Tina Matthews: Report from the field 

by Ciara Hadley (Year 10, O'Connor Catholic)

Tina Matthews was the first of the writers and illustrators in residence for 2014 and visited from the 25th of May to the 9th of June.

She ran a range of activities within the community, which included ‘From Puppets to Picture Books: A Conversation with Tina Matthews’ and a minizine-making workshop.

‘From Puppets to Picture Books’ was held on the 29th of May in the Arts Lecture Theatre 3, where she discussed, amongst other things, the process of creating a picture book, her previous jobs, and the challenges of publishing andpromoting her work.

Tina’s website;

‘From Puppets to Picture Books: A Conversation with Tina Matthews.’

On the 29th of May at 4.10pm, Tina Matthews sat with Dr. Elizabeth Hale to discuss her work in the Arts Lecture Theatre 3.

Tina has three books published (Out of the Egg, A Great Cake and Waiting for Later) and one book due to be published in august (So Many Wonderfuls). While in Armidale she was also working on another book based of an old story called ‘The Three Sillies’ about the consequences of worrying too much.

As well as writing, Tina has previously worked as a puppeteer and a musician.  She talked about the way she felt puppetry had influenced the structural nature with which she made the pictures for her books.

She was involved in many children’s shows- such as the Bananas in Pajamas and the movie Labyrinth, but claimed she always found picture books important and had planned her first book, Out of The Egg for a long time.

Tina also discussed the process of making a picture book, especially making pictures out of woodblock and stenciling, which many of her books include.

She talked, with Dr. Elizabeth Hale, about planning one of her books, and how she managed to organize her ideas into the correct format using small paper books called ‘zines’ or ‘minizines’.

Finally, Tina had some words of advice for budding authors, saying you ‘shouldn’t write just to get published’.

Tina also held a minizine-making workshop on Thursday the 5th of June at Gallery 123 where she showed people how to fold an A4 or A3 piece of paper to make a small 8-page book.

She explained how she uses these zines to plan her own books and found them helpful because of the book-like format and the way they could be easily photocopied.

Tina also helped some people make miniature hardback covers for their books and provided magazines for inspiration. It was a fun and interesting workshop.

To create your own minizines, visit: