Inaugural Scribblers Festival shares love of children’s storytelling

Katherine Dorrington. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Katherine Dorrington. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

KATHERINE Dorrington spent her childhood surrounded by stories.

Her parents owned the former Dorrington’s Bookshop in Midland and meeting new characters and finding faraway worlds on the floor of the store was her favourite pastime.

“Artists and writers would come down from the Hills to visit the shop,” Dorrington said.

“People have told me they dreamed of being locked in there overnight.”

Like many children, Dorrington learned how to find her place in the world through narrative.

The Velveteen Rabbit was really important in my early life – I used to get my mum to read it to me every night,” she said.

“It is so beautiful: it’s about a toy rabbit that this little boy gets. It’s not as flashy as some of his other toys but he loves it and eventually he gets sick and the rabbit is there with him and he loves it so much that it turns into a real rabbit.

“It’s all about this power of unconditional love: I was very sentimental as a child, so it was right up my alley.”

A passion for fiction has followed Dorrington into adulthood and she shares that enthusiasm with her two young children.

“We’ve just started reading a whole heap of Roald Dahl and we’re now on to George’s Marvellous Medicine – I forgot how wild and crazy it is,” Dorrington said.

“It’s not too long and we’re reading a little bit each night and we’re all loving it and it’s lots of fun.”

Dorrington – former program manager of the Perth Writers Festival – plans to share her love of books and storytelling with children across Perth with the inaugural Scribblers Festival.

Spanning five days at venues including The Goods Shed in Claremont and Swanbourne’s Scotch College, it will cater for bookworms from toddlers to teens.

The program includes readings and discussions from celebrated children’s book authors and creative workshops.

“We want to ignite and nurture a lifelong love of reading, for children to experience the wonder of meeting their favourite storytellers, to sit spellbound as they breath life into their words and make their characters dance off the page,” Dorrington said.


What: Scribblers Festival

When: May 9-13

Where: The Goods Shed, Claremont (and surrounds) and Scotch College, Swanbourne