In Conversation with Johanna Bell & Erica Wagner

Live-cast Tuesday 31 October 2023

In 2019, Johanna and Erica co-facilitated a six-month story camp where their mutual love of birds led them towards Hope is the Thing. Sparked by the Emily Dickinson poem 'Hope is the thing with feathers', this lyrical text accompanied by glorious mixed media collages reflects and celebrates the diversity, ingenuity and wonder of birds. In this webinar, they share a read-through of the book and discuss its themes, illustrations, text, and how hope can be discussed in productive ways.

Johanna Bell lives in Garramilla / Darwin where she writes fiction and runs a community arts business called StoryProjects. Johanna is also co-author of Too Many Cheeky Dogs, Go Home Cheeky Animals! and Cheeky Dogs: To Lake Nash and Back, illustrated by Dion Beasley, and The Colour Catchers, illustrated by Laura Stitzel. She is currently working on a verse novel for adults which is also inspired by birds.

Erica Wagner is an artist, publisher and creative consultant to storytellers. Her collages are inspired by the natural world and are made by layering and repurposing discarded paintings and sketches. While Erica has worked as an editor and award-winning publisher of children's books for many years, Hope is the Thing is the first picture book she has illustrated.

Related resources:


Related professional learning: