Australian stories find new voice

Children’s literature is experiencing one of its most exciting periods and Australian authors are leading the way in contemporary storytelling, according to Flinders University’s 2008 May Gibbs Fellow, Deborah Abela.

Creator of the popular children’s series Max Remy Superspy and Jasper Zammit (Soccer Legend), Ms Abela believes younger readers are reaping the benefits of a new direction in pre-teen literature.

“When I was young, a lot of stories felt very didactic but in recent years it has been a pleasure to see that writing for the younger generation has become more focused on telling the audience a story as opposed to teaching them a lesson,” Ms Abela said.

“I am also extremely lucky to be part of an era when Australian authors are setting the benchmark for these kinds of stories.  In my school library as a kid, most books were by overseas authors, largely American and European writers, but now libraries are well-stocked with Australian stories and the readers are responding to them.”

As part of the Fellowship, which is an annual program jointly supported by Flinders University and the May Gibbs Trust, Ms Abela will spend two weeks in Adelaide working on her latest book.  She will also give a series of lectures in English, Creative Writing and Drama at the University and conduct several writing workshops for students.

Ms Abela will present a Writers and their Worlds seminar on Thursday, October 9, in the Noel Stockdale Room in the Flinders University Central Library from 12.00 noon.

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