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CBCA NSW | Newcastle Sub-branch

Office Bearers for 2018

PRESIDENT           |  Jodie Carlson

VICE PRESIDENT |  Liane Morris

SECRETARY         |  Gwynne Jones

TREASURER        |  Amanda Shirley


EVENTS COORDINATOR                               |  Renee Price and Ruth Higginbottom

GENERAL COMMITTEE                                |  Katrina McKelvey, Kirrili Lonergan and Julie Swane


  • We have our very own sub-branch Facebook page.
  • Search for 'CBCA (NSW) Newcastle Sub-branch' to find us.


Newcastle Meeting 5:
Wednesday, 12th September
Belmont Library
6:30pm for a 7pm start
Event: Lynn Jenkins, psychologist and yoga instructor from Lessons of a LAC  will share yoga techniques for people who do a lot of sitting (ie authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians).
Wear your bending and stretching gear!
Newcastle Meeting 6: Planning Meeting for 2019
Wednesday, 24th October @ 7:30pm
Committee only
Newcastle Christmas Party
Wednesday, 28th November
Further details TBA

For a copy of our full calendar or to be on our email list, please send a message to Jodie - President ( or Liane - Vice President (

New members always welcome.

Any enquiries about the Newcastle (NSW) Sub-branch can be directed to Jodie or Liane.


If you would like to know more about the businesses, authors and illustrators who are members of our sub-branch, you can find some of them on our sub-branch 'MEMBER'S LINKS' list here:


Stories After Dark – Find your Treasure:

Newcastle Sub-branch held its inaugural ‘Stories After Dark’ event at the Newcastle Region Library on 8th September. It was a new event for 2018, after many successful years of 'Lunch with the Stars', and it was an unqualified success with tickets selling out very fast. About 150 children filled the library along with accompanying parents and grandparents, using a treasure map and activity booklet to track down their favourite authors and illustrators. 


Photo: The Treasure Map & Stories After Dark activity booklet

(Our treasure map was designed by Liz Anelli and the booklet by Gwynneth Jones)


Photo: Jesmond Lions Club kept the hungry crowds fed

What a wonderful community event! Everyone involved felt the power of stories, storytelling and community as our local children’s authors and illustrators shared stories in the dark with children of all ages. This is what the CBCA is all about - good quality literature in the hands of children. Congratulations to the CBCA NSW Branch Newcastle sub-branch event committee for providing a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Thanks to the local business who supported us (Newcastle Region Library, Newcastle and Charlestown Toyota, MacLean’s Booksellers and Jesmond Lions Club). Thanks to the local authors and illustrators who dressed up and shared their beautiful books. Thanks to our amazing crew of volunteers who kept everything smooth sailing and a special thanks to the local families who threw on their pjs or pirate gear and had a ball with us!


Photo: Snuggle-down story-time with Liz Anelli

Photo: A notorious pirate crew of Deb Kelly, Paul Russell, Liz Anelli and Ant Wood

Photo: More pirates - Lynn Jenkins, Deb Kelly, Katrina McKelvey and Kirrili Lonergan 

“Stories After Dark was a wonderful way to connect with readers and share the joy of stories.”

Deb Kelly

“Pyjamas and pirates came to life in a spectacular event that celebrated local authors and illustrators but most importantly reading and books. It was an amazing event and incredible location and my pirate hat is off to the organisers.”  

Paul Russell

“Being in the library after hours with all those families felt so special. As well as the sparkle, the fun and the adventure of it all, I found myself itching to borrow a big pile of books!”  

Liz Anelli

“‘Stories After Dark’ aboard the Pirate Ship Newcastle Region Library was a grand event, the likes of which would warm the heart of even the most sea-hardy pirate. It was a great chance for the crew to wade ashore and discover all the treasures to be found between the pages of books. Aaarrgghh ‘twas unforgettable. Signed Blackbeard Ant Wood.”

Ant Wood

Photo: Katrina McKelvey embraces the dark much to the delight of her audience

“Reading my story with the wider community was a treat! I turned off the lights and read by torchlight as a flicker of small moving disco lights sprinkled the ceiling. We blew bubbles (simulating blowing dandelion seed heads) and chatted about lots of amazing things. Kids are wonderful aren’t they?”

Katrina McKelvey

Photo: Jess Black and her captivated audience

“A hugely successful community event which left me buzzing for days.”

Jess Black

Photo: Kirrili Lonergan and Lynn Jenkins in action

Photo: Gwynneth Jones was kept busy all night drawing portraits for delighted families


Photo: The craft table was a sea of creativity.


Photo: Julie Swane from Newcastle Region Library checks out the offerings at MacLean’s Booksellers' pop-up store

Photo: Amanda Shirley from MacLean’s Booksellers (Treasurer), Jodie Carlson (President) and Liane Morris (Vice-President) or The Captain and part of her Crew!

“Arrghh me hearties, what an incredible night of reading, books, authors, illustrators, children and families all under the one roof! A big thank you goes out to the committee, volunteers, families, Toyota, Newcastle Libraries and best of all the children who made the night such a fun and exciting one. Bringing children and books together is what it is all about!”

Jodie Carlson 

President CBCA NSW Newcastle Sub-branch

Report by Liane Morris

iRead Report, August 2018

Book Week highlights from some of our members:

Katrina McKelvey, author and Kirrili Lonergan, illustrator joined forces during Book Week to share what they do with kids across Lake Macquarie and the Hunter. 

 Pic: Kat & Kirrili’s book display


 Pic: New Lambton Public School


 Pic: Kirrili at Boolaroo Public School

Jess Black, author of Keeper of the Crystals says that she “had a terrific month visiting schools in Brisbane, Sydney and Newcastle. So many wonderful kids, ideas and sharing of stories!”


 Pic: Jess’s readers


Pic: Astrid, dressed up as 'Eve'

Students at Salt Ash Public School enjoyed Book Week with a treasured character parade, a book fair and creative and performing arts activities.

New Lambton Public School had visiting authors and illustrators as well as a Book Fair presented by our local bookseller, MacLean's Booksellers in Hamilton.


Pic: New Lambton Public School Book Week display

Love Your Bookshop Day

Local author Kieren Fitz-Gibbon and illustrator Gwynne Jones joined the festivities at MacLean’s Booksellers on 11th August to celebrate Love Your Bookshop Day.

Kieren read from his new book The Magic Trampoline and Gwynne read from The Great Sock Secret. She had a very enthusiastic group of kids colouring some of her hand drawn pictures.

Maclean’s owner, Amanda Shirley says “a great day was had by all, and we are very appreciative to both Kieran & Gwynne for joining us to celebrate a special day for the industry.”

Pic: Kieren Fitz-Gibbon at Love Your Bookshop Day


Pic: Gwynne Jones at Love Your Bookshop Day at MacLean’s Booksellers

NATLA Newcastle Bookweek Dinner

Several of our members attended the local Teacher Librarian Network (NATLA) Book Week dinner and they chose to celebrate the theme with Wear your Treasure. They were hosted at the refurbished Newcastle City Library by Julie Swane who explained about some of the services the local library has to offer schools and students. They also viewed an exhibition titled, 'The Children's Library', with a montage of how previous Book Weeks and library services have evolved. During dinner guests explained the treasure they were wearing which included everything from family heirlooms to lovingly handmade garments to significant jewellery pieces. A pleasant evening was had by all.

Stories After Dark – Find Your Treasure 


The committee have met several times over the last couple of months to organise our new annual event. Stories After Dark is at maximum capacity and we just can’t wait to take over the Newcastle Region Library with Liz Anelli and all our local authors and illustrators. We even made it into the Newcastle Herald.

Pic: Herald article on Stories After Dark

Pic: Jodie Carlson (President CBCA Nctle) has a dress rehearsal.


8th September – CBCA Newcastle Sub-branch annual kids’ event Stories After Dark: Find Your Treasure.

12th September – fifth sub-branch meeting at Belmont Library w/- special guest Lynn Jenkins.

Recent & Upcoming book launches/releases: (congratulations to these local members)

Wednesday August 1 – My Storee written by Paul Russell and illustrated by Aśka was launched on 6 August and has received lots of well-deserved attention from the media including a stint on The Today ShowMy Storee is an engaging and creatively designed picture book that provides inspiration and support for reluctant writers and dyslexics, and shows the importance and power of good teachers.

Saturday September 15th- Maddie’s First Day written By Penny Matthews and illustrated by Liz Anelli is being launched at Newcastle East Public School on from 10am. MacLean’s Booksellers will have popup shop and the school are holding a barbecue, lots of activities and making it a general community event. Liz will be reading and sharing the book and running some craft activities. All are welcome.

Saturday October 13th– Finding Granny  written by Kate Simpson and illustrated by Gwynneth Jones is being launched at The Creator Incubator at 3pm. Original artworks from Finding Granny will be on exhibition and limited prints will be for sale. There will be nibbles and drinks and a colouring wall for the kids. Exhibition runs from 11 Oct – 21 Oct.

If there are any CBCA NSW members who would like to join us, please email our president, Jodie Carlson ( for more details.

Happy reading and writing!

Liane Morris – Vice-president
August 2018

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