It’s our 25th festival this year! It was back in 1996 when two teachers from Immanuel Lutheran College decided to bring authors and illustrators to the Sunshine Coast for one day of talks and workshops, starting with 23 schools. Now in 2020 the festival is held over four days, attracts 4,500 school students, offers over 115 talks and workshops by 28 presenters and is attended by 70 schools from a 200km radius. It is suffice to say that the festival has been a definite success over the last 25 years.
In 1996 the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) was in its first year of operation, and a partnership was formed, still strong today. As the University has grown, so too has the festival, as we take over the University for two student days. Students from across the Sunshine Coast have become more familiar with the University due to their visits during the Voices festival.
The festival has created a wonderful legacy for children and young people across the Sunshine Coast as it has encouraged reluctant readers to pick up a book from a visiting author, has fostered that love of literature across many years for individuals, and has produced a number of published authors in their own right. Best-selling children’s author Jessica Townsend, reaching world-wide acclaim with her Nevermore series, decided to become a writer after meeting John Marsden at a Voices festival. Lucky for us she did!
In 2020, two authors from that very first festival are again joining the line-up. Renowned poet Steven Herrick and awarding-winning author Gary Crew will be entertaining and educating students once again.
To celebrate our 25th festival, and the new time of year, we are holding an outdoors launch at Immanuel Lutheran College, where authors, illustrators, poets and members of the public will all mix and mingle, with great opportunities to get up close and personal with a favourite author.
Presented by: Immanuel Lutheran College & USC