Readers’ Festival celebrates the wonderful world of books

Posted on August 29, 2017

The annual Arden Readers’ Festival proved to be a busy and interesting event celebrating books and reading. 

Explaining the inspiration for the festival, Arden’s Head of Information Services, Mrs Gabrielle Ritchie, shared:  “Story is still one of our most powerful means of conveying a message and one of our enduring entertainments.  From prehistoric to current times a good story draws us all in, captivates us and sometimes moves us to action.  Story- tellers are respected and valued in our culture and it is good to sit and listen to their wisdom and that is what we did at Arden during the Readers’ Festival.” 

The Readers’ Festival was held on 17th – 18th August, 2017 and involved author and illustrator workshops for the students, a Literary Breakfast as well as the fun of Secondary School staff dressing up as their favourite book characters. 

James O’Loghlin, comedian, media personality and author addressed parents, staff and students at the School’s sixth annual Literary Breakfast on Friday 18th August.  James O’Loghlin is one of Australia’s most respected media personalities and a wonderful engaging and entertaining public speaker and a popular author.  An excited Mrs Maren De Rijk, Junior School Library Assistant said: “James helped us celebrate the wonderful world of books and storytelling as he shared his own process of writing his successful and varied books.” Once again donations collected at the Literary Breakfast will be used to support the Room to Read charity, to enable other students to share in the joys of reading.


After the breakfast James headed to the Secondary School campus where he imparted his knowledge of writing and reading in separate sessions to students in Years 8, 11 and 12.  Visual Arts students in the Secondary School also had the advantage of workshops with award winning illustrator Liz Anelli.  Liz’s book, One Photo, is shortlisted for the 2017 Picture Book of the Year and her work is highly commended.  Desert Lake is Australian Standing Orders Non Fiction Book of the year and shortlisted for Australian Educational Awards, NSW Premier Award, Environmental Award and a CBCA Notable.

Meanwhile Junior School students were thrilled to have two children’s authors return to share more of their expertise on 17th August.  Year 3 – 6 students had the opportunity to learn both from writer and illustrator Gus Gordon and author Sandy Fussell.