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The Writer's Balancing Act: Engaging Young Readers

A public lecture by Deb Fitzpatrick for International Children’s Book Day.

International Children’s Book Day Event

Date: Wednesday 4 April 2018
Time: 5.30–7pm
Venue: Murdoch Lecture Theatre, G.58, Arts Building, The University of Western Australia

A CHE-sponsored public lecture with Deb Fitzpatrick (freelance editor and author).

Most kids actively seek to be engaged by the books they are offered, and if they are offered a wide enough range of books – including fiction and non-fiction – they will find ‘their' books. Of course, engaging kids in reading changes with each step in their development, but at the heart of real engagement, no matter what the age, is a sense that the reader can see themselves in what they read. As a writer, there’s a sort of straddling the fence that happens as I create a story around my protagonists: the story must be from the kids’ point of view; it must be their story, but to some extent it also needs to be delivered and shaped in a way that maintains calm among the adults! That is a tricky balancing act and I think the balance needs to be more and more on the young readers’ side as they get older, especially when it comes to conveying feelings and modes of expression.

Deb Fitzpatrick will explore these ideas in light of her junior fiction and young adult novels, including The Amazing Spencer Gray (2013), The Spectacular Spencer Gray (2017), Have you seen Ally Queen? (2011) and 90 packets of instant noodles (2010).

Deb Fitzpatrick lives and works in Fremantle, Western Australia, and has published novels for adults, young adults and children. Deb has a Master of Arts (creative writing) from UWA, and regularly teaches creative writing, professional writing, and editing.

The ARC Centre for the History of Emotions (CHE) and the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at The University of Western Australia (UWA) are pleased to sponsor the following events to celebrate International Children’s Book Day in April 2018. The events are convened by Dr Ned Curthoys (UWA).

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Image: AdobeStock_5972557