A Harry Potter celebration, illustration lessons, art fun and an opportunity to meet acclaimed author Jackie French – there was loads of fun activities for the Family Fun Day at the 2017 Newcastle Writers Festival. Here are a few of the sessions that we enjoyed in Wheeler Place.

Jackie French reading Diary of a Wombat

Jackie French presented a fantastic session reading her classic book Diary of a Wombat and regaling us with stories about Mothball the Wombat. She also spoke directly to the kids in the audience and stressed the importance of reading.

We then listened to Richard Roxburgh and watched as he drew characters from his children’s book Artie and the Grime Wave.

Our favourite session of the day was the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter presented by Professor Francesca Falconette.

Harry Potter tribute

This interactive session had Harry Potter fans sharing their favourite characters and teachers at Hogwarts as well as participating in a sorting hat exercise and a real-life match of quidditch. It was a loud and raucous high-energy session but one that was enjoyed by both kids and parents.

Outside the marquee in Wheeler Place, there were opportunities for kids to draw and create helped along by acclaimed local illustrators like Kirrili Lonergan, Gwynneth Jones and Liz Anelli.

Even though the program was smaller this year compared to previous years, it was a great event which gave kids and their parents the opportunity to meet and interact with local and national authors and illustrators as well as learn and create.

Thanks to all of the organisers and volunteers of the Newcastle Writers Festival  for their tireless efforts in producing this event. Can’t wait until next year’s event!