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Rare opportunity to learn creative writing from popular author


Fraser Coast youngsters have a rare opportunity to learn creative writing from popular author Justin D’Ath who has written more than 50 books for children and young adults.

The Victorian-based author, who has written the 12-book Extreme Adventure series - published worldwide and made into TV shows – will be in Maryborough next month.

He’ll be hosting workshops and doing readings during the Mary Poppins Festival, presented in partnership with Tourism & Events Queensland.

The workshops are funded by The Regional Arts Development Fund which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Robyn Peach, event manager at Fraser Coast Tourism & Events, said the creative writing workshop for children aged seven to 11 would be at the Bond Store on Friday, July 6, from 10am to 11.30am and the next session would be from 1pm to 2.30pm for ages 12 and up.

She said the cost was $10 per child and bookings, which were essential, could be made online at or by phoning the Brolga Theatre on 4122 6060.

“He’ll also be doing free readings and talks in the Bond Store at 11am and 1.30pm on Saturday, July 7, at the festival’s major celebration, Mary Poppins in the Park,” she said.

Mr D’Ath has promised some tall stories and to share his ideas about books and writing.

“I enjoy meeting young readers,” he said.

“I’m hoping to show them what makes stories work and that writing, like reading, can be both creative and fun.”

Mr D’Ath said he tried to write stories that would have engaged and entertained him when he was 10 years old.

“This means quirky characters, occasional humour and non-stop action,” he said.

“That said, I try to make stories that are believable within their own fictional context and to create likeable characters who care about the people, animals and the world around them.”

Mrs Peach said the author’s appearance would be one of the highlights of the festival which also included a visit by Kate Knapp, author of the Ruby Red Shoes series.

She said other memorable events would be the world-first performances of the Mary Poppins Happy Ever After musical, initiated by the Proud Marys in partnership with the Maryborough Players and funded by Fraser Coast Regional Council; and the free live show titled The Magic Banyan Tree which would be performed in Queens Park.

“Of course the chief merrymaking of the festival is at Mary Poppins in the Park, a day chock-full of fun and frivolity centred around Maryborough’s heritage streetscapes and riverside parks,” Mrs Peach said.

“There will be plenty of creative activities for children, roving entertainers, live shows, a bookmaking workshop, bubbles floating in the air, The Grand Parade, Chimney Sweep Challenge, The Great Nanny Race and much more.”

The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, supports the Mary Poppins Festival which features on the It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar. Your perfect next event is in Queensland where live events combine with the most incredible destinations, and life is beautiful one day, perfect the next.

Check out the full program at

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