog on Tuesday’s school program.
    Thrilled you agree to my author presentation tips… take care, Karen 🙂

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