Australian children’s author Katrina Germein writes picture books that delight primary school children, preschoolers and adults alike.
Best known for her book Big Rain Coming, Katrina came to town in early September 2011 to hold a workshop on writing children’s books.
It was an exciting opportunity for five writers in the Barkly, who like Katrina have a story in their head that just won’t go away.
Set in a remote community in northern Australia, Big Rain Coming, which was published in 2000, paints a picture of daily life. Everyone is waiting for the rain. Even the dusty dogs and green frogs are hot. When will the rain come?
Katrina wrote the story down to set it free, and it went on to become her first picture book, winning awards and critical acclaim.
As one reviewer wrote: “It is the sort of story that will be requested night after night at bedtime.”
Since then Katrina has completed several picture books, including Baby Gets Dressed, Little Dog and the hilarious My Dad Thinks He’s Funny.
Katrina, who was in Tennant Creek for only one morning, had plenty of tips for locals to write picture books.
“Often people say they have a fabulous idea for a picture book, but an idea is just an idea. Without a creator it has no potential or purpose. So start. Sit down and write. See what happens,” she advised.
Adelaide-based Katrina told the five participants to have a trusted person who knows about the picture book genre in its contemporary form to read their manuscript before sending it off to prospective publishers.
Desert Harmony festivalgoers were treated to the inaugural Culture Carnival, held at Nyinkka Nyunyu Art & Culture Centre. It was an amazing day with an audience of 50 (great turnout for Tennant Creek) coming to Jajjikari Cafe to sit and listen to selected readings from local scribes. Poets, storytellers and fiction writers from Barkly Writers Ink all gathered together to celebrate the launch of the Barkly Writers’ Ink Blog. Rosemary Plummer, Adrian McNamara, Milly James, David Curtis, Tim Metcalf and Ktima Heathcote entertained the crowd with pieces workshopped throughout the year. Even Barkly Regional Arts EO Alan Murn was inspired by all the literary activity to read out his hilarious poem, called Notes. Afterwards, there was an open mic session featuring local writers, musicians and songwriters followed by a damper-making session and the opening of the Barkly Captured community photographic exhibition in the gallery.