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Trace Balla

Author, Illustrator, Inspirational Speaker

Trace Balla loves to illustrate and write songs and stories, and inspire others in their creativity and awareness of the wonders of the natural world and the ample stories that surround us.

Her multi award winning books include Rockhopping, Rivertime, Shine and The Thank You Dish. Themes include gratitude, grief, slowing down, growing up, connecting with the land and its’ creatures, the joy of the outdoors and the lessons nature can teach us. She is currently working very slowly on a graphic novella set in central Victoria where she lives.

Trace enjoys visiting schools, festivals and community centres to inspire people of all ages and abilities with slide show talks as well as workshops. These include nature journaling, making graphic novels, mini books and story catching. Talks and workshops can be tailored to the group’s interests.

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Travelling Story – Concertina Book Making

Have a peak at Trace’s next Graphic Novella in progress. She will also do a live drawing demonstration. Students will create mini concertina cartoon books. Include sound effects, thoughts, speech, narrator, and so much more to enrich their stories… This is fantastic for early literacy, as well for adults and everyone in between!  

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Nature Journal

A workshop for the flourishing sketcher:  Trace guides small groups in tips and tools as they have a go themselves, outdoors if possible, otherwise indoors, with plant and other natural samples to sketch. For larger groups Trace can do a slide show talk focusing on the topic of nature journals (ideal for outdoor education camps)

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The Art of Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs have inspired, excited and terrified generations of children, and many grown up kids too. Far from new knowledge ‘running out’, the last two decades have seen more paradigm shifts in our understanding of how dinosaurs lived than in the previous century or more, and more discoveries of increasingly bizarre species – vegetarian carnivores, bristle-tailed […]

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Story catching / Adventure writing

We are surrounded by stories, it’s just a matter of catching them. Be inspired by Trace Balla’s journals and Graphic Novella Rivertime and Rockhopping to create mini cartoon books. Topics include complicators, and embellishing stories with fascinating facts.  

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Twitcher Picture – local bird poster making

Be inspired by Trace Balla’s Graphic Novella Rivertime, to create local bird posters. Trace will give a short illustrated talk about birdwatching, and how we often recognise birds by what they do or where they are. She will demonstrate basic bird sketching skills, and then participants will create a collaborative poster filled with local birds […]

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Workshop 2: Book Cover Design

Authors may spend years crafting a novel, however if the book cover is thrown together with little thought or care, that story can sink without a trace within only months of publication. The success of a story rests, in no small measure, in the book designer’s hands. In this hands-on session, award winning book designer, […]

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My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up

Autobiographical talk using anecdotes, images, video and the Web to trace how Tristanʼs books relate to his life story. From schoolboy in Sydneyʼs Blue Mountains to teen TV actor and presenter in Australia and London, through travel and university to filmmaking and life as an author. Discover the books Tristan loves to read, how he finds inspiration […]

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