Ripples: Primary and Secondary Schools Program 2023 now live!

Ripples, the Words on the Waves Writers Festival kids and schools program brings an exciting array of bestselling children’s authors to the Central Coast in 2023

Since its launch in 2021, Words on the Waves Writers Festival has grown a reputation for delivering world-class literary events featuring Australia’s best authors and illustrators. A not-for-profit organisation, this is the first event of its kind to take place in the Central Coast region. With over 60,000 school-aged children in the area, this is a large group underserved for literacy opportunities.

In 2023, Ripples kids and schools program will dramatically increase its offerings for the children and youth of the Central Coast. For the first time, participating primary schools will be able to choose between two locations, Ourimbah and Umina Beach. The program will offer six author talks and six writing/illustrator workshops for primary school students on Friday June 2.

“By offering a primary school program in both the north and south end of the Central Coast, we hope to provide access for more students to benefit from this exciting and important opportunity.” – Ripples Schools Program Coordinator, Fiona Lloyd. 

Ripples will also be offering three author talks and two writing/poetry workshops for secondary students on Thursday June 1, building on the success of a 2022 pilot conversation event with the author of widely studied HSC text Past the Shallows, Favel Parrett. 

The 2023 Ripples Program theme for both primary and secondary is: — When Fish Fly: The Power of Possibility, chosen to illustrate how wonder and curiosity is always present, even in our ever-changing world.  Our selection of curated presenters have created thought-provoking and enlightening worlds for their audiences filled with possible, the impossible and perhaps a new possible. Coming from Perth is bestselling author of Jasper Jones, Craig Silvey; from Melbourne, acclaimed author Zana Fraillon; from the Blue Mountains, award-winning artist,  illustrator and proud Bundjalung woman, Charmaine Ledden-Lewis and from Byron Bay, multi-award winning slam poet, Samantha Turnbull.

A snapshot of attending authors is below. Browse the Primary School Program here, and the Secondary Program here.

Zana Fraillon  (author of the award-winning novel The Bone Sparrow, The Lost Soul Atlas and The Way of Dog.)

Nat Amoore and Mike Barry (A mighty duo of award-winning author Nat ( The Power of Positive Pranking) and talented comic artist and graphic novelist, Mike (We Run Tomorrow)

Craig Silvey  (award-winning author of Jasper Jones, Honeybee and Runt)

Charmaine Ledden-Lewis (award-winning Indigenous Illustrator of Found by Bruce Pascoe and Cathy Freeman’s Born to Run)

Gary Lonesborough (author of the Children’s Book Council’s shortlisted Book of the Year for Older Readers, The Boy from The Mish)

Malla Nunn  (winner of the Children’s Book Council’s student choice Book of the Year for Older Readers, Sugar Town Queens)

Samantha Turnbull  (Journalist, award-winning podcaster (Fierce Girls) and multi-award winning slam poet.

Ripples Secondary Schools Program

When: Secondary School Program: Thursday June 1, 2023
Where: University of Newcastle Ourimbah Campus

10 Chittaway Rd, Ourimbah, NSW, 2258

Ripples Primary Schools Program

When: Primary School Program North: Friday  June 2, 2023

Primary Program North: University of Newcastle Ourimbah Campus

10 Chittaway Rd, Ourimbah NSW 2258

Primary Program South: Umina Beach Surf Life Saving Club

509 Ocean Beach Rd, Umina Beach NSW 2257

Tickets are $5 per author session.

Workshop tickets start at $25 including a book.

Interested Primary and Secondary Schools are encouraged to contact the Ripples team via email: or phone Program Coordinator, Fiona Lloyd on 0412 985 909. Expressions of interest and further information can be found via the website.  NB: Bookings can only be made by Schools (not on an individual basis)

‘The Words on the Waves Ripples Schools Program is truly stellar. It allows students to meet, enjoy and learn from some of Australia’s most acclaimed children’s and young adult writers and presenters. This is a program not to be missed, and it will foster a love of books, reading and writing in even your most reluctant students.’ – Louise Park, Children’s Author.


Words on the Waves Writers Festival is a celebration of words and ideas set on the scenic Central Coast, NSW, Australia. It launched to acclaim in 2021, and is now looking forward to its third outing May 31 – June 5, 2023.

The festival spans a full weekend of riveting author talks and panels. In addition it offers special events across the week, including an evening conversation event, a literary cruise, family fun day, book launches and more. The full 2023 program will be released in early April, along with the opportunity to purchase a day or weekend pass to the festival and other special events.

Words on the Waves Writers Festival
When: Friday May 31 – Monday June 5, 2023
Where: Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club

176 The Esplanade 

Umina Beach NSW 2257


Umina Beach Surf Life Saving Club

509 Ocean Beach Rd

Umina Beach NSW 2257
As well as select venues around the Peninsula area of the Central Coast, NSW

More information: 

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The Words on the Waves Ripples (Kids and Schools Program) is supported by the NSW Government through CreateNSW

Also proudly funded with thanks to venue partners University of Newcastle (Ourimbah) and Umina Beach SLSC, and community partners Woy Woy CWA and Kariong-Somersby Rotary.