Festival Fun: StoryArts Ipswich 2019

This author has been fortunate to be involved with the biennial StoryArts festival in Ipswich for a number of years now, as a panel host, session reporter, delegate and fan of Kids' Lit. This year, however I had the joy of presenting to the school children, who each festival, are bused in from around SE Queensland to enjoy a host of story and drawing orientated sessions performed by a stellar lineup of children's authors and illustrators from around Australia.

The school and family programs make up the bulk of the Festival operating out of Marburg near Ipswich, which concludes with a brief Adults' program, this year running in Brisbane. Lucky primary school children and their families are still enjoying events (I was only able to do one day) but my memories of the marvellous location at Woodlands of Marburg, lingering over lattes with industry mates and presenting in one of the haunted rooms of the magnificent Woodlands mansion remain sharp and colourful. 

The pics say it better.
SAFI 19 kicks off with the official Festival opening at the Ipswich Community Gallery

Great to see old buddies, Ozan and Anil Tortop. Anil was also one of the many fabulous volunteers that assisted us.

There's always one banana bendier than the rest. Here's a bunch of crazies - and great writers: Michael Gerard Bauer, George Ivanoff (in blue) and Felice Arena.

Not so nutty but as just nice, Sarah Davies and Lisa Shanahan.

Woodlands Mansion, the original homestead of this parcel of land, complete with its own ghosts...they tell me now.

Not too shabby. Our billets for the duration of our time at Woodlands of Marburg.

How's the serenity. StoryArts is perhaps one of the most consistently unhurried and relaxed festivals I've had the pleasure of presenting at and attending.

A crystallising moment, sitting on the hillside with fellow creators, Peter Carnavas and Giuseppe Poli, watching the moon rise. We pondered space travel among many other things...

This is Mary's room. It was also my room for the day where I presented to the kids from Ipswich Junior Grammar School. Note the fantastical Harry Potter Mirror of Erised type mirror in the corner? I covered this with my banner, a little worried as I did so that I was somehow offending Mary, whose ghost some believe, still haunts this room. Spookily enough, my laptop failed to work at all that day. Upon returning home, it did?! #ianintafraidofnoghosts šŸ‘»

Tranquil views around every corner.

One of the hallways of the mansion.

Yours truly after a day of fun and feathers.

Pippa was on hand to help me explain how to Be Brave and Have Fun.

Group of great little listeners.

It was all going well until...Bruce the Drop Bear turned up. Uni looks on stricken with fear while George Ivanoff, erstwhile keeper of dropbears, is no where to be found.

Fortunately, no pigeons or mythical creatures were seriously hurt and both Pippa and Uni made it safely back home to Gold Coast with me. Phew! What an adventure!!

Enjoying post presentation drinks with organiser extraordinaire, Jenny Stubbs, George Ivanoff and Giuseppe Poli.

Huge thanks to Jenny Stubbs and her small tribe of brilliant vollies and facilitators including the IDTL network for continuing to make great festivals like SAFI accessible to everyone and SO MUCH FUN! 

Photo credits to George Ivanoff and Danielle Freeman.


George Ivanoff said…
Great write up. So lovely to catch up with you at the festival.
DimbutNice said…
Likewise, George. I think the 'catching up' bits were one of my best. Viva la festivals!

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