19. On illustrations

This week, we talk to Judy Horacek and Gabrielle Wang, two living legends, about writing and illustrating books – and their many other forms of creative work.

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Book cover Random LifeOur guests

Judy Horacek is a cartoonist, writer, artist and illustrator, perhaps equally famous – depending how old you are – for her incisive cartoons or picture books such as The Story of Growl and the beloved Where is the Green Sheep? – a collaboration with Mem Fox which was the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year. Her cartoons have appeared on almost every feminist fridge door in Australia, and also in The Age, The Weekend Australian magazine, and The Australian Book Review – as well as the Treasures gallery in the National Library.

Her latest collection, Random Life, is out now.

Book cover Beast of Hushing WoodGabrielle Wang is an author and illustrator. Her many books for younger readers include The Wishbird, Little Paradise, The Pearl of Tiger Bay, and the Our Australian Girl: Poppy and Pearlie series. The Race for the Chinese Zodiac was presented on stage with animation, storytelling and an original score played on traditional Chinese instruments performed live by the Australian Chinese Music Ensemble. She has won Aurealis Awards, been shortlisted for Premiers’ and Prime Minister’s awards, and is a regular on the Children’s Book Council notable books lists. Her latest novel  is The Beast of Hushing Wood.

16. On teaching

We talk to three writers who teach, and ask them about the ways we learn and teach writing – in community organisations, schools, colleges and universities – and the skills and knowledge writers need.

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Our guests

Penni Russon

Penni Russon writes literary fiction for children and teenagers, and her books include the award-winning Only Ever Always. She teaches creative writing at the University of Melbourne, having studied Children’s Literature at Monash University and then Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. She has been blogging since 2006 and has recently been involved in a creative partnership with Storybird and a research project with Orygen Youth Mental Health and Headspace.

Alexis Drevikovsky

Alexis Drevikovsky is a writer and the General Manager of Writers Victoria – a major statewide writers’ centre which offers an extensive learning program. She has taught English to Mexican children, and her own writing has been published in The Age, Killings and Australian Love Stories. Alexis is currently working on a memoir.

Alison Ravenscroft

Dr Alison Ravenscroft was part of the legendary Australian feminist publishing cooperative, Sybylla Press. She now teaches in English at La Trobe University, and supervises a number of postgraduate students working on creative and critical projects. Her own fiction and academic writing has been widely published in journals and in edited collections, and her short story ‘Object Lessons’ won the Josephine Ulrich Literature Award. Her 2016 book The Postcolonial Eye considers the ways we read, see and understand race and desire.

This episode was recorded in a meeting room in a beautiful local library, where we were surrounded by young learners in homework club and older learners and readers in informal groups and classes. Perfect. If a little noisy.

Disclosure: Co-host Kelly Gardiner also teaches at La Trobe University and is a tutor at Writers Victoria.

Professor Helen C. White demonstrates how to dress for a creative writing class (University of Wisconsin, 1954)

Image sources:

University of Wisconsin Archives via Wikimedia Commons, pennirusson.com, Writers Victoria, La Trobe University

12. On labels

Labels? Why do we have them? We talk to two authors about the labels they choose for themselves, their characters and their place within the industry, as well as those that they reject.

Join Anita Heiss and Jessica Walton as they discuss labels, identity and writing.

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About our guests

large_anita_heiss_small_Dr Anita Heiss is a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales and is one of Australia’s most prolific and well-known Indigenous writers.

She writes fiction, poetry and nonfiction, and her books include Am I Black Enough For You? – a memoir on identity, the poetry collections Token Koori and I’m not racist, but… and books for kids: Yirra and her deadly dog Demon, Me and My Mum, Matty’s Comeback,  and  the recent  Kicking Goals with Magic and Goodsey.

Anita edited Life in Gadigal Country and co-edited The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature  and Stories Without End.

Her novels include Manhattan Dreaming, Not Meeting Mr Right, Avoiding Mr Right, Tiddas, and her new book, Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms.

She is Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Western Sydney attached to the Badanami Centre for Indigenous Education.


6j1q_ikwJessica Walton
describes herself as a writer, cancer survivor, amputee, queer, daughter of a trans parent, feminist and teacher. As well as picture books, Jess writes about disability, LGBTI issues, and the intersections between her disabled and queer experiences. She is a sensitivity reader for manuscripts featuring amputee and queer characters, and reviews published books with amputee characters.

Jess’s first book, Introducing Teddy, was published earlier this year.

Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms is published by Simon and Schuster. Introducing Teddy: a gentle story about gender and friendship is published by Bloomsbury.

9. On pictures

“Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent.”                                                                                                                                 Dr Seuss     

In this episode of Unladylike we talk to two women who have mastered this melding of formats to tell stories that engage adults and children alike.

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About our guests:

raina-telgemeier-1Raina Telgemeier grew up in San Francisco and moved to New York City, where she earned an illustration degree at the School of Visual Arts. She began her career in web and independent comics before adapting and illustrating four titles from the the Baby-Sitters Club series. A NY Times bestselling author and illustrator, her graphic novels Smile, Drama and Sisters have received many accolades including two Eisner Awards, a Stonewall Honour and a Boston-Globe Horn Book Honour. She lives and works in San Francisco. goraina.com

 

BrownwynBancroftBronwyn Bancroft is a Bandjalang artist born in Tenterfield, Australia Trained in the Visual Arts at the Canberra School of Arts, she has been a prominent figure within the Australian art community since the 1980s. Bronwyn’s creative practice includes textile design illustration and painting. She has created her own signature style of contemporary artwork which continues to be exhibited nationally and internationally.

Bronwyn is heavily involved in the pursuit of advancing Aboriginal Health and Education as well as protecting the rights of Aboriginal people.

Bronwyn’s illustrated many children’s books since 1993 with The fat and juicy place (with Dianna Kidd) and Stradbroke dreaming (with Oodgeroo Noonuccal) launched onto the scene. Most recently she has been working solo, writing and painting her picture books. bronwynbancroft.com

Raina Telgemeier’s new work, the graphic novel Ghosts launches this month with Scholastic. Bronwyn Bancroft’s newest picture book, Colours of Australia, also launches this month with Hardie Grant Egmont.