Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Meet the Whitsunday Voices Key Presenters; 2019 Youth Literature Festival Shaping Up to Be One of the Best Yet

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Meet the Whitsunday Voices Key Presenters; 2019 Youth Literature Festival Shaping Up to Be One of the Best Yet

Article excerpt

TONIA Wilson from Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival sat down with us to give us the scoop on a few of this year's star presenters ahead of the July 15-17 event.

Q: Let's start with the very special guest speaker at the popular WorkPac Literary Dinner 2019 -- Li Cunxin!

Li Cunxin is the author of Mao's Last Dancer and artistic director of Queensland Ballet, and he is an absolute star. Not only is Li our Literary Dinner guest speaker, he has also agreed to do a student session at the festival on Friday, July 19. Tickets will definitely sell quickly for that session, so make sure you book yours now.

Q: This year's festival features an incredible line-up of authors and presenters, with a lot of the focus being around important issues that affect students and young adults. One of those in authors in particular is Sophie Hardcastle.

Sophie's memoir Running like China is a beautifully written account of her battle with mental health issues, and she hopes that her book will help others experiencing similar challenges to articulate what they are going through and ask for help. This is especially pertinent in today's times with an increasing number of senior school students encountering extreme levels of isolation and depression.

Q: There is a lot of focus on STEM at the moment, so it's great to see an author within that field present at the festival.

Cristy Burne is our STEM writer and her characters use scientific principles to solve the problems they encounter. Her wonderfully quirky and warm personality make students feel comfortable to engage and interact. She is presenting to grades Prep to 8.

Q: Books are important, but so is our love of reading them. This year's festival features a book blogger.

Jeann Wong is someone who loves reading books, talking about books, writing about books and everything to do with books. …

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