About Dromkeen

Welcome to the

Dromkeen Literary Festival 2020

Saturday March 28th

“Our World, Our Stories”

Dromkeen is hosting a Literary Festival on Saturday 28th March, between 10am and 4pm. With the theme of ‘Our World, Our Stories’, it will be a wonderful day for families, teachers, librarians and all lovers of children’s literature! Meet some of Australia’s most talented authors, illustrators and storytellers; Mark Wilson, Caz Goodwin and Marc McBride. Mark Wilson will be launching his new books ‘Eureka a story of the goldfields’ (Publisher: Lothian/ Hachette) and ‘A New Prayer For the Animals’. Caz Goodwin will be launching her new book, illustrated by Ashley King, ‘Daisy Runs Wild’(Publisher: Hardie Grant Publishing) . There will be a fabulous day of talks, discussions and readings with children’s authors and illustrators, cartooning, a puppet show, and an animal farm. There will also be original illustrations and prints for sale, as well as book signings and sales. Food and drinks will be available from the Dromkeen cafe or just bring a picnic.

Buy your tickets online and save!

Tickets Available on TryBooking
Guest Speaker & Presenter Information

Mark Wilson

(Author/ Illustrator)

Mark Wilson is a multiple award-winning author/illustrator with 23 books in print worldwide in nine languages. Mark has a particular passion for Australian history and the environment, particularly endangered animals, exploring these themes through his picture-books and workshops. Mark has won 5 Royal Zoological Society (Whitley) Awards for children’s literature, 9 CBCA Children’s Book Awards, 3 Wilderness Society Picturebook Awards and was shortlisted in the 3rd C.J. Picture Book Awards International. He was also presented with the 2011 Dromkeen Medal for Services to Children’s Literature.


Session 1:



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Mark will be launching 2 exciting, brand new picture books, ‘Eureka- a Story of the Goldfields’ and ‘A New Prayer For the Animals’.

Mark Wilson has a passion for Australian history, the environment and endangered animals, exploring these themes through his picture-books and workshops. Mark will reveal the strange and fascinating story behind the creation of Eureka! A story of the goldfields and the connection between the goldfields and living descendants today. Publisher: Lothian/Hachette Australia

‘A New Prayer For the Animals’ -From the oceans and coastal plains to the African Veldt, we share this earth with many unique and wonderful creatures. This book celebrates Mark Wilson’s lifelong passion for endangered wildlife and the preservation of habitat. ‘A New Prayer for the Animals’ is a message of hope for animals across the world. The book contains information on each of the animals and includes at the end, a brief description of how they are threatened.

Session 2:



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Focusing on Australian History and endangered species, his workshops will take students on a journey of discovery – ‘How to Find That Gem of an Idea’, ‘Build Believable Characters’ and ‘Simple Ways to Illustrate Stories’. Students will discover how words and pictures work together, that ‘Less is More’ and how to ‘Use your Imagination’. The workshops are structured to stimulate creativity, and increase the student’s confidence in their own writing and illustrating.

Mark McBride

(Author/ Illustrator)

Marc McBride is the illustrator of Emily Rodda’s best selling Deltora Quest series, which has sold over eighteen million copies around the world and has become an

Marc McBride is the illustrator of Emily Rodda’s best selling Deltora Quest series, which has sold over eighteen million copies around the world and has become an Anime TV show.

Marc has illustrated more than two hundred book covers, ten picture books, countless magazines and has had work exhibited with the New York Society of Illustrators. He has won Aurealis Awards for the Deltora Quest series and World of Monsters, which  he wrote and illustrated.

His new book, written by Emily Rodda, is called The Glimme and was published by Scholastic Australia in October 2019. During the presentation Marc will talk about the unique collaboration he enjoys with Emily Rodda. In the case of The Glimme, Marc sent Emily 25 paintings which became the inspiration for the story!



Session 1




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During Marc’s workshop he will explain the process of creating artwork, beginning with imagination and where ideas come from. He will use ideas from the audience to paint a dragon, explaining colour theory, light, shape, line and texture- the five elements of visual language. Using simple shapes he will encourage children to draw with him and to ‘not be afraid of making mistakes’- after-all it is often a mistake in a drawing that becomes the inspiration for something truly original.

Caz Goodwin


Caz Goodwin is an internationally published, award-winning author of books and poetry for children. She also runs the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) in Victoria.


Session 1



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Caz will be launching her new picture book, Daisy Runs Wild (illustrated by Ashley King pub. Hardie Grant Publishing). Daisy is a lazy koala who likes to sleep and eat gum leaves. But one morning, she runs wild, causing chaos and confusion at the park. Why is Daisy acting so strangely? Come and hear this hilarious, rhyming story with lovable characters and have a photo with Daisy the giant koala.


Session 2

Suggested Audience:

The Story Behind the Books with Caz Goodwin

Caz will talk about the story behind her series of funny, rhyming picture books featuring Daisy the koala. She will talk about what it takes to get published, and will also reveal some fascinating facts about koalas. Come along and have a photo with Daisy, the lazy, giant koala, who tries to photo-bomb and get attention whenever she can.


Garden Activities / Demonstrations

Brett Cardwell


Based in the Melbourne area of Australia, Brett Cardwell (Cardy) has over 25 years experience in cartooning, illustration and mural art. Whether it’s caricatures on the spot at your corporate event, cartoon workshops at your school, storyboards and voice overs, 2D animation for TV and web or creative high speed hand drawn whiteboard videos for your company presentations or training – there is no shortage of imagination to help get your ideas off the ground!




Suggested Audience:

To Be Announced

Donna Moulton


Donna has a background in early childhood education and has always had a passion to see children express themselves through art. Donna is a mother of two and enjoys creating art of all kinds. In the past, Donna has worked alongside the visual arts teacher and Artist in Residence at Donvale Primary school. Donna was involved with creating several major projects  with the students, including a giant mural spanning across three buildings in the Junior School area and a magnificent ‘Four Seasons’ mosaic that is proudly displayed on the General Purpose building. Donna was instrumental in making several art pieces with the students for the schools art show “Expressions 242”. She has also made art pieces with children in other organisations including church groups and preschools.

Donna is currently running art workshops and hosting art parties at Base Camp Kids.

Book Craft Garden Art

All afternoon

Suggested Audience:

Come and join Donna for some creative fun in the Dromkeen gardens. Listen to Caz Goodwin launch her hilarious, rhyming picture book ‘Daisy Runs Wild’ in the main gallery, then pop over to the craft tent with Donna to make your very own Daisy badge, an egg carton koala, an origami koala and a Lazy Daisy paper puppet. Don’t forget to have your photo taken with Daisy the giant koala. There will also be some watercolour and stencil painting to celebrate ‘A New Prayer For the Animals’ Mark Wilson’s brand new picture storybook. There will also be sensory play to pan for gold and gold marble painting, to celebrate Mark’s ‘Eureka a story of the goldfields’ launch. Finally to celebrate Marc McBride and Emily Rodda’s new book, ‘The Glimme’, there will be dragons frozen in ice eggs for you to set free.

Chris Elkington


Chris Elkington is a Melbourne based puppeteer and primary teacher. He regularly performs travelling puppet shows as ‘Elk Puppets’ in markets, hotels, festivals and schools. Chris has authored two children’s books and has a certificate of puppetry.




Suggested Audience:

What can you see in the bush? Come on an Aussie bush adventure and see if you can spot some native animals. Enjoy a song and puppet story about two kids who find themselves making some new furry friends in the forest. Great for young children.

Dromkeen Little Owl Bookshop

Dromkeen mainly stocks the work of Australian children’s book creators. Come and select a book from our quality range of children’s picture books. Have yours personally signed by our guest speakers or buy a limited edition print or original artwork from our selected range.


Festival tickets allow access to all parts of the venue and session attendance is on a first-come basis.

Pre Book Online Through TryBooking & Save
Adult tickets purchased online are $20 per person
Children’s tickets 5 and over are $8 per child

All children 4 and under are free

Pay on the Day

Adult tickets at the gate are $25
Children’s tickets at the gate are $10

Disability Access

Both the homestead and the Garden Conference rooms have disability access. The disability access toilet is in the Garden Conference room at the back of the homestead.

Dromkeen Little Owl Festival Bookshop

There will be stocks of books for sale by all the authors and illustrators presenting on the day of the festival. At the end of sessions, authors and illustrators will be available to sign their books. Collins Booksellers from Sunbury will kindly be assisting Dromkeen with sales on the day.

SAND-ART GALLERY: While you are at the Dromkeen LitFest on Saturday 28th March, patrons are still able to visit the SandArt Gallery on the day. Located to the rear of the homestead, the “Enchanted Forest” exhibition features world class sand sculptures. Please note this is a privately owned exhibition and attendance is NOT included in the LitFest ticket price for the day. Tickets for the SAND-ART exhibition can be bought separately on the day at the gate or online at www.sandartgallery.com.au