Jackie French: WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival is a mere few weeks away – it kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Jackie French (photo by Kelly Sturgiss)
Jackie French (photo by Kelly Sturgiss)

Jackie French – Australian Children’s Laureate

Jackie French is a remarkable writer with a career spanning 25 years, 148 wombats, over 140 books, 36 languages and over 60 awards. She is currently the Australian National Children’s Laureate for 2014 and 2015.

She is regarded as one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors, and writes across all genres – from picture books, history, fantasy, ecology and sci-fi to her much-loved historical fiction.

What (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

The extraordinary friendliness of NZ – every time I visit it is like meeting old friends, even if we have only just met, or feeling at home in places where I have only just arrived.

What do you think about libraries?

Have you ever wondered why we whisper in libraries? It’s because we know subconsciously that they lead to a million different universes. Use the power well – and borrow as many books as you can- and you will find joy and fulfilment and friendship and fascination. But libraries are places of true power, none the less.

PS This fact needs to be noted by anyone considering reducing library funding, hours or staff positions. You have been warned.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

 I once worked as an echidna milker. But the funding dried up, and so did the echidnas, so I turned to writing books for an income.

PS If you next question is ‘how do you milk an echidna, the answer is: carefully. But am happy to explain more about echidnas, wombat negotiation and the power of books at any of the sessions.

Cover of Down the road to Gundagai  Cover of I am Juliet Cover of Pennies for Hitler

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