Support your local book shops

Maybe you have a backlog of books to plough though while you are home, but with public libraries closed and most bookshops too, how do you lay your hands on the latest books?  Look no further than you local bookshops where you can order online and have them delivered. Many of these are Book Links supporters offering discounts, though I must admit not sure how that works for online orders. All have great children’s books in stock.

  • A Lot of Books (Ipswich) is offering free delivery on orders $50 and over.
  • Books@Stones (Stones Corner) is still open with normal opening times and offering free delivery to anywhere in Australia for all purchases over $30, until 30 April and free same delivery to Postcodes 4120, 4121, 4102, 4103, 4151, 4152 and 4169 if orders are placed by 3pm.
  • The Library Shop (SLQ) is offering free domestic shipping on all orders over $10.
  • The Little Book Nook (Palmwoods) You can order online, but still has a postage cost. Can order online (Click & Collect) and pick up at shop.
  • The Mad Hatters Bookshop is currently offering free delivery in our local area (Wynnum Manly & surrounding suburbs) on orders over $30.
  • Riverbend Books (Bulimba) Is offering tap ‘n’ go drive-through books—simply order over the phone or online and collect your books from the car park without even getting out of the car! Free delivery for 4171, 4170 & 4005. Free postage AUS wide on orders over $50.
  • Where the Wild Things Are attached to Avid Reader (West End) is offering free shipping on all orders in surrounding suburbs and free shipping nationally for all orders over $50. Now offering a drive by pickup service.

Also check out the Book Links Menu under Programs – Children and YA  to find resources for Young Writers and Illustrators, Writing Competitions and Reading and Listening Resources. The latter includes links to online stories and other resources.  Don’t miss the free digital book called Coronavirus: A book for children illustrated by Axel Scheffler of Gruffalo fame.

Events and News Update

I am sure you are all a little tired of hearing about events being cancelled and the impact on the Arts Industry as well as others.  It is really heartbreaking. For most authors and illustrators, they reply on income from school visits and events, so it has been really tough trying to reschedule rather than cancel events to continue supporting our book creators.

Thanks goodness we managed to squeeze in a wonderful Romancing the Stars at Iona College before things went really bad.

Unfortunately we had to cancel the Lucia Masciullo Young Illustrators workshop on the morning of the event, but have now rescheduled it to the start of Book Week in August along with the Brian Falkner Young Writers Workshop.  We hope the worst will be over by then and allow us to slowly return to normal. Other events have also been postponed with some still hanging in the balance.  Please check out the Bookings page for updated information on events.

Now for some positive news. Mia Macrossan over at Story Links has been judging the short story competition which was to be announced 2 April at the Narelle Oliver Lecture with Ursula Dubosarsky.  As this event is being rescheduled to September, the announcement will now be made via websites and social media, but in the meantime, check out the shortlisted authors.

The other piece of good news is that at the last Book Links meeting it was agreed to offer the Book Links mentorship again to our members. So in times of reduced activity in the community, here is something you can do at home.  Write!!!
PS is your membership up to date?

Because Write Links meetings cannot currently be held at State Library of Queensland, we are investigating ways to meet online. We’ll keep you posted about our progress.

Keep healthy everyone!

Jenny Stubbs


Upcoming events for 2020

We have an exciting program lined up for 2020, so make sure you join early to get discounted tickets.





Our first event is the Write Links Workshop with Nette Hilton. Numbers are limited so book in fast.

‘What’s the Difference’ Workshop with Nette Hilton
The design of a book and the way it is to be presented is often suggested by the publisher. What you consider to be a picture book may be rejected as it is really a junior novel or younger reader. It is not always easy to find the defining line between picture book material and junior novels. Is it word count? Is it language? Is it age level? Or is it the other stuff that just needs to be explored a little. In this workshop I’m hoping to be able to :

  • Explore language and how it works in picture books.
  • What is it that frames language in picture books.
  • How and when to minimize the text.
  • When is a picture book a Junior Novel.

Ultimately, the workshop is intended to share information that is hands-on and useful. It will provide participants with tools to work on making books that best suit the purpose of the author/illustrator and the publisher and to expand an understanding of picture books and junior novels. It’s a bit like refining the aim of the arrow when you launch your book into the moving, unknown target of publishing houses.

Nette Hilton is an established author of children’s literature, young adult literature and, in past times, adult novels. Her work is sold internationally and is in translation across many countries. She is best known for ‘Proper Little Lady’ which was published in 1990 and is still in print today. Her latest books, ‘The Princess Peony and her Adventures’ which include her encounters with bears, frogs and a troublesome prince, have been well received with the First Adventures being short-listed for Speech Therapists Award this year. Due to judging commitments Princess Peony was withdrawn for CBCA 2020 judging as Nette is one of the judges and has been for the past two years. Her newest work to be published in 2021 is D’Lila LaRue which smacks of naughtiness in the nicest way. She is currently working on developing illustrations for her own picture book and continuing her involvement with judging CBCA BOTYA. More details are available on the website which, sadly, is a little out of date (right now but plans are afoot). There is an article in Magpies last November which, I hope, further explains her experience with writing and all things authorship. Worth a look.

The workshop runs Saturday 7 March from 12:30 – 2:10 pm and will be followed by the Write Links meeting and critiquing.
The workshop is $15 for Book Links members and $25 for non-members. Bookings are essential as these workshops normally sell out.



Our next event is our annual Romancing the Stars, beginning with the Brisbane event. Book here.

On Thursday evening 12 March discover what books our local authors and illustrators have been creating for children and young adults. Each creator will give a short introduction to their latest publication in a small intimate circle, before rotating on to the next group. You have a chance to get inside information about the creation of the books and make contact with potential presenters for your school or library.

Speed date 21 local stars and meet others informally. Great food and drinks. View and buy books and illustrations. Enter raffle and quiz competition.

PD certificates provided after the event.

Meet: Aleesah Darlison, Allison Rushby, Jane Smith, Karen Tyrrell, Kathy Hoopmann, Lisa Walker, Remy Lai, Richard Yaxley, Taryn Bashford, Andrew King, Anil Tortop, Chi Mary Kalu, Cori Brooke, Dannika Paterson,  Heidi Cooper-Smith, Jacqui Halpin, Megan Forward, Michelle Worthington, Robert Henderson, Sophie Beer, Yvonne Mes and MC Josie Montano

Find out more about these stars.  See what books they have created and will be talking about.

Join us if you are a teacher, librarian  or lover of children’s literature and want to gain an insight into the inspiration behind the latest books.

RSVP by Friday 6 March for catering purposes.
$25 members, $35 non-members Starts 6.00pm.
Venue: Iona College, (Library), 85 North Rd, Lindum QLD 4178



And now an event for children.  Our first workshop is for Young Illustrators.  Book here.

Lucia Masciullo  will lead this Illustration Workshop for children.
Recommended for children aged 8 – 13 years.
Sunday 15 March – 1:00 -2:30pm.
$10 members, $15 non-members
Drawing materials supplied.
What you need to bring:  paint shirt/apron, glue stick and scissors

Design a Creature Workshop

Do you have a wild imagination and love for strange creatures? Then this fun workshop is for you! Together with award winning illustrator Lucia Masciullo you are going to design your own creature and finish it with a unique watercolour and collage technique.

Lucia Masciullo is an award winning children’s book illustrator born and bred in Livorno, Italy. She moved to Australia in 2007 and she now lives on the Gold Coast.

She has illustrated more than twenty books, among which the CBCA Honour Book and Prime Minister Award shortlisted Come Down, Cat! by Sonya Hartnett and the best selling series Our Australian Girl.

Lucia likes to create whimsical characters and she works with traditional techniques, mixing watercolour, pencil, acrylic and collage.

She loves to share her passion for drawing and creating illustrations and she regularly presents talks and workshops to children and aspiring illustrators. Lucia is the tutor for the Draw Like an Artist program and has workshops coming up in the April school holidays at Southport.

Her last picture book is My Real Friend, by David Hunt, 2019.



The Big Lit Quiz 2019

Kid Lit community unites

Brisbane’s Kids Lit community celebrated their end-of-year party with a quiz based on children’s literature at Manly State School on 24th November, MC’d by Mia Macrossan. Writers, illustrators, teachers and teacher librarians formed cutely-named teams, such as Bubbly Bookworms, Snugglepots and Writing Birds. Eager participants answered questions in six categories, winning raffles and prizes. Popular categories were Book to Film, Made in Queensland and Know the Image.

Would you have known the answer to these questions?

1.      Stephen Michael King’s book about a colourful bear was shortlisted in the CBCA Book of the Year awards this year. What was it called? (Questions category: Bears)

2.      H is for Happiness is a feature film released at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August 2019. It is based on which Barry Jonsberg book? (Questions category: Book to Film)

3.      After which precious metal are Dorothy’s slippers in the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz named?  (Questions category: Footwear)

4.      What is the name of the Chinese Festival that gives the title to a novel by Sally Heinrich? (Questions category: Ghosts)

5.      Which Queenslander has just been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal? (Questions category: Made in Qld)

6.      Name the author/illustrator and title of this book. (Questions category: Know the image)

Kid Lit organizations: Book Links, Write Links, CBCA Qld, SCBWI, IBBY, QSLA, May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust supported this fun event. Book creators and organizations displayed a colourful array of pop-up banners.

Jenny Stubbs and her Book Links team organized this event and prepared a delicious lunch feast to enjoy. Everyone enjoyed the fun, friendship and games. Congratulations to the winning team of Trish Buckley, Claire Jackson, Alison Winfield and Dannika Patterson. Congratulations also to Megan Daley, winner of the art prize donated by Mark Wilson to StoryArts Festival Ipswich. Mark’s painting is from the book Flapper, VC.

Teams work together
End of year feast
Heads and Tails Game

Proceeds of the Big Lit Quiz this year will be going to the Australian Children’s Laureate Program.

Find out how the international Kids Lit Quiz competition works
In 2020, join us for three heats in Queensland: Ipswich, Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Answers: 1. Rainbow Bear 2. My Life as an Alphabet 3. Silver (this was a trick question because in the book they are silver, but in the film they are ruby) 4. Hungry Ghosts 5. Remy Lai (not many knew this one, but congratulations to our local Brisbane author.) 6. Gregg Dreise

Blog: Karen Tyrrell

Photo credits: Maria Parenti-Baldey & Karen Tyrrell

Book Links Mentorship Winner Responds






I am honoured and humbled to have been awarded the Inaugural Book Links Mentorship award at this year’s Story Arts festival. The idea for the manuscript that was chosen for this mentorship was first inspired at the 2013 Story Arts Festival Ipswich during a conversation with Sue Whiting (then Publisher at Walker Books) and other writing colleagues at the dinner table. Now, six years later, after various drafts and reincarnations, this story has come full circle, back to where it all began and ready to move in a new direction through the mentorship process. I’m very grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given and for Story Arts and Book Links for providing it.

Debbie Kahl
Winner of the 2019 Book Links Mentorship