Saturday 31 December 2022

Author Pen Pals

Author Pen Pals is an initiative run by British-Australian children's author, Kate Foster, and Dee White, the international author of more than 25 books for children and young adults. They plan to: connect Australian authors and illustrators with all Australian schools. To spread the love of storytelling. To share the joy of reading and writing. To inspire the next generation of book creators. To encourage lifelong readers.

Inspired by the amazing BookPenPals, Kate and Dee have created Author Pen Pals to connect Australian authors and illustrators with Australian schools, in particular those that rarely have the opportunities to host or meet authors due to a lack of funds or their remote location. Authors and illustrators pair up with a class or classes for an entire school year and commit to sending at least four postcards throughout that year, one per term. Classes pair up with one author or illustrator for that entire school year and commit to replying to them at least twice throughout that year, once per semester. Any author will tell you that receiving letters from children is a highlight of the job! Of course, more letters and postcards and other correspondence can be exchanged. There is no limit! We just want everyone to have fun and make exciting connections. At the end of each year, our authors and illustrators say goodbye to their classes, and then, at the start of the following year, new and different pairings are made.

Pen pals are encouraged to focus their interactions on literature, so authors and illustrators can talk about a favourite book in each postcard or recommend age-appropriate books for the class to investigate and discuss; they can offer writing and drawing prompts; or share fun stories that might have happened to them and encourage the children to tell theirs; or they could talk about their creative process and best places to write and invite the children to describe or draw theirs.

We want to reach as many schools as we can throughout Australia. There are so many regional, remote, and disadvantaged schools that rarely have the opportunity or funds to meet and interact with authors and illustrators and we want to change that through this initiative. Of course, all and any schools are welcome to sign up, and with your help we hope we can give as many children as possible the opportunity to be inspired by Australia’s book creators. 

We would be most grateful if you could                                                                                                                                      Promote Author Pen Pals to your school contacts far and wide across your community                                                                                                                                                                              Encourage teachers and teacher-librarians to sign up for the 2023 year                                                                                                                                                                                         Include Author Pen Pals in a newsletter or other correspondence within your community                                                                                                                                                                                        Ensure any schools concerned about postage or other costs let us know so we can find a way to contribute or cover the costs

If you're a published author or illustrator creating incredible books for primary school-aged children, then you're eligible to join. If your work is professional and of high quality, we are accepting self-published authors, too. This initiative is about celebrating the love of literacy and encouraging children to read, write, draw, and share the stories they love with others. If you share this vision, please sign up by visiting our website at

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