About Word Play
Word Play is our Education Program for young reader, writers and illustrators from Prep to Grade 12.
Now in its 14th year, Word Play invites students to grow and experiment with their creativity and immerse themselves in the magic of story with Australia’s leading writers and artists. We also offer a supportive space for teachers to build new skills and approach literacy in the classroom with confidence.
Heading the list of visiting artists this year is Jessica Townsend. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow was the biggest selling Australian children’s debut since records began and won the 2018 ABIA for Book of the Year. We’re also very fortunate to be presenting slam poet Solli Raphael. Solli was the youngest ever winner of the Australian Poetry Slam, taking out the all-adult field at age 12.
Also in the Festival spotlight are some of Australia’s most beloved authors, including Karen Foxlee (Lenny’s Book of Everything), A.J Betts (Zac & Mia), Kathy Hoopmann, whose work primarily dealing with mental illness and learning disabilities has been translated into fourteen languages, YA favourite Lili Wilkinson, and Indigenous storyteller, artist and musician, Gregg Dreise.
Word Play presents children’s authors in presentations tailored to the advertised age group and stage of learning. Students have the opportunity to engage directly with authors during Q&A at the end of each session. Students will have the opportunity to meet the writers after each session and have their books signed. The book signing area will be located in the State Library of Queensland’s Infozone.
Professional Development for Teachers
As part of Word Play, we’re proud to present a series of professional development opportunities for teachers. Learn how literature can be used to celebrate differences and learn strategies that will help you foster a love of reading in children of all ages.
Our Professional Development opportunities are aligned with curriculum to offer educators new skills and improved confidence when working with books and stories in your classroom and are scheduled to complement your students’ sessions, so no one misses out.
Angel’s Palace is an immersive literary experience first present by BWF in 2017. Paying tribute to Carpentaria, Alexis Wright’s monumental, award winning work and designed by acclaimed Brisbane-based artist Gordon Hookey, it is a multi-media venue with performances and installations brought to life by creative collaborators, including creative producer Alethea Beetson. Angel's Palace represents the voices of Indigenous Australia and celebrates First Nations storytelling and literature in a powerful experience for audiences.
Find out more about Angel's Palace.
Students can purchase their favourite Festival titles on site at the Festival Bookshop. The Festival Bookshop will be located in the State Library of Queensland’s Infozone.
Want to jump the queue? Selected Word Play books can be pre-purchased online at shop. slq.qld.gov.au from mid-August for collection on the day. Call the Library Shop on 07 3840 7576 for information on pre-ordering.
What’s for lunch?
Students are allocated half an hour for lunch between sessions. Students are encouraged to bring their own food and drinks. Bubblers are located onsite for water bottle refills. Food and drinks may be purchased from The Library Café but cannot be consumed within the State Library of Queensland or QAGOMA venues.
No backpacks please!
All school bags must be left on the bus. A cloakroom is available for lunch boxes only. Brisbane Writers Festival is not responsible for any loss or damage to bags brought onsite.
What to bring
Students should bring a small tote bag, clipboard, paper/ notebook, and a pen.
BWF photographers will be onsite throughout Word Play to capture proceedings. These photos may be used in BWF marketing material. The purchase of a ticket implies permission for photos to be used for these purposes.
Look for a volunteer in a BWF t-shirt if you need help onsite.