Events for June and July

This June and July you’ll find me reading from my upcoming book in Fremantle, running sessions at a kids’ lit festival in Balingup, and giving a free dragon-drawing workshop in Perth.

Come by and say hi!

June 6 – Books Out Loud!

Come and hear Fremantle Press authors Deb Fitzpatrick, Norman Jorgensen, Paula Hayes, Meg McKinlay and myself doing free live readings on WA Day. I’ll do a few sketches too.

There’ll be a bunch of other activities on during the day: a skateboarding clinic, art classes, a climbing wall, mask making and kite flying. Should be awesome!

VENUE: Fremantle Esplanade
WHEN: Monday June 6th; Books Out Loud is on from 12noon-1pm
(other WA Day activities go from 10am-4pm)
FOR: all ages
COST: free!
BOOKINGS: not required; just turn up. More info here.

July 9/10 – Telling Tales Children’s Literature Festival


Join me and a bunch of other children’s authors & illustrators in Balingup for a weekend of talks and workshops for kids. Come for a day or for the weekend. This is one of my favourite festivals to visit because the whole community gets involved – plus Balingup has stunning scenery and great cafés!

VENUE: Balingup (3hrs drive south of Perth)
WHEN: Saturday July 9th – Sunday July 1oth
FOR: 4-14yos
COST: $6 per day per child. Children can attend up to four session per day. No charge for accompanying parents or toddlers seated on parents lap.
BOOKINGS & MORE INFO: visit the Telling Tales website.

July 15 – Making mythical monsters:
watercolour dragons workshop

In the July holidays join me for a free workshop where you get to create, draw and paint amazing watercolor dragons.
Numbers are limited.

VENUE: City of Perth Library, 573 Hay st (NB: this is NOT the State Library)
WHEN: Friday July 15th, 10:30am-12 noon
FOR: strictly 7-10 year olds only
COST: free
BOOKINGS: email Suzanne at

Banksia Grove mural project


Late last year I was asked by the City of Wanneroo to work on a mural project with primary school students.

Our task: to make murals for the Banksia Grove Community Centre, based on the theme of ‘what makes me happy’?

Here’s what we did.

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2015: Year in Review

The end of 2015 marks two and a half years since I gave up my day job at the Health Department. It’s also been my busiest year by far.

That doesn’t mean much when there’s only 1.5 other years to compare it to 😉 but I’ve run the numbers and it was pretty huge.

Here’s the vital statistics:

  • 118-ish days of talks and workshops at schools, libraries and festivals       (way up from 80 last year)
  • 12 festival/conference appearances    (more than the last two years combined)
  • Quietest term: 1st     (same as last year)
  • Quietest month: March     (last year = April)
  • Busiest term: 3rd     (same as last year)
  • Busiest months: August/Sept/Oct     (last year = Aug)
  • 4 trips over east      (down from 6 last year)
  • 1 trip each to Tas, Vic, NSW, Qld
  • 2.5 weeks = longest trip away (Qld)
  • 1 new book released (My Dead Bunny)
  • 3 book launches including 2 inter-state
  • 2 bouts of the flu
  • 1 contract for a work-in-progress
  • 1 grant
  • 2 community art projects
  • 9 editions of the James Foley-o newsletter


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Last Viking Returns voted number one by WA kids

The Last Viking Returns (2014), front coverNorm and I have some good news: The Last Viking Returns has won the Hoffman Award!

It’s one of the WA Young Readers’ Book Awards and it’s given to the highest-ranked book by a WA creator. The Last Viking won the same award back in 2012.

Huge thanks to all the WA kids who voted for our book; it means a lot.

You can read more about the win on the Fremantle Press website.

My Dead Bunny coming to Sydney, Perth & Melbourne

10-days-to-launchThere’s only 10 days until the release date of My Dead Bunny!

You’re invited to join myself and Bunny Brad at one of three events across the country in the next few weeks.

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Author Visit: James Foley

Thanks To the staff at Carey Baptist College iCentre for the great write-up on my visit!

Teasdale iCentre

On Tuesday the 5th of August, we had a visit from author/illustrator James Foley at the Carey iCentre.  James is the illustrator of The Last Viking and The Last Viking Returns, and the author/illustrator of In The Lion and My Dead Bunny, which will be released later in the year.

James 3

James came to speak to the year 7s and 8s about picture books, how it got his start in them and of his love of drawing.  He shared art and stories from when he was at school, speaking of his early attempts at art and story writing, and how it progressed with practice, all interspersed with humorous stories.

James 1Students

From there he shared of how he came into illustrating books, of the story-boarding and trail and error it took to arrive at the final version ready for publishing.  He also read and showed his latest book, My Dead Bunny…

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Zombie animals terrify at Telling Tales


Last weekend I visited Balingup for their annual Telling Tales Children’s Storytelling Festival.

Balingup is a beautiful town in the South-West Region surrounded by farms, bushland and pine forest. When the sun is out the scenery is stunning – it’s all green hills and winding valleys. But on cold winter mornings a mist descends upon the town, which creates an incredibly spooky atmosphere. It’s the perfect setting for a scary story …

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An upcycled kindergarten

Header-IMG_4882 I’ve been working on a great community project since April; I was hired by Yanchep Community Centre to redesign their playgroup outdoor area. It needed to be suitable for the 2-4 year olds from the weekly playgroups, and it needed to include a water play area and a music play area. it also needed to use as many upcycled materials as possible. Here’s what we did.

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The Rottnest Island Retreat, & other SCBWI news

Thompson Bay, Rottnest IslandEvery year since 2009, members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) have gathered on Rottnest Island in June for a winter retreat. We spend four days writing, drawing, working on stories and learning from guest speakers. It’s my favourite time of the year.

Continue reading “The Rottnest Island Retreat, & other SCBWI news”