The Rosie Project, Anzac Girls & the Prime Minister lost a hand

The Rosie Project, Anzac Girls & the Prime Minister lost a hand

I had the privilege of speaking alongside brilliant authors at the Canberra ‘Writing What Matters’ Festival.

Graeme Simsion The Rosie ProjectGraeme Simsion and his best selling Rosie Project -soon to be a major movie – opened with Graeme’s ‘I’m not Asperger’s’ but I hung out with lots of Asperger mates and they’re different, funny, quirky.

His books, The Rosie  Project and The Rosie Effect has done more to get people on board than all the information books on Asberger’s. It’s good stuff and makes you love people with differences.

Then there was the beautiful Rachael Stevens, a girl who revealed her battle with anorexia with ‘The Skelton Diaries’ Rachael Stevens Skeleton Diaries– I had a tear and the teens in the audience really related.

At 80 years of age Brian Hungerford played the bag pipes and told stories – for all ages – and yeah to being 80 and a great performer.

Peter Rees an investigative journalist just blew me away as his books give voice to ordinary people who are extraordinary-  ‘Anzac Girls’ which has become the fabulous  TV series ‘Anzac Girls’ gives voice to our nurses in war. The war time journalist Charles Bean who risked his life to reveal the the realities of Gallipoli is so important. You have to read Peter’s  ‘Bearing Witness’.

Jack Heath’s teen books are great, action packed and he gets young people reading. He’s also hilarious. He related the story of meeting our Prime Minister where  the PM was left holding a hand – it was an artificial one, where the guy unscrewed his hand so when the PM shook his hand – well, you know the story.

Thankyou to the ABC for the interview – where I could share the importance of story – and The Canberra Times .

Susanne GervayI spoke about ‘Butterflies’ and how difference does not separate us from each other. I also spread information about Room to Read – bringing literacy and books to the children of the developing world – they have reached nearly 10 million kids.

Biggest thankyou to Suzanne Kiraly the Festival organiser and Convenor – www.aussiewriters.com.au

Peter Rees Bearing WitnessButterflies by Susanne GervayJack Heath 'Cut Out'Anzac Girls peter rees

I'm a writer committed to kids in particular. Adults are good too. Want to bring hope through story to my readers. Awarded an Order of Australia, Lady Cutler Award and a Lifetime International Award for Literacy for my body of work, spreading literacy is really important. I'm head of SCBWI Australia East & New Zealand, patron of Monkey Baa Theatre, Ambassador for the Premier's Reading Challenge, Writer Ambassador for Room to Read ... among other roles. I also love heritage and adapting to enhance the lives of people today, which is why I restored The Hughenden Hotel 1870s and The Residences Centennial Park - the only homes in the parklands which are open now for accommodation, events and lots of nature.

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