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John is the most amazing storyteller…such beautiful use of imagery and language! He would weave some sort of beautiful metaphor into the story and then, suddenly, it would reappear again in the most surprising of ways as he delicately and carefully crafted this powerful and moving story. Everyone was genuinely entranced, hanging off each word, until the end, people were literally weeping ~ a room full of hard-arses with barely a dry eye in sight! Some people will be changed forever.
-Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services Inc. Annual Conference. O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat — April 2011.
Story is not limited to the page and screen; for tens of thousands of years story has been retold through dance, puppetry, song, and even clothing. Half a century ago, John Danalis’s family committed a grave injustice against an Aboriginal clan in Australia. In this workshop, John shares his true story of reconciliation with that […]
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, […]
Ideas for story are all around us, however the writer requires a keen set of eyes and ears to recognise them. In this session I deconstruct my illustrated YA story Dog 37, focusing on the story’s real life origins and demonstrate the simple techniques used to develop a basic premise (a sharp pin and a […]
John Danalis grew up with an Aboriginal skull – fondly nicknamed Mary – on his family mantelpiece. He never questioned why it was there or to whom it belonged to, until an afternoon in 2005 when he became swept up by a compulsion to return it to its rightful owners. Over the following weeks John […]
It’s been said that writers are fortunate people, because story gives our hurts, fears and troubles somewhere to go. This session explores the idea that writing ~ indeed all forms of creativity ~ is a form of emotional alchemy. Story provides human beings with the perfect hermetically sealed container to transmute base emotions like fear […]
This presentation takes the audience on a journey from my early years as a cross-eyed lover of pirate stories, through my years as a young adult with father-son issues, to the roving storyteller, author and illustrator of today. Mixing humor, heartwarming tales of teacher kindness, and tonnes of practical tips – not just for writing, […]