The Castlemaine Children’s Literature Festival is an annual one of a kind event directed and organised by Castlemaine resident and literacy educator/literature activist Lisa D’Onofrio. The first festival, held in 2011 (second week of the school holidays) was a smashing success. It was a perfect fit for the region – with our strong community of writers, illustrators, performers, art makers and literary enthusiasts. The festival also provides some well-needed, accessible, and affordable activities in the school holidays and ensures that children are creative producers – not just passive consumers.
This year sees the milestone 7th edition of the Castlemaine Children’s Literature Festival.
The festival has expanded over the years to include the communities of Newstead, Fryerstown, Taradale and Maldon. Many other community organisations have been involved also; the Castlemaine Library, the local Girl Guides, Connecting Country, Castlemaine Secondary College and Buda Historic Homestead and Garden to name just a few. Whilst uniquely not a schools’ based festival, Winters Flat Primary School hosted the wonderful ‘Cooking the Books’ in 2012 and local author Mark Penzac ran a series of workshops for a senior class at Castlemaine North Primary School in 2013.
The Castlemaine Children’s Festival brings the community of Mount Alexander Shire together and the Festival is created with the children and young adults of our community central to planning and programming. Connections are made between community groups and parents that may otherwise not have occurred – and cultural links are also established.
The Festival’s reputation is such, that it now welcomes audiences from across the state!
To provide low cost, high quality, child-centred and participatory (literacy or literature related) activities for rural children and families in the third term holidays.
- To be child and young people centred, interactive and collaborative
- To involve local artists and partner with community organisations.
- For activities/events to be literacy or literature related.