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Open Right

Author Hangout is a new webisode series for kids, featuring Australia’s top children’ authors, with host Adrian Beck (who is also a top children’s author in his own right).

Check out episode 1 above with writer Tony Wilson who talks footy and shares his writing tips for kids.

Coming up in the series are Tristan Bancks, Jen Storer, Tim Harris, Sally Rippin, Felice Arena and Michael Wagner, all with their own pearls of wisdom to share.

And kids, if you want to send your questions for authors through to the show, click HERE



To help celebrate the gorgeous new book (pictured right) from author Jane Godwin and illustrator Anna Walker, this creative team are available for school visits in Melbourne for one week only: March 5 – 9, 2018.

For this special week, Anna and Jane are offering a fun and interactive journey through the books they have created, including Go Go and the Silver Shoes, their 6th book together!

They will share the process of creating stories together from initial idea to finished book, and also engage students in drawing and character-creation activities that can serve as a springboard for their own story writing.

To make an enquiry about hosting Anna and Jane in your school, please call us on 03 9824 0177 or email

The prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominations were announced last week – and nine Australian authors and illustrators and one Australian organisation have been nominated!

The Australian nominees are:

  • Randa Abdel-Fattah
  • Ursula Dubosarsky
  • Mem Fox
  • Morris Gleitzman
  • Gus Gordon
  • Robert Ingpen
  • Margo Lanagan
  • Kirsty Murray
  • Margaret Wild
  • Indigenous Literacy Foundation

In total, 263 candidates from over 60 counties worldwide were nominated for this award. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is the richest international children’s and young adult literature award in the world, and carries a cash prize of five million Swedish Krona.

It is so exciting to see so many wonderful Australian creatives recognised on the world stage. Congratulations to all the nominees!

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.