"Please pass on our thanks to Cameron. He tailored the workshops perfectly to our suit our students. Our greatest need was assistance with idea formulation and helping develop our children's ability to create descriptive texts. The students loved using Cameron’s techniques and have been producing wonderful work since." Literacy Coordinator

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Workshops and Incursions

schoolLeap into an adventure of colour, creativity, and imagination with an interactive series of workshops and incursions from one of Australia’s most exciting and inspiring authors and illustrators.

Dr Cameron is a highly booked speaker in schools throughout Australia, bringing a wealth of experience, passion and creativity to the classroom. Cameron is well known for his ability to mentor students to find the inspiration to ‘get started’, develop amazing descriptive writing skills, and move students to a higher and more sophisticated level of creativity in their writing and illustration.

His genuine interest in the students’ learning is clearly evident in his workshops. Along with a good dash of humour, excitement and enthusiasm, Cameron’s workshops engage even the most reluctant writers.

Cameron works at the ‘grass roots’ level with all primary school grades. He inspires and engages children through large group presentations as well as smaller, hands-on workshops. Cameron also runs tailored NAPLAN writing preparation workshops with Year 3 and 5 students.

writers campHe uses exciting visuals, captivating stories and humorous anecdotes to explore story planning, character creation, writing and illustration. Cameron is known for his ability to develop a rapport with students and match each workshop to the age group perfectly. Cameron is flexible and more than happy to adapt presentations to accommodate a school’s requirements. He provides outstanding pre-visit support, ensuring each school visit is a valuable and memorable experience.

Below is a list of workshop activities to choose from during a school author visit or incursion. Between three and four workshop sessions can be run each day. Any combination of workshops can be selected.

Full details about each workshop activity can be found in the School Visits and Workshops Document pdf

1. Large Group Presentations
These sessions are designed for medium to large groups and are best run in school halls, libraries or classrooms with plenty of floor space.  The presentations have been designed to hold student’s attention by being engaging and exciting as well as educational.

Write it – Read it – Live it!   
Recommended Group: Year 2 - 6
Time: 60 minutes.
Maximum size: Size is determined by the space available

This is an engaging and informative behind-the-scenes look at creating an illustrated novel. Cameron uses exciting visuals, captivating stories and humorous anecdotes to explore story planning, character creation, writing and illustration. This session includes an audiovisual presentation, question time and hands-on drawing and writing components. The Pie Rats series is used as a focus.

Big Screen Book Reading
Recommended Group: Prep/Kinder - Year 2
Time: 30 minutes.
Maximum size: Size is determined by the space available.

Nothing fires a child’s imagination more completely than a well-told story by the author. The Stroogle adventures are great for reading to children due to their rhyme and rhythm. Rhythm aids attention, retention of content and ability to recall and learn lines from the story. Cameron asks questions throughout the reading of a Stroogle adventure and encourages students to interpret and respond to the story. Using a data projector or interactive whiteboard, Cameron will read the story using PowerPoint visuals of his detailed illustrations so that all students can see. Following the reading, Cameron will reveal how some of his characters and illustrations have been created. The session also includes a fun audiovisual presentation.

Stories and More
Recommended Group: Prep/Kinder - Year 2
Time: 45/ 60 minutes.
Maximum size: Size is determined by the space available.

This is a great session that incorporates a Big Screen Book Reading plus a hands-on follow along drawing activity. Cameron stimulates the students thinking by revealing the very first sketches of the Stroogle and explaining how he creates his picture books. An exciting audiovisual presentation is also shown to the students.

2. Writing Workshops
These workshops are designed for students in middle to upper primary years, and are hands-on sessions that explore practical ways to enhance students’ writing and planning.

Inspirational Ideas
Recommended Group: Year 1 - 4
Time: 60 minutes
Maximum size: Approx. 60 students.

This workshop explores how an author comes up with inspirational and exciting ideas for their books and reveals strategies to assist students in planning their own stories. As ideas usually don’t just pop out of thin air, Cameron uses practical examples to show how a great story idea can originate from a variety of sources close to an individual’s life and experiences.

Exciting Descriptive Writing
Recommended Group: Year 2 - 6
Time: 60/ 90 minutes.
Maximum size: Approx. 60 students.

During this workshop, Cameron introduces a series of creative tools to enhance students’ descriptive writing and covers topics such as crafting an exciting introduction, describing settings, tension, dialogue, humour, similes, the five senses and alliteration. Using examples from his stories, visuals and short exercises, Cameron encourages students to explore a range of expressive and dynamic strategies to make their writing descriptive and exciting.

Lights, Camera, Action!
Recommended Group: Year 3 - 6
Time: 60/ 90 minutes.
Maximum size: Approx. 60 students.

Yes, the book can be more exciting than the movie! Not for the faint-hearted, this workshop shows students how to create blockbuster action stories. Through a series of short, punchy activities, students will learn how to write gripping suspense scenes, epic action encounters, heart-racing countdowns, death-defying duels and hold-on-to-your-seat cliff-hangers. Using examples from Dr Cameron’s Pie Rats adventure series, this workshop is designed to stimulate a passion for writing fun, fast, frenetic stories.

NAPLAN Writing Strategies
Recommended Group: Year 3 - 6
Time: This activity can run for 60 to 90 minutes for one genre, or can be broken into two 60 minute sessions (with a break) to cover narrative and persuasive topics separately.
Maximum size: Approx. 60 students.

Cameron has run NAPLAN writing workshops since its inception. This workshop has been created to motivate and inspire students who will be undertaking the NAPLAN writing task. Cameron uses a series of short activities to enhance the students’ writing and thought processes. Throughout the session, Cameron demonstrates the practical applications of persuasive and narrative genres and encourages reluctant writers to find their voice.

Sensational Stories
Recommended Group: Year 2 - 6
Time: 2 hours
Maximum size: Approx. 60 students.

Through this engaging all-rounder workshop, students will have the opportunity to work with Cameron on the two key elements for creating their own sensational stories - both writing and illustration. The workshop will include presentation components and hands-on writing activities from workshops such as ‘Inspirational Ideas’ and ‘Exciting Descriptive Writing’, as well as drawing and illustration components, focussed on character development (a good way to get ideas flowing). The session can be tailored to suit class units.

Full Day/ Two Day Workshops & Writer's Camps
Recommended Group: Year 3 - 6
Time: A whole school day/s is required.
Maximum size: Approx. 90 students.

Cameron can work with several classes or select students for a one day or two day incursion or writer’s camp on creating a short story. Combining many of the individual activities on offer, Cameron will take students through the important steps in producing a book. This is a fantastic workshop for classes creating imaginative texts, exploring fairy tales, or classes producing their own picture books for the younger grades to read. The content for these sessions can be structured to suit the school’s focus.

3. Drawing and Illustration Workshops
These workshops are designed to be fun and engaging and introduce students to key skills used in drawing, illustration and design.

Imaginative Illustration
Recommended Group: Year 2 - 6
Time: 60/ 90 minutes.
Maximum size: Approx. 60 students.

This is a fantastic introduction to illustration with an emphasis on imagination and creative problem solving.  Cameron begins by showing students how characters he has created are often based on real animals or people. The students then create their own characters focusing on exaggeration, outline, colour, shading and texture.

‘Create a’ Workshops
Recommended Group: Year 1 - 4
Time: This activity runs for 60 minutes.
Maximum size: Size is determined by the space available (usually no more than 90 students).

These fun, inventive activities are designed for junior to middle primary grades and have proven a success for all levels of ability. They are based on the characters and inventions from Cameron’s Stroogle books.  Each activity uses a kit of components which students use to design, cut, paste and colour their own unique creations. Students are encouraged to write a story using their artworks following the workshop.

Full details about each workshop activity can be found in the School Visits and Workshops Document pdf

Workshops include:

  • A combination of workshop sessions to suit your classes.
  • Personalised and professional service to help you organise the visit.
  • Free educational activities relating to each book which can be used before or after the visit.
  • Specially priced School Book Sets for your library, offering great value.  These sets also include hours of educational activities on a bonus CD.
  • Exclusive book signings for students, parents and staff.

To see Cameron's availability, please visit the dates and costs section.

Cameron is also a speaker at writers' festivals, writers' camps, literacy and book conferences, Teacher Librarian conferences, and special events. Event coordinators are welcome to contact Jenny to discuss cost and availability.