Author tour delights Lockyer Valley community

What do Peter Watt, Lee Holmes of Supercharged Food, Fiona McArthur and Jaye Ford all have in common? They all visited Lockyer Valley Libraries in the last six months and delighted us with hilarious tales, writing wisdom and amusing anecdotes.

Lockyer Valley Libraries were excited to receive a Realising Our Potential Micro-Grant to host popular authors for the Lockyer Valley community. The biggest struggle we faced was finding authors who were available within our timeframe and budget. Thankfully we found some great authors and were able to fund visits from these wonderful and talented storytellers.

The funding provided transport, accommodation and author fees as well as refreshments for the attendees. We endeavoured to contact authors of contrasting genres and experiences to reach members of the community who typically don’t attend library events. This was successful, and we had a higher number of men, older citizens and council staff attend the talks.

Peter Watt sharing tales with attendees at Lockyer Valley Libraries
Peter Watt sharing tales with attendees at Lockyer Valley Libraries

Peter Watt’s witty chat and hilarious personal anecdotes drew many men to his event as well as several library members who haven’t visited the library in a long time. We had 45 people join us for his author talk over wine and cheese. One patron emailed after the event, ‘I enjoyed listening to Peter Watt and hope the library can put on more similar author interactions with the readers here’.

Lee Holmes of Supercharged Food chatting about gut health at Lockyer Valley Libraries
Lee Holmes of Supercharged Food chatting about gut health at Lockyer Valley Libraries

Lee Holmes’ event drew attendees interested in health and wellness. Lee spoke about supercharging your gut and answered many questions from the engaged audience of 30 between Gatton and Laidley Libraries. One of our patrons commented on Facebook, ‘Was a fantastic night. Learnt heaps to put into action. Thanks Lockyer Valley Libraries team for organising’.

Fiona McArthur and Jaye Ford delighting their audience at Lockyer Valley Libraries
Fiona McArthur and Jaye Ford delighting their audience at Lockyer Valley Libraries

The delightful Fiona McArthur and Jaye Ford hosted author talks at both branches and a writing masterclass at the Laidley Library with 35 attendees between the three events. The masterclass provided valuable information and tips to aspiring writers and those interested in the publishing process – much laughter was heard from the room as they captivated their audience. The masterclass also provided the enthusiasm of participants to start a writing group that is now attracting up to 15 attendees each fortnight.

Another great relationship to be established through this grant is with The Corner Bookshop in Ipswich. They have supplied books for our attendees to purchase and our visiting authors have all been gracious enough to sign purchased copies. We are so thankful to have received this grant to provide the community with authors we otherwise wouldn’t have the means to host. This grant has allowed us to give our community the opportunity to connect and enjoy the benefits of great author talks with little to no expense on their behalf.

For more information about Lockyer Valley Libraries and this project, please contact the Gatton Library Branch Coordinator on (07) 5466 3434 or email library@lvrc.qld.gov.au.

About the author
Jaclyn McPherson is a Library Assistant at Lockyer Valley Libraries.