Presenting at the 2018 Sharjah International Book Fair

I was lucky to be invited to present writing workshops for kids at the 2018 Sharjah International Book Fair, the third largest in the world after Frankfurt and London.

It was huge … and amazing.

Finger puppets were popular inspiration for stories

I presented 12 writing workshops over 6 days to children aged 4 to 14.

On Kid’s Day, 50,000 young book and writing enthusiasts swarmed through the doors. It was so wonderful to see so many kids inspired by books.

The 2018 Sharjah International Book Fair had well over  2 million visitors ( just under 1/12 of Australia’s entire population).

The young writers loved my Australian puppets

The kids in my workshops were so beautiful and enthusiastic, and although there were some language barriers, puppets and rainbows seemed able to traverse them.

Writers performing their stories.

It was such a great experience for me as a writer … and also as a workshop presenter … improvising to meet needs I had not previously encountered.

With Heba my wonderful Sharjah helper

I was fortunate, to have two amazing helpers, my husband, Michael and my collaborator, Heba.

She made sure we had everything we needed for the workshops. She adores children, and you could see that the feeling was mutual.

It was an inspiration for me to see so many kids getting excited about books and reading.


The kids loved Reena’s Rainbow and were so creative, writing about and drawing rainbows. There were amazing stories, poems and even an acrostic rainbow song by the very talented Ishana.

She wrote this song in our one hour workshop and then performed it. I’m sure we will see her books on the shelves one day … or hear her on the air waves.

There were so many other inspiring and talented young writers at the book fair.


Sharjah was a beautiful place, and we received a very warm welcome.

The buildings with the domed roof and the one to the left of it (partially in the pic) are the book fair. It was huge.

So wonderful to share this experience with other very talented Australian Kidlit creators, Catherine Pelosi, Kat Apel and Claire Richards