It's not every day you get to meet a local author let alone sit down and write a story with them but that's exactly what a group of Illawarra students did for the annual Literary Lunch.
Students from 14 schools across the Illawarra and South Coast were invited to the lunch on October 24 at the Fairy Meadow's Fraternity Club.
Cordeaux Heights author Dianne 'Di' Bates worked with Woonona East Public School students to write a story inspired by three words: cat, mountain, and snore.
"We've just been working in a circle writing a story together, and I was so surprised with what the children came up with they were very, very smart," Ms Bates said.
Year four student Harley Marks said the group experienced some "trials and errors" when they wrote their own story but got there in the end.
"It's giving you an experience of what it would be like if you were an author trying to think edit, and publish," Henry said.
Assistant School Principal Amy Scott said the students were very excited to write a story with Ms Bates.
"Di was fabulous and she just guided the kids giving them a scaffold to work within really encouraged them to bring out their writing capabilities," Mrs Scott said.
With an audience of 150 primary and high school students. Ms Bates launched her co-authored sequel book 'More Wild and Wacky Adventures' at the event.
She founded the Literary Lunch which is hosted by the Children's Book Council of Australia in the late 1990s' to connect students with local children's authors and illustrators.
Students also met Dr Jodi Edwards, Susanne Gervay, Dianne Ellis, Sue Whiting, Dale Newman, Debra Tidball, Kate Simpson, Kristin Darell, Karen Hendriks, Sandi Wooton, Dani Vee, Paul Hallam, Amanda Lieber, Kadie Mudaliar, Tania Woznicki, and Dr Danielle Cramer.
President of the Children's Book Council of Australia Illawarra and South Coast Sub-Committee, Louise Saint-John said it is a significant children's literary event in the region.
"It not only inspires children with behind-the-scenes insights into the world of books but also gives local illustrators and authors an occasion to promote their work and spend time with their readers," she said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.