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Open Right

Get along to the Abbotsford Convent this coming Friday (20 October) for the opening of an exhibition of original illustrations from the picture books of Tony Wilson.

Over 15 years in the children’s book industry, Tony has written some cracker books, and have collaborated with some cracking illustrators to match. This is a celebration of these illustrators and the books they have worked on.

Featured in the exhibition are sketches and finished artwork by David Cornish, Tom Jellett, Sue DeGennaro, Jules Madden, Andrew McLean, Lucia Masciullo (illustrator of Emo the Emu, pictured), and Laura Wood.

The exhibition is at St Heliers Street Gallery, Abbotsford Convent (Abbotsford, VIC) and runs through to the 19th of November. The opening runs from 5 – 8pm on Friday 20 October at Cam’s Bar.

Kids are welcome and there is a big lawn to run around on.

13 October 2017
Gold Inky Winner Announced!


Congratulations are in order for Booked Out Speaker Cath Crowley, who has taken out the coveted Gold Inky for her novel Words in Deep Blue. The Inky Awards are Australia’s national teen choice awards for young adult literature.

The winners of the Inkys were announced on Monday, 2nd of October, in a ceremony hosted by four of the Inky teen judges. Cath was overseas at the time, but you can watch her speech here.

Congratulations, Cath, we can’t wait to see what’s in store next!

11 October 2017
International Day of the Girl


Today in the office we are celebrating the International Day of The Girl. The theme of 2017’s October 11th celebration is “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement.”

Plan International has released the findings of a new survey of Australian girls, which has shown that 98% of girls don’t think they’re treated equally to boys. The research reports that there is a there is a ‘dream gap’ between “what girls aspire to in early life and what they believe is realistic for them as they become young adults.”

Girls and women are particularly under-represented in STEAM fields – there are more men named Peter than there are women in the top 200 ASX companies. Enter new Booked Out Speaker Ally Watson, who founded the ‘Code Like A Girl’ initiative to combat the issue of gender diversity in tech. They hold coding events Australia-wide, for girls from age 6 – 18.

Ally has also just started visiting schools to share her story, as well as to encourage and empower girls to pursue a career in STEAM fields.

See what’s happening to celebrate the #DayOfTheGirl at, which monitors the day’s events all over the world, and read more about Ally Watson here.

As a company who deals with schools throughout Australia, Booked Out is aware of the increasing need for cyber education and safe practices. We have recently started working with the highly-regarded Cyber Safety Lady, Leonie Smith.

Leonie is a regular speaker at schools, where she goes into expert detail about various issues related to cyber safety. For further information on her sessions, please give us a call on 9824 0177 or send us an email at

In the meantime, here is some information and helpful tips from the Australian Government for protecting your privacy online:

  • Limit what you share
  • Change passwords frequently
  • Create strong passwords
  • Back up your data regularly

You can find more information at the Stay Smart Online Week website


Today is the International Day to celebrate Teachers!

Celebrated in more than 100 countries world-wide, World Teachers’ Day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1994 to recognise the role of teachers in society.

At Booked Out one of our favourite parts of the job is working with teachers. Teachers who work really hard to make author visits happen in their school and community. It is no mean feat pulling together the permission slips, funds, calendar dates, classroom logistics, projectors, microphones and all the small details which make incursions run.

So, hats off to you teachers! And even though they might not know it yet, your students are all super lucky to have you.

NB: for hats off instruction, please refer to the image on the right.

Writers Victoria have announced their Write-ability Fellowship winners for 2017 and this year the list includes our phenomenal speaker Jessica Walton. Author of the groundbreaking children’s book ‘Introducing Teddy’, Jessica will be using her fellowship opportunity to explore her own experiences with cancer, chronic pain, disability and chronic pain. She will use poetry, essays and letters to complete the collection.

You can read more about Jessica’s planned works and about the other winners by clicking the link here.

Congratulations Jess! We can’t wait to see your next inspiring book!



A few weeks ago a few of us were lucky enough to get along to the launch of Sofie Laguna’s latest adult novel, The Choke. Sofie spoke as an advocate for her characters, sharing their experiences and the world they inhabit. The Choke is set at the Murray River and tells the story of Justine as she grows up in a cruel world of poverty and violence.

Today we would like to share two fantastic review excerpts with you.

First up, Chris Gordon of Readings:

Laguna has beautifully captured the bewilderment of childhood and the emergence of adulthood in her character of Justine. It is so unquestionably heartbreaking. Reading becomes the sole purpose of the day. You cannot put the book down because you are immersed, completely and utterly, until the story finishes.

And from Helen Sullivan from the Sydney Morning Herald:

Laguna’s villains, like all of her characters, are sensitively drawn and terrifyingly real: deadly, damaged men to whom children and women cling in spite of themselves. Laguna is sensitive to the complexity of Justine’s relationship to her father. She is also unforgiving of his actions.

Justine becomes the target of violent revenge for her father’s crime. Pushed to the brink of death and sanity, she finally starts to fight back, and the slingshot is released. The Murray’s banks touch at the choke; the book races to the finish line. The stone Laguna lets fly ricochets inside you for days afterwards.

With our next Booked Out Book Club coming up we are all passing The Choke around the office with relish. We hope you will get a chance to read it too.

Writers Victoria this week announced their new appointed Director, Angela Savage.

Author and Booked Out speaker, Angela has been influential in the local writing industry through her published works, her school talks and workshops, and her classes for adults. With experience leading other organisations and programs, we have no doubt Angela will excel in her new position and we wish her all the very best!


Author and performer Justin Heazlewood will be presenting an afternoon of storytelling on Sunday 24 September at Bella Union, Trades Hall, Carlton.

He will offer lashings from his library as senior writer for Frankie and forthcoming memoir. Poems, diaries, the back of a Passiona can – nothing is off limits for his dulcet tones.

Justin will also draw from his prolific back catalogue including 2012’s hilariously dark The Bedroom Philosopher Diaries about the rollercoaster of interstate touring and Funemployed, his brutally honest account of what it means to make a living off art.

For more details and tickets, visit

Wednesday 6 September marks Indigenous Literacy Day, a national day to celebrate Indigenous culture, stories, language and literacy. This is a day to work towards closing the literacy gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous children, with donations helping to provide books and literacy programs to remote communities across Australia.

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation encourages us all to participate in this day  – here are some suggestions:

  • Hold a Great Book Swap
  • Make a donation through their website
  • Hold a literacy event such as a book launch or storytelling session
  • Take an ILF donation box to work or school
  • Advocate for us on social media and tag @IndigenousLiteracyFoundation on Facebook and @IndigneousLF on Twitter with #ILD2017

You can also go to the ILF website to buy a book!

For more information or to make a donation, visit the Indigenous Literacy Foundation HERE