For one special author, coming back to Scone this weekend for the Scone Literary Long Weekend is very special and exciting, as it will be a bit like a visit home.
Children’s book author Samantha Turnbull will visit Scone as one of the guest authors to share their tales this weekend at the exciting event at the Scone Arts and Crafts Centre.
The second annual event will see a broad range of authors visit for panel discussions, storytelling, literary conversations and a ‘Soiree in the Garden’ with guest speaker Graham Simsion, just to name a few of the highlights.
Ms Turnbull is one of the children’s authors who will take part in the story telling for children at the Scone Library on Saturday morning as well as a panel discussion on gender stereotypes, which is very close to her heart.
Ms Turnbull grew up in Scone and gained her first writing job as a teen columnist at The Scone Advocate, which was the start of a great passion for writing.
Now based at Byron Bay working for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the young mother of two and multi-award winning journalist has launched four best-selling children’s novels with Allen & Unwin in March and has another book in the pipeline, due to be published next month.
The ‘Anti-Princess Club’ series is Ms Turnbull’s depiction of the way to raise kids without conforming to gender stereotypes and includes ‘Emily’s Tiara Trouble’, ‘Bella vs the Backyard Bullies’, ‘Grace’s Dance Disaster’ and ‘Chloe’s River Rescue’.
The books are written predominantly for children aged from seven to 11-years-old and the main motto is ‘we don’t need rescuing’.
With a passion for writing stories that don’t feature a damsel in distress who needs rescuing, Ms Turnbull was motivated to put pen to paper when she was browsing the book section of a department store and was unable to find a book for her daughter that didn’t feature the typical princess.
Ms Turnbull said she had always wanted to write children’s books and felt inspired by her frustration of the dominance of princesses and fairies in children’s literature.
She said she wrote when she was on maternity leave with her first born, five-year-old Liberty, and was really lucky to gain a contract straight away with the series now being best sellers.
Having already attended a diverse whirlwind of writing festivals and schools to date, Ms Turnbull said she is looking forward to returning to Scone to meet the children who have read her books and introduce the books to others.
“My main message is that there is no such thing as a girl’s book and a boy’s book, it doesn’t matter which books you read.
“I am also looking forward to the panel discussion on gender stereotypes as the subject is pretty much the reason I wrote my books,” she said.
“I have a lot to say on the topic as I blog on the subject frequently.
“I’m really glad to be a part of the festival as I really like the chance to interact with people and chat to the other authors.”