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. Sofie Laguna- T2  June 19th

Bonus session T3 July 17th Deborah Abela



5. Andy Griffiths-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.


BONUS session Deborah Abela (shortlisted author)

Thanks to YABBA for offering a bonus session to schools with the fabulous Deborah Abela on July 17th.  To register for this session you will need to go to the YABBA booking registration here just for this session as it’s a bonus and not on the existing YABBA registration form.  Also you can use the submit a question button for students to ask a question.  On Deborah’s website you can listen to her talking about Grimsdon her book that has been shortlisted and other interesting tips like the “So you’d like to be a writer!” podcast.


Register for BONUS session  Submit a question

YABBA session 4 – Sofie Laguna

Sofie Laguna is a our next Australian Author and she will be sharing her craft on the 19th June! Don’t forget to register for this session if you haven’t already done so. Here is the link for Sofie’s website.  Have you read the 4 part series, “Our Australian Girl” or “Where are you Banana?” Check out Sofie’s Website, search the library for her books and see if you can add some questions in the comments below for Sofie next week.

YABBA session 3 – Adam Wallace and James Hart


Adam Wallace

On Tuesday  May 22nd at 9:30am Adam Wallace writer/cartoonist and James Hart illustrator (Challenge Illustrator for the Premiers Reading Challenge) will dazzle us with lots of fun about writing and drawing. They worked together on Accidentally Awesome, Blunderingly Brilliant and Disastrously Daring.

Check out Adams about me page and use it as a template to write about yourself. See below for a template. Check out James Hart’s website and see some of the books he has illustrated.

James Hart

Adam loves to rhyme with pictures.  Can you rhyme with pictures on the padlet below?  Add your voice to rhyme in the comments on each picture. As it says you need to open this with MS Edge/chrome or the pictures will not appear. Have you tried writing in rhyme or even writing a rap?

Here is a website that has the “How to make a rap song” instructions


Made with Padlet

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.


Made with Padlet

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!


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