Virtual Authors 2018 schedule

1. Sally Rippin – T1 March 6th

2. Heath MacKenzie – T2 May 1st

3. Adam Wallace and James Hart – T2 May 22nd

4. Terry Denton and Andy Griffiths – T2  June 19th

5. Deborah Abela – T3 July 31st

6. Susannah Mc Farlane &Alex Miles –  T3 Aug 21st

7. Belinda Murrell – T3 Sept 11th

8. Super Secret Session – T4 Oct 9th

9. Awards Ceremony – T4 Oct 30th

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In term 1 students will read, read and recommend by nominating up to four books for the shortlist that is announced in early Term 2. Then Students read as many shortlisted books as possible and to begin their critical assessing, rating in preparation for voting. Students reward their favourite author by voting online from the 1st of September.

Check out YABBA’s webpage for more details of the partnership between YABBA and DET.

Along the way we will have 8 virtual sessions featuring our Virtual Ambassadors and have blog posts leading up to the sessions with activities that students can join in to enhance their reading and writing.


Yabba session 2 – Heath MacKenzie

Heath Mackenzie will be talking to us on May 1st at 9:30am.

1.Check out Heath MacKenzie’s website His FAQ”s will give you lots of information.

2. His books have some great characters that have had new stories written about and could be the beginning of many more. “What does Santa do when it’s not Christmas?”  Can you make a list of charcters that are associated with special celebrations?

3. Select  one of Heaths books and see if you can fill in the lotus diagram.  Then use the lotus diagram to plan a story.

4. I wanna be……. what would you write about?

Bring your work to share at the session or take a photo and upload onto this padlet below.


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YABBA Session 1: Sally Rippin

Sally Rippin author of the BIllie B Brown series and others will share her writing craft with us.

Here is the link for her site.

How many of the BIllie B Brown series have you read?  Which Billie B brown book is your favourite? Why? Billie’s best friend Jack has his own series.  Have you read them also?  If your were writing for yourself which best friend would you write a new series about and what qualities would their character have?  Compare Billie and Jack how are they alike and how are they different in their characters?

Add your thoughts to this venn diagram below.  You can also download a blank version.

Hooray! YABBA is on again in 2018!

Yes thanks to DETvic YABBA has been funded again and we will be bringing you virtual sessions with great authors and a host of activities students will be able to join in to enhance both their reading and writing.  The dates for the sessions will be up in late January 2018.  Here is the run down of the year at YABBA.

Term 1

Students will be reading and recommending by nominating up to four books for the shortlist.

Term 2

The shortlist is announced and students begin to read, read, read, recommend and rate books.

Term 3 -September Voting opens

Students reward their favourite books/authors by voting.

Term 4

Voting continues and then the awards ceremony is held with winners announced.  Students can attend the awards live or virtual.

Also we are planning for students to be able to share their writing on the blog with their opinions about books so watch for more info early 2018.

Each term there will be 2 virtual sessions involving Australian authors/illustrators. The program schedule will be up in late January 2018.

We wish everyone a great reading time on those long hot summer days and look forward to seeing you in 2018.

The 2017 YABBA Winners Are?

We had a great awards ceremony thanks to Hampton Park Secondary College.  Imagine being wall to wall with authors and illustrators.  Student voice was heard as their winning authors were announced.

We’ve post the announcement and winners’ speeches below so if you missed the broadcast you can replay the some of the day.  Hopefully you will have filled in the feedback form as we are hoping to bring YABBA to you again in 2018 but this does rely on lots of feedback.  So its not too late to help out.  Here is the feedback form link

Also look out for the winners  poster as all Primary schools have been sent one.

Click on the winners pictures to see the announcement and award speech (or skylarking as in Terry and Andy’s speech)

Fleur Harris – Risk


Andy Griffith and Terry Denton – The 78 Storey Tree House

Andy Lee – DO NOT open this book

Anh Do – Weirdo Mega Weird

Session 10 – Reward, Award Ceremony

 Wow the year has flown and we’ve had so much fun learning with our talented and interesting authors/illustrator’s virtual sessions,  thanks to our authors and illustrators.  At the award ceremony on Oct 31st  we’ll be seeing many more authors and illustrators and of course hearing who are the winning authors/illustrators that students have voted for in YABBA. Last year’s awards was definetly a who’s who of Australian Children’s Literature.  The program is longer than our usual session with the braodcast beginning at 10:00 am and  concluding at 11:30 am.  Classes may decide to watch certain parts of the program so here is an outline of the morning. Also it may be across your recess so come with play lunch in hand.


10:00:   Authors/illustrators enter the room in procession and introductions

10:25:  Welcome to connecting schools

10:32: Burning questions – 2 authors

10:40:  Honour awards

10:50: Squilography

11:05:  Burning questions – 2 Authors

11:15:  Presentation of YABBA award winners and Author responses

11:30 Farewell to connected schools/prizes






Voting Voting Voting

Have your students voted? Here is the link  Vote Now!

It’s the last week to vote this week as voting closes this Friday Oct 20th.  Check for voting sheets if you’d like to do it  off line and summarize the votes on one page.  Voting gives students a chance to use their voice and to put into practise some authentic critical literacy skills

We’ll be adding details for the broadcast of the awards on Oct 31st between 10:30 and 12pm  in the next post.


Session 9 – Oliver Phommavanh

Our last Virtual Amabassador for 2017 is coming up on Tuesday Oct 10th at 9:30am.  We can’t wait to hear from Oliver Phommavanh and see how he inspires our students to read and write. Here’s a blurb about Oliver.

“Oliver Phommavanh loves to make people laugh, whether it’s on the page writing humour for kids or on stage as a stand-up comedian. He also shares his passion for writing with the kids he teaches at a primary school in Western Sydney. As a comedian, Oliver has appeared on stage, and on national TV and radio.”



Stuff Happens Ethan

Oliver says,

“I’m passionate about creative writing and getting kids to use their humour to write stories. I’m also interested in the many untold stories of migrants coming to Australia.” 

Find more about Oliver at

I’m sure Oliver will be very informative and entertaining for our students ( years 3-6) and teachers.  So we hope to see everyone dialing into the session that is our last Virtual Ambassador session for 2017  before the awards ceremony on Oct 31st.

Have your students voted for their favourite books yet?  Send them to here Vote now!


Session 8 – Hazel Edwards – Aren’t all books the Same?

Thanks to those who came for our George Ivanoff session.  It was terrific to find out how he creates the “You Choose” books and it was excellent to hear him read his newest book.  George was so inspiring and so capivating with his bouncy personality.

Another wonderful session is in store for us with Hazel Edwards coming online to let us know about her writing and “Aren’t all books the same?”  September 19th at 9:30am.

This is our second last session before the awards ceremony.

I wonder if you know which of Hazel’s books is your favorite?  I wonder how many books Hazel has written?  Do you have a question about her books?  Add it to the comments below and we can call on you during the online session to ask Hazel your question.


Voting is Now open

So we’ve been reading, recommending and rating.  Now its time to reward by voting for your favortite book from the shortlisted YABBA books.

Vote now

Voting rules:

  • Any Child from Prep to Year 9 may vote
  • One vote per child
  • Each child must have free choice


Session 7 – George Ivanoff – Winning YABBA is just CRAZY!

We can’t wait for our next virtual author session with George Ivanoff that is on August 29th at 9:30am.  We are looking forward to hearing George speak about his  books and how he is bringing gaming into his writing. Our Upper Primary and Lower Secondary students will find this very interesting.  Do you have a question for George?  Have you ever written a You Choose?  How would you start?  I’m sure our students will have plenty of questions so put them on the blog in comments under this sessions post.

YABBA would like to give away another set of books so to win the books they are looking for the best drawing of Old Tom.  Up load your picture to the padlet or email it to YABBA to be in the draw for the books prize from YABBA.  We will announce the winner at this session.


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