A festival for all ages is just around the corner. From 19 to 22 July, students and the general public will enjoy a literary feast with a series of talks, workshops and performances by 26 visiting authors, illustrators and performers at the annual Voices on the Coast Youth Literature Festival.

In 1996, teachers from Immanuel Lutheran College organised an event to inspire young people to love reading, writing and illustration. Fast forward twenty-two years and Voices on the Coast is one of Queensland’s leading youth literature festivals.

Proudly presented by Immanuel Lutheran College and the University of the Sunshine Coast, Voices co-ordinator, Kelly Dunham, has seen the event grow in popularity but some things remain the same.

“Whether we read on a kindle, an iPad or an old fashioned book, there will always be a place for literature. Festivals like Voices aim to instil a lifelong love of reading; to encourage children and adults to escape to a world of someone else’s creation, whether it be fantasy, fiction, comedy or adventure,” said Mrs Dunham.

“Voices ensures there is something for everyone during the festival. Guest authors, poets, illustrators and performers will share their knowledge in a series of talks, workshops and performances. A number of Voices Plus events will also be held including a literary breakfast with Caroline Jane, the fifth great niece of legendary author, Jane Austen, who launched the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation to increase literacy rates in the world’s poorest communities.

“We’re proud to launch this year’s Festival with Chris Collin, award-winning author of the bestselling children’s books Funky Chicken: A Bushy Tale of Crocs and Chooks and Funky Chicken: Chooks in Space. Audiences will love Chris’ fun Brain Strain Rhyming Workshops. His aim is to bring fun (and funkiness) to the world through his books and engaging presentations,” said Kelly.

Tickets for the breakfast, talks and workshops can be purchased by visiting the Voices websitewww.voicesonthecoast.com.au Tickets are $40.00 for the breakfast, $8.00 for the talks and $14.00 per workshop.

Voices on the Coast is proudly supported by the Sunshine Coast Council’s grants program.