Dromkeen Literature Festival – Saturday 19th March – Authors and Illustrators Bringing Favourite Stories to Life

Last Saturday, a group of children’s authors and illustrators, cartoonists and storytellers, shared their passion on all aspects of children’s books in the first Litfest at Dromkeen since the property was purchased by the Joiner family in 2013 and reopened as a centre for Australian Children’s Literature.

Presenters were: Mark Wilson, Sherryl Clark, Sue DeGennaro, Adam Wallace, Diana Lawrenson, Marc McBride, Judy Horicek, Craig Smith, Marjory Gardner, Michael Hyde, Glenda Millard, Kevin Burgemeestre, Brett Cardwell, Ann E. Stewart, Dr. Catherine Crook, Ann James and Ann Haddon and myself.

I would like to thank Bernadette Joiner and her hard working committee for a fabulous day and I’m sure it was enjoyed by those who attended as much as it was by the presenters who were all thrilled to be back at Dromkeen again.

Some photos and Dromkeen background information follow or go to: http://www.dromkeen.com.au/litfest/


About Dromkeen

Dromkeen Homestead was built in 1889 as the country estate of Victorian Supreme Court Judge Arthur Chomley (1837–1914). Dromkeen was named after his mother’s family home in Dromkeen, in County Limerick in Ireland.

From 1973, Joyce and Courtney Oldmeadow used the homestead as a private residence and educational bookshop, with a public display of original artworks and manuscripts from Australian children’s picture books. It became a home for Australian children’s literature. Scholastic Australia purchased the homestead in 1985 and continued to maintain the Dromkeen Collection until it was moved to the State Library in 2012.

In 2013 Dromkeen was purchased by the Joiner family and reopened as a centre for Australian children’s literature. Dromkeen is once more host to hundreds of visitors, including school and tertiary groups, offering the opportunity to take part in workshops run by Australian authors and illustrators and also to view original picture book illustration.

The first major event was the display of the John Barrow Collection curated by Books Illustrated, which includes original artworks by some of Australia’s well-known illustrators including Ann James, Alison Lester, Bob Graham, Terry Denton, Jane Tanner, Julie Vivas and many more. The works are from the modern classic era of Australian Children’s Literature, 1980 -2004.


There were:
Talks and readings by children’s authors and illustrators
uthor/illustrator discussions on writing, reading and teaching children
Hands on workshops
iewing of original illustrations
A range of fantastic book related activities in the garden
Author/ illustrator book signings and sales

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