The Word Play fun continued on Thursday at the State Library of Queensland. Hundreds of junior bookworms met their literary heroes and received writing tips from the very best in the biz.
International superstars David Levithan and Meg Rosoff inspired long-time fans (including other authors at the Festival) while David Astle encouraged his audiences to embrace their inner ‘word nerd’ and have fun with language.
Michael Gerard Bauer has his audience in stitches telling his stories about Maggles, and the ways she was created. Tristan Bancks wowed the crowds, with one of our volunteers describing his session as a hybrid between a stand-up comedy show, a TED talk, and a Gordon-Gekko-esque stockholders meeting – oozing with charisma and in complete control.
There were most certainly some major highlights on Thursday, but to be honest, once our cuddly Burrawong friend Grug arrived, we found out who the real favourite of the Festival was. Grug was mobbed as soon as he arrived, and we're glad he could return again for a second session on Friday.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk officially opening the Festival up on the Queensland Terrace, in a beautiful session soon followed by one of the most memorable moments of the Festival, Lionel Shriver's Opening Address. Lionel's speech, and the conversations that followed, have certainly struck a chord across the literary community. The full transcript of her speech was published online by The Guardian, and can be read here, while author Yassmin Abdel-Magied's response to the Opening Address, originally posted on her blog, can be read here.