Finalist Qld Mental Health Week Achievement Awards

Finalist Qld Mental Health Week

Finalist Qld Mental Health Week Achievement Awards

Thrilled to announce, I’m shortlisted in the Qld Mental Health Week Achievement Awards.      That’s me, Karen Tyrrell – child empowerment author, performer, pantomimer, speaker and workshop presenter.

Yesterday, I received an unexpected call from the Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards. They congratulated me on being shortlisted in the Jude Bugeja – Peer Experience Award.

A few minutes later, Steve Tyrrell arrived home from the gym. I dashed to his car, overcome with tears.

I could barely speak. ‘I-I’m finalist!’

What’s the Jude Bugeja – Peer Experience Award?

It’s an award for those who’ve experienced mental health issues and now share resilience, self-care and coping skills with the community.

In my case, I wrote two memoirs about my recovery from mental health issues and workplace bullying. Parents of my school student bullied me to my breakdown … and beyond.

Me & Him: A Guide to Recovery + Me & Her: A Memoir of Madness

Plus I wrote ten child empowerment books for children on how to live strong, and stop the bully.

And care for the environment.

Rainforest Rescue (Song Bird) is shortlisted for Speech Pathology Book of the Year 2019. HERE

What Author Talks do I present in schools, libraries and festivals?

I present talks and writing workshops on bully prevention, self-care, resilience, coping skills and eco talks.

Steve and I pantomime our books with storytelling, costumes, FUN and music.


FREE event: Bailey Beats the Blah Pantomime

Steve and I perform Bailey Beats the Blah Pantomine on Friday, 11th September 1.30 pm at Brisbane Square Library, Level 2, End Room.

Info HERERSVP Event Here

What’s your Current Work in Progress?

I’m currently working on a child empowerment novel on Anxiety.

In two weeks, I meet with editors for face to face feedback.

Please wish me luck. 🙂

This is NOT the Book Title

What other Mental Health awards have you won?

In 2015, I won the Jude Bugeja award. Before that, I won two Finalist awards in different categories.

Finalist Qld Mental Health Week

 When will the WINNER be announced?

The winners of the 10 categories will receive their award at the breakfast ceremony on Friday 11th October at Brisbane City Hall.  Please stay tuned for photos and announcements.

 Please support me and Share the LOVE 😊

I would love to hear how you TAKE TIME for Mental Health😊

Finalist Qld Mental Health Week

Please comment below, LIKE, Share on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin & Instagram 🙂


Did you like this? Share it:

Mental Health Expo presents Bailey Beats the Blah

Mental Health Expo

In October, Brisbane Mental Health Expo presents my FUN interactive pantomime Bailey Beats the Blah with costumes and pro-active mental health messages for children and families.

What’s Brisbane Mental Health Expo?

The Brisbane Mental Health Expo is an engaging way to promote mental health programs and services, sharing information and resources with the community.  The expo centres on Reddacliff Place, Brisbane and Brisbane Square Library next door.

What’s Arts@Mental Health Expo?

It celebrates artists and creatives working in the intersection of arts and health, or identifying as having a lived experience of mental health concerns.

Join us for this FREE and exciting program of Arts for Inclusion at Brisbane Square Library.

Its sponsored by Brisbane City Council and Brisbane City Libraries.

Mental Health Expo

What’s Bailey Beats the Blah?

Picture book, Bailey Beats the BLAH was created by me, award-winning resilience author Karen Tyrrell.

Bailey’s feeling blah and sad and doesn’t want to go to school.

He transforms his blah into ha-ha-ha, enjoying a happy, healthy life.


Bailey Beats the Blah is supported by Kids Helpline and Kids Book Review.

What’s Bailey Beats the Blah pantomime?

‘Come along to our interactive pantomime with costume, props, storytelling and song to teach children coping skills to deal with low moods and anxiety. Based on the children’s book Bailey Beats the Blah, by award winning author Karen Tyrrell, who  overcame mental illness and workplace bullying.

Young and the young at heart welcome!’

Mental Health Expo

Award-winning Books for Sale

 Karen Tyrrell and co-author Steve Tyrrell are award-winning mental health advocates, recovered from mental health issues and parent-teacher bullying.

Karen wrote Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness and Me and Him: A Guide to Recovery

Steve and Karen create empowering books for children with themes of self-care, bully prevention, perseverance, and resilience …

The Song Bird Superhero series teaches kids about bully prevention and caring for the environment.

Song Bird: Rainforest Rescue is shortlisted for Speech Pathology Book of the Year 2019. ORDER HERE

SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel HERE

 EVENT: Bailey Beats the Blah Pantomime

Karen Tyrrell (me) as Bailey and Steve Tyrrell as fuzzy the dog, perform Bailey Beats the Blah on Friday 11th October at 1.40pm

Bailey Beats the Blah Pantomime

DATE: Friday 11th October 1:40-2:25pm

PLACE: Brisbane Square Library, Level 2, End Room.

10:30-2.15 Library Theatrette, Level 1: Speaker, film, visual artist, karaoke workshop.

10:30-2.25 Library Level 2 End Room: Empathy VR, interactive theatre, creative/ inspiration talks.

**1.40 pm: Bailey Beats the Blah Pantomime with Karen & Steve Tyrrell

 Who’s  joining the FUN?

Please share on Facebook, twitter and instagram 🙂

Did you like this? Share it:

First Draft – How to Write your Story

First Draft

Writing the First Draft

YIPEE! Yesterday, I finished the first draft of my children’s novel … on a topic close to my heart.


First Draft

Personally, I suffered anxiety as a child and as an adult. I came from a loving family consisting of an anxious Mum, an anxious Dad … and three anxious sisters.

Yep! Anxiety is part of my genetic make-up.

In the past, anxiety peaked when a bully harassed me as a child … and again when I was a school teacher.

I reveal how three bullies terrorize me, a teacher, in my memoir Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness.

My junior fiction books reveal elements of my bully experiences and prevention strategies.

Recently, STOP the Bully was listed on the 2019 NSW Premiers Reading Challenge for Grade 3-4. Its supported by Kids Helpline and Kids Book Review.

Song Bird Superhero  received excellent Reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Disney magazine. An International Marketplace catalogue will list Song Bird Superhero  in August, 2019.

ME? I minimize anxiety flare-ups with positive self-talk and coping skills.

Celebrating my first draft

With a toss of confetti and a sip of wine, I celebrated with hubby, author Steve Tyrrell.

Finally, I finished months of visualizing, researching, planning … and writing down my story.

 Now, I have something concrete to work on. I’ll begin the second draft very soon.

First Draft

What’s the first draft?

The first draft is my first effort in telling my story from start to finish. In my case, I completed twenty-nine chapters of a junior fiction novel.

First Draft

How did I start the first draft?

First, I thought of a story idea about a character who must solve an unsolvable problem.

I day dreamed, visualizing my main character so I could get to know him/ her better.

I asked questions …

What do they want?

What’s their greatest dream?

What’s their greatest fear?

 What comes next?

Then I brainstormed: who, what, when, where, why, how … and what if?

The answers helped me form a story premis.

I created a list of possible characters and chapter scenes.

First Draft

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A pantser is someone who writes by the seat of their pants. In the past, I wasted too much time writing this way.

Now, I’m definitely a plotter. Which means I plan my stories in advance. With a story structure, I develop my chapters around a story plot, like following a recipe.


I create an outline or a profile sheet for each character, asking myself what does that character WANT? I make each character memorable in both their appearance and their character traits.

 Create a story structure or an outline

I work out my story based on the ‘Hero’s Journey’ plot structure with Three Acts. Many fantasy books and movies like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings use this framework.

Write my Story

Each day, I visualize a scene in my story using Stream of Consciousness writing. Quickly, I scribble down what I ‘see and feel’. Later I type up the chapter in a Word Document.

I continue this way until I finish the book, resolving all the problems and answering all the questions about the character.

First Draft

  #7 Tips to Finish your First Draft

  1. Start with a story idea and a super challenge for your character. Ask your character many questions which he/she will answer through the story.
  2. Outline your plot, your characters and scenes for each chapter.
  3. Read your story structure or outline regularly to remind you where you’re going.
  4. Write the same time each day.
  5. Take a notebook everywhere, to jot down ideas.
  6. Try writing retreats, NaNoWriMo or writing challenges to keep you focused.
  7. Finish writing your story!

First DraftHave you finished writing your First Draft?

 What writing tips would you like to share?

Please comment below, Like or share in social media  🙂

Did you like this? Share it:

Stream of Consciousness Writing

Writers: Yvonne, Jenny, Liane, Danielle

Stream of Consciousness Writing

On Saturday I (Karen Tyrrell) presented a stream of consciousness writing workshop for my Brisbane writing buddies at Write Links (a sub group of Book Links).

Karen Tyrrell presenter at Write Links

Who inspired me to write via stream of consciousness?

In February, Karen Foxlee spoke at Write Links, sharing how stream of consciousness helped her to create New York seller, Lenny’s Book of Everything.

She expressed the heart of Lenny, by connecting with her memories, hopes, fears and dreams.

Karen Foxlee Author

Stream of consciousness helps me to write my quirky junior fiction novels, Song Bird Superhero series and my WIP.

Tapping into my character’s inner monologue, helps to create strong emotions, thoughts and dialogue, spliced with humour.

What’s stream of consciousness writing?

Stream of consciousness writing happens when you close your eyes, envisage your setting, character and story, tapping into the subconscious.

You pen-write quickly without pausing, without editing.

What’s Write Links?

Write Links is a face to face group of Brisbane children’s writers of picture books, junior novels and YA. Each month, Write Links members enjoy writer’s activation sessions co-ordinated by Yvonne Mes.

Yvonne Mes Co-ordinator of Write Links

This month, I presented my workshop Build a Castle.

 How do I present Build A Castle workshop?

I read out short guided writing instructions for participants to visualize and then write.

First, I ask writers to choose a setting from a list of 12.

How did I present the stream of consciousness writing workshop?

STEP 1  I request writers to close their eyes and place their hands flat on the table or on their knees. ‘Now, picture yourself, or a character/ hero/ villain standing in for you, in the setting you have chosen. Concentrate on YOUR surroundings, but don’t try to imagine anything. Just let the environment fade in around you.’

When you can SEE your environment, open your eyes.

STEP 2 ‘Without pausing to think, write exactly what you saw. Aim for 4 sentences or more.

We continued, going back into the same environment, eyes closed. Next, we visualize a hidden object coming into view.

‘When you SEE it, open your eyes and write down what it looks like.’

STEP 3 Eyes closed, step back into the environment, this time a living thing comes into view. Write down what you see.

STEP 4 Behind you is a reflective surface (water, glass, mirror, metal). Look at “YOUR” Reflection.

Pause to consider the mood of the environment. Happy?  Fearful? Peaceful? Uneasy?

When you see how “you” LOOK, and know how “you” FEEL, open your eyes.

Without pause for thought, write down what you saw.

STEP 5 This time, “SEE” it as a movie set. “You” are there, so is the inanimate object AND a living creature. A voice calls “ACTION!” The scene comes to life. See what happens.

Open your eyes, and write down the ACTION you just witnessed.

STEP 6: I invited them to expand their writing by asking themselves the 5 W’s questions. I suggested they read, edit and expand their writing to create a story or a book.

What did my Write Links buddies write?


Trees reached for the sky, sunlight streaming through, scattered by leaves. Lacey fern fronds gently brushed my face as I scurried around the forest floor. The sweet smell of decaying undergrowth filled the air. Moisture settled and droplets formed, splashing into the stream. — Sandy Driessens writer

Special Object

The broken carcass of a ship lays resting against the rocks to the left. Half in the water and half out. A gaping hole in the side shows the reason for this wreckage. Paint flecks of green and white outline the recent hole and the sail lays, smashed and scattered, on the deck.

Sophia Evans writer

Writers Sophia Evans (blue), Inda Ahmad Zabri (orange), Sandy Driessens (glasses)

Living Thing.

A pigeon walks up from behind the puppet. It looks happy and this-is-my-domain cocky.

It’s a common sort of street pigeon, with a ring around one of its paws and missing a toe.

Unlike the other pigeons it seems to have a sense of purpose, not pecking around looking for scraps, instead it strides confidently. – Yvonne Mes Writer & illustrator

Illustrated by Yvonne Mes

Main Character

My reflection in the castle’s window shows a pointed face accentuated by a long tapering beard. My hair falls limp and straight past my ears and neck to my shoulders. It blows in the breeze, once dark but now peppered with grey. Veins stand out on my face. Would people trust me?

Not with the thick black snake lying across my arms and shoulders. I find a bush along the castle wall, and direct it to hide — Tyrion Perkins writer


‘I found your exercise so helpful that it gave me the idea to develop into a short story.’

Inda Ahmad Zabri writer

 How does stream of consciousness develop your writing?

  1. Taps into your imagination through visualization
  2. Creates flow and confidence in your writing
  3. Connects you to your character’s feelings, thoughts, dialogue and action
  4. Activates writing a new story or novel
  5. Present stream of consciousness writing to children to develop their imagination.

 Who is  Blog writer- Karen Tyrrell Author?

Karen Tyrrell is an award-winning author of twelve empowering books to help kids live strong. She presents writing workshops for schools, libraries, festivals and conferences.  You can book Karen via agents Speakers Ink, Greenleaf Press or Creative Speakers Net.

Karen Tyrrell with Tyrion Perkins & Anna Byrd

How has stream of consciousness helped your writing?

Please comment below, LIKE and share on your networks. 🙂


Did you like this? Share it:

Rainforest Rescue Shortlisted Major Award

Rainforest Rescue Shortlisted in Major Award

Rainforest Rescue shortlisted

Today, Steve Tyrrell co-author of Song Bird Rainforest Rescue flashed me a letter announcing our shortlisting.

I shook my head, in total disbelief. ‘What’s this?’ I said.

‘We’re shortlisted in the Speech Pathology Australia, Book of the Year awards!’ Steve grinned.


I’m so excited and honoured  Song Bird Rainforest Rescue is shortlisted for children eight to ten. Congratulations to Trevor Salter, the illustrator.

Thanks to all my critique buddies over at Write Links, who supported this book.

Rainforest Rescue shortlisted

What’s the Speech Pathology Book of the Year awards?

The Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards promotes quality Australian books that help children get the best, most literate start in life.

Books are awarded for ‘Best Book for Language and Literacy Development’ in the following categories:

  • Birth to 3 years
  • 3 to 5 years
  • 5 to 8 years
  • 8 to 10 years
  • Indigenous Children.

Each book is judged on its appeal to children, interactive quality and ability to assist speech pathologists and parents in communication and literacy development.

What’s Song Bird Rainforest Rescue about?

Song Bird Rainforest Rescue is the third book in the Song Bird series.

Digital Future Press is the publisher.  Karen Tyrrell and Steve Tyrrell are the authors.

Song Bird Rainforest Rescue empowers children to live strong and care for the rainforest.

Rainforest Rescue shortlisted

Themes: Rainforests, Gondwana, Australian mythical creatures, indigenous, environment, friendship, disability, STEM science and resilience.


Gondwana Rainforest is dying.

Mythical creatures materialize.

Kids disappear.

Song Bird travels to when time began,

 to battle her enemies.

Can Song Bird unlock the secret before the world ends?

Rainforest Rescue shortlisted

Who reviewed Song Bird Rainforest Rescue?

Children’s Book Council of Australia ‘Highly Recommended’ it.

Action packed, unexpected twists, strong courageous role models.’

Who supports Song Bird Rainforest Rescue?

Queensland Parks and Wildlife supports it, providing resources for schools.

Congratulations to all those who were shortlisted.

I can’t wait to hear the winners in November!

Where’s Song Bird Rainforest Rescue available?

Amazon · Booktopia · Book Depository · Angus & Robertson · Digital Future Press

Rainforest Rescue shortlisted

 Can you please spread the word?

Please comment, like & share 🙂

Did you like this? Share it:

Karen Tyrrell Author Tours Paradise

Karen Tyrrell Author Tours Paradise. My author dream came true when I toured the Great Barrier Reef with my latest book, Great Barrier Reef Rescue. Myself and co-author Steve Tyrrell presented interactive author talks, engaging writing workshops and shared our writing tips to hundreds of kids. How?

Last Sunday, Steve and I left Brisbane for the Sunshine Coast, the first leg of our Central Queensland tour. In the morning, we signed copies of Great Barrier Reef Rescue and our ten children’s books at the effervescent Annie’s Books at Peregian Beach.

In the afternoon, we visited the Sunny Coast SCBWI meeting at Peregian Springs co-ordinated by the fabulous Alison Stegert and the incredible Emma Middleton. Members made us feel very welcome. I spoke on indie publishing in the Kid Lit Space, sharing book marketing tips. Marg Gibbs spoke on the Bologne Bookfair, Italy and Dhana Fox on KidLitVic. Steve and I signed copies of our books afterwards.

Alison very generously hosted an overnight stay for us at her cosy house where we met hubby Paul, and doggies Huckleberry and Lulu.

Alison Stegert and Lulu

On Monday, we journeyed to Yeppoon on the glorious Capricorn Coast. We stayed for two days at the breathtaking Rosslyn Bay Resort, right on the beach overlooking Great Keppel Island. We witnessed technicolour sunsets and a glowing full red moon rising in the night sky.

On Tuesday we travelled to Farnborough State School, a vibrant country school with a warm community spirit. We met super-enthusiastic junior writers, eco warriors and staff. Steve and I were thrilled to share three interactive talks with reader’s theatre starring Song Bird vs Destructo. Co-incidentally, Elaine Ouston from Sunny Coast SCBWI had toured there the previous week.

For year 6, we presented a Great Barrier Reef Rescue eco talk with tips on how to care for the reef and write stories. It was amazing how much these kids love the reef on their doorstep

For years 2, 3 and 4, we shared how we wrote our Song Bird Series. Students asked questions on the writing process. We could have stayed for hours, there were so many questions.

Thirty selected students participated in our Superhero Writing Workshop, creating original stories with superheroes battling super villains. The quality and imagination in their stories was inspiring.

The school library purchased our Song Bird series plus all our empowering books for children. After school, Steve and I were delighted to sign copies of our books meeting with children and their families.

I encourage students to connect with me … That night, my website received this comment …

“I’m a student at Farnborough State School. I loved your story today.
I told my Mum all about you and your husband.”

My YouTube channel, Karen Tyrrell Author received a superhero story.

“Hey Karen I saw you today! I’m starting to make a book about a line man. The setting is on pieces of paper 📝. The villains name is Dr Eraser. And his side kick is Pencil Boy.’

The next day we drove to Rockhampton where I spoke at Southside library on pro-active tips to write memoirs and children’s books. I shared how Sir David Attenborough wrote a letter of support for Great barrier Reef Rescue.

At the library, I re-discovered some awesome readers and supporters who I met at the Capricon Festival in April. We presented Readers Theatre and a superhero writing workshop at Capricon.

Tips for Touring Authors

  1. Before your trip, announce the dates and places you’ll be traveling with your speaker’s agent well in advance.
  2. Email and phone schools and libraries to add extra venues to your tour.
  3. Once finalized, plan your itinerary and driving route including booking in your accommodation.
  4. Contact schools and venues to discuss exactly what each school wants you to present.
  5. Create slideshows on your laptop for all your events. Duplicate on USB as back-up.
  6. Practice! Practice! Practice!
  7. Check you have packed enough books, banners, props, costumes as well as your personal packing.
  8. Stay at cheaper accommodation or splurge if you want to enjoy a working holiday. Consider renting or buying a van, caravan or mobile home.
  9. Advertise your tour and website with a magnetic car banner.
  10. Be enthusiastic and Enjoy!

What did you enjoy about our Author Tour?

Please LIKE or leave a comment below.

Did you like this? Share it:

Reading is my Secret Power Karen Tyrrell Author Talks

Reading is my Secret Power

Reading is my Secret Power Karen Tyrrell Author Talks

KAPOW! Karen Tyrrell, children’s author of the Song Bird superhero series, presents interactive Reading is my Secret Power talks in schools.

Reading is my Secret Power is also the theme of Children’s Book Week, 17-23 August, 2019.Every year, Children’s Book Week is celebrated in every school and library in Australia.

Reading is my Secret Power
CBCA Book Week 17-23 August 2019

When did I start using Reading is my Secret Power?

I’m an award winning Brisbane author and a Books in Homes volunteer. As a child, I share my personal story on how reading and writing inspired my Secret Powers.

Karen Tyrrell came from a poor family without books. I learnt how to read, overcoming my challenges, igniting my imagination and self-worth.

Over time, reading boosted my learnings at school. I came top in my class.”

By Karen Tyrrell

Reading is my Secret Power
Books in Homes talk on Reading is my Secret Power

Why do I present Reading is my Secret Power talks?

In 2016-2019, I wrote the Song Bird superhero series to make the world a better place. Song Bird empowers kids to believe in themselves, stop the bully, live strongly and care for the environment.

Reading is my Secret Power, is the focus of my author power-point talk and reader’s theatre that  hubby, Steve and I perform in schools in superhero costumes.

I show children how Reading can be a mighty Power AND a Secret Power!

Reading is my Secret Power
Song Bird and Reef Man talk about Reading Powers and sustainability.

What is Song Bird Superhero about?

Rosella Ava Bird, Song Bird Superhero and her team of misfits, stop the bully in Book 1. Now that she’s empowered, her team seeks ways to protect and care for the environment in Books 2, 3 and 4.

How do I present SUPER Reading talk?

 In superhero costume, Steve and I share how reading can unlock secret powers in an interactive, engaging presentation. 

Steve and I present dramatic scenes from Song Bird Great Barrier Reef as Reader’s theatre or pantomime with costumes and props. We encourage children to support superhero character Song Bird as she battles evil villain, Destructo.

Kids love the theme Good vs Evil … and SUPER villain Destructo.

 Writing and reading are inter-connected.

That’s why I present powerful superhero writing workshops, eco adventure workshops and any writing workshop a school requires. SEE  Speakers Ink

Reading is my Secret Power

Superhero Writing Workshop for Brisbane Libraries


Karen, a G & T teacher, creates writing workshops to suit your needs.

How can kids ignite their Reading?

  1. Dive into exciting NEW books to read and meet intriguing characters. Ask your librarian what books she recommends.
  2. Find your Book Week costume. Who’s your favourite book character?
  3. Read every single day. Hang out with your book characters, learn what makes them tick. Enjoy the story adventure together.
  4.  Write and review about your new book.  What parts do you like best?  So, writing and reading are connected.
  5. Check out CBCA Book Week info on CBCA website, jam-packed with FUN activities. The Book Chook,  blog of writer Susan Stephenson, shares fabulous links and suggestions.  Children’s Book Daily blog (written by Megan Daley), contains Book Week ideas and costume suggestions.
  6. BOOK my Reading is my Secret Power talk. I present Reading is my Secret Power throughout Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast and Scenic Rim areas. 

Book via Speakers Ink

Reading is my Secret Power
Song Bird and Rainforest Man talk about Reading and Writing POWERS

What are your plans for Book Week?

Please Comment below …. or Share via Facebook and twitter 🙂


Did you like this? Share it:

Book Links StoryArts Brisbane

Meet the Publishers at Book Links StoryArts Brisbane Festival 19-20 October 2019.

Join TOP publishers, authors and illustrators. Pitch to a publisher or a literary agent. Learn how to write and illustrate a children’s book. #BSAB19 festival presented by Book Links Brisbane.

As an excited committee member, I’m thrilled to announce a two-day festival for writers, illustrators, teachers and librarians that promotes excellence in children’s literature.

#BSAB19 offers quality, affordable workshops and master classes and the opportunity to obtain face-face feedback on pitches, manuscripts and portfolios. Learn from key panel sessions with editors, agents, authors and illustrators including focused sessions with book creators.

Book Links offers a Mentorship to Book Links members with the well-renowned Robyn Sheahan Bright… Applicants are invited to submit a synopsis and the first two chapters or first 6000 words. $10 Only


Pitch to a Publisher: Saturday 15 mins OR Sunday 20 mins

BOOK one-on-one feedback with publishers Clair Hume (Affirm Press), Susannah Chambers (Allen & Unwin), Rowena Beresford (Yellow Brick Books), Emily Lighezzolo (Wombat Books, Rhiza Edge), Sarah Davis (Walker Books) or literary agent, Justine Barker (Mayfair Literary Agency)

Justine Barker (Mayfair Agency)

For feedback sessions,  you MUST be booked into either Saturday OR Sunday program.

All pitch sessions are filling up fast! I’m already booked in! I can’t wait to pitch to my chosen publisher.

Go to the page … Scroll down to choose your publisher or agent …


Saturday 19 October Program

Come to Saturday’s program, consisting of panel sessions with creators, publishers and agents and choices of sessions with authors and illustrators. 

Feedback sessions for writers and illustrators can be booked separately.

MEET publishers Allen & Unwin, Affirm Books, Wombat Books, Yellow Brick Books and MORE.

MEET authors: Lisa Shanahan, Frané Lessac, Mark Greenwood        

MEET illustrators:  Sarah Davis and Heath McKenzie

Check the FULL program here on the Book Links website. The registration desk opens at 8am outside Auditorium 2, Brisbane State Library. Tickets include morning tea and lunch on Saturday only.

$95 members (Book Links and CBCA Qld Branch members)

$125 non-members


Sunday 20 October MASTER CLASSES

Sarah Davis – Masterclass – Sunday

StoryArts Brisbane presents Sarah Davis ‘Illustration Toolbox’: An intensive day designed to give you the essential tools for illustration;  Beginning with a shared prompt, participants will work individually to create a finished illustration and in the process learn how to brainstorm and develop a concept, design a character, and explore basic principles of form, colour, line, composition and personal style. $60 – $90


Lisa Shanahan – Masterclass – Sunday SAB19 10:00 am

As part of StoryArts Brisbane we are offering this masterclass in the art and craft of writing chapter books and middle grade fiction with award winning author Lisa Shanahan.

Fierce, Funny, True: The Art of Writing for Children

Where do captivating ideas for children’s books really come from?
What does it take to write a novel that lingers and lasts?

Join award-winning writer Lisa Shanahan for an engaging and interactive writing workshop. Explore the essential narrative requirements for writing junior novels and middle grade fiction, including the key differences. Discover how to create convincing, believable characters and how to develop a strong, dynamic voice. Study the important fundamentals of structure, setting, plot, dialogue and emotional resonance.

Participant requirements: Bring your favourite children’s book
Limited spaces available. $60 – $90


Saturday Program:-

Full day festival with panels and break-out sessions.

  • Saturday 20 October, 2019 – $95 (members) $125 (non-members)
    Day Program includes morning tea and lunch.
  • Saturday 20 October, 2019 – $70 (members) $100 (non-members)
    Editor and Agent Feedback (15 minutes each).

Sunday Program:-

Full day masterclass with EITHER Sarah Davis OR Lisa Shanahan

  • Sunday 21 October, 2019 – $60 (members) $90 (non-members).
    Full day masterclass. Meals not provided.
  • Sunday 21 October, 2019 – $80 (members) $110 (non-members)
    Editor and Agent Feedback (20 minutes each).

Venue for #BSAB Festival

State Library of Queensland
Cultural Precinct
Stanley Place
South Brisbane, Qld 4101

Contact Details: Jenny Stubbs MOB 0409 266 78


Who’s coming along?

Please comment below and share via social media

Did you like this? Share it:

ABC Radio Courier Mail Sir David Attenborough Story

ABC Radio Sir David Attenborough Great Barrier Reef Rescue by Karen Tyrrell

ABC Radio Courier Mail Sir David Attenborough Story with Author Karen Tyrrell.

 ABC Radio Brisbane and the Courier Mail interviewed me about David Attenborough’s congratulatory letter for my book, Song Bird Great Barrier Reef Rescue.

David Attenborough Great Barrier Reef Rescue

Song Bird Great Barrier Reef Rescue is my eco-mystery adventure, teaching kids how to care for the reef.

 How did Sir David Attenborough get involved?

My name is Karen Tyrrell award winning Logan author and teacher. I write books to empower kids to live strong, stop the bully and care for the environment. I’m an environmentalist, snorkeller and a huge supporter of Sir David Attenborough’s work, as seen on the Blue Planet TV series.

When Sir David pleaded,

‘The Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger. It’s time to step up.’

I took his challenge to heart, and wrote Great Barrier Reef Rescue to educate and empower kids to care for the reef … and to give them HOPE for the future.

 Tell me about Sir David Attenborough’s letter?

Three weeks ago, a friend suggested I post a signed copy of my book to Sir David Attenborough as he inspired me to write it.

Two weeks later, I received his personal letter back in the mail. I couldn’t believe it!

  Tell me about the Courier Mail News story

 Last week, co-author, Steve Tyrrell contacted the Courier Mail regarding my Sir David Attenborough letter without telling me.

To my surprise, the Courier Mail phoned me the next morning requesting an interview and a photo shoot with local children. Today, the story was published in the Courier Mail on page 19.

Courier Mail Brisbane Song Bird Great Barrier Reef Rescue by Karen Tyrrell

How did ABC Radio get involved?

Early this morning, ABC Brisbane radio announcer Rebecca Levingston rang, requesting an interview in their studios at 9.10 am. Steve and I were still dressed in our PJ’s. Very quickly, I threw myself into the shower. I grabbed my Song Bird Superhero costume and copies of our book,
Great Barrier Reef Rescue .

Bec Levingston with Karen Tyrrell

What did Bec from ABC radio ask you?

She asked to describe the sequence of events leading to Sir David’s letter to us. Here are some of the questions above and below.

Listen to ABC Radio PODCAST on YouTube HERE

 Is Great Barrier Reef Rescue a factual Book about the Great Barrier Reef?

It’s an eco-fantasy mystery adventure with superhero characters like Song Bird, Ocean Boy cyber-mermaids and Destructo, the environmental villain.  The action-packed story includes lots of scientific facts about the reef … and what we can do to save the reef.

Do you hope to get your book into the school curriculum?  Or is it just for kids to read at home?

Both. It contains important messages on sustainability and how to become an eco-warrior. We want it to be highly recommended by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, like they did for Song Bird Rainforest Rescue.

Where can I purchase Great Barrier Reef Rescue?

 ABC Radio Brisbane Song Bird Great Barrier Reef Rescue by Karen Tyrrell
Great Barrier Reef Rescue by Karen Tyrrell

Queensland Museum

Riverbend Books

Dymocks Indooroopilly & Dymocks North Lakes

Wild Cards & Gifts Hyperdome …. And many more bookshops

Online around the world.

Can you please spread the word … and comment below?

Did you like this? Share it:

Sir David Attenborough sent me an Inspiring Letter 

Sir David Attenborough wrote a special letter, thanking me for my children’s book, Great Barrier Reef Rescue. He also set me a very personal challenge.

 Why did Sir David Attenborough write to me?

A few weeks ago, I sent Sir David my book, Song Bird Great Barrier Reef Rescue. I told him he was my inspiration and I never expected to hear back from him.

Sir David Attenborough Great Barrier Reef Rescue

Late Friday, I ripped open a letter from the UK, addressed to me. Inside, I discovered a handwritten note from Sir David Attenborough. OMG!

I couldn’t believe he had replied, thanking me and reminding me to keep caring for the reef.

Sir David Attenborough Great Barrier Reef Rescue

Why did I write to Sir David Attenborough?

Sir David Attenborough is my long-time idol ever since I started watching the Blue Planet series on TV. I absorbed every word, urging us to care for the planet.

When Sir David pleaded …

The Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger. It’s time to step up.’

I took his challenge to heart, and wrote Great Barrier Reef Rescue for children, an eco-adventure mystery, to educate and empower kids to care for the reef.

I believe, the reef’s future lies within us all. Our children … and their children will miss out, if we don’t act now!

What did Sir David Attenborough’s letter say?

Sir David sent an official dated letter with a letter head and his typed name on the bottom.

Dear Karen Tyrrell,

It is most kind of you to send me a copy of your book … I wish you every success in helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Yours sincerely,

David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough Great Barrier Reef Rescue

How does Sir David Attenborough’s letter inspire?

Now that I have Sir David Attenborough’s letter, it’s as if his writing contains his essence of action. I’m more determined than ever to help protect the reef.

From June onwards, I visit Australian schools, speaking to children about the work of Sir David Attenborough, my book Great Barrier Reef Rescue, sustainability and what children can do.

I present power point talks, reader’s theatre, hands-on activities and writing workshops.

Read more about my school visits HERE.

ABC Radio PODCAST on Sir David’s Letter HERE

Great Barrier Reef Rescue (Song Bird) available on Amazon HERE

Order direct via which includes a certificate & a show bag filled with reef resources.

Book Depository

Books available via book shops including Queensland Museum Shop.

 Can you please spread the word?

 Share this blog with schools, teachers and people who care about the reef.

Did you like this? Share it: