Video transcript
NSW Premier's Reading Challenge 2022 - SWF author interview (primary) - 05. Corey Tutt

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[intro music]

CEDRIC: Hi. My name is Cedric, and I go to Chatswood Public School. We are at The Concourse, Chatswood on Cammeraygal land for the Sydney Writers' Festival. I'm joined by Matt Stanton. Hi, Matt. How are you?

MATT STANTON: I'm good. Thanks, Cedric. How are you?

CEDRIC: Good. What kinds of books did you enjoy reading when you were at school?

MATT STANTON: I really enjoyed reading funny books. I found funny books just to be really fun to read because they were interesting and there were lots of quirky things happening, and I like to laugh when I read.

CEDRIC: Do you think the books you read have influenced the type of books you write?

MATT STANTON: Yeah, definitely. That's a great question. I think the books that I like to read, especially when I was in primary school, that did give me that feeling of fun, have definitely inspired the sorts of books that I make now.

CEDRIC: You've published 28 books. What can you tell us about the very first story you wrote when you were 5?

MATT STANTON: The very first story that I wrote when I was 5. So, I remember this. I was sitting in my Kindergarten class, and I didn't really know how to write then. I only knew how to draw. I was still learning how to write. So, what our teacher said was, you draw a picture and then you do squiggles at the top. And then you'd bring your story up to the teacher and she would explain. Like you would tell her what the words were supposed to say and she would write it on top.

So, I wrote a story and I took the drawing up. And she said, 'What is it, what does it say?' And I said, 'It says, one day I went to the toilet. I did a poo.'

CEDRIC: [giggles]

MATT STANTON: 'The room turned green. My mum stuck her head in the door, and she turned green, too. The end.' And my teacher didn't like that story very much. She scrunched it up and threw it in the bin. But the kid that was sitting opposite me, his name was David, and the kid that was sitting opposite me was cacking himself laughing. And I remember thinking, that's pretty fun.

CEDRIC: Why did you decide to write books for children rather than adults?

MATT STANTON: I really like writing books for kids who are trying to work out if they like reading or not, because lots of kids I find-- the kids that I meet in schools-- are trying to work out if reading is something that they like to do. And I think, if you find the right book then reading is something we can all enjoy.

And so I love writing book-- like, my challenge is to create a book especially for a kid who doesn't think they like reading and give them a really good time with it, because that might open up their whole world to lots of different books.

CEDRIC: The PRC encourages students to read for pleasure. What advice would you give to students who are having trouble finding something they want to read?

MATT STANTON: That's a great question, because reading for pleasure is really important. That's the-- we learn to read at school, we learn the skills of reading, and sometimes that can be really hard work. But once you've got that, then reading itself can be really good fun. So, my advice is always to start with something that you're already interested in.

So, think about something that you're interested in and then find someone who can help you find a book about that thing-- that might be your teacher, it might be your librarian, it might be your mum and dad, someone who can help you find a book about the thing that you're interested in.

CEDRIC: Can you tell us anything about what you are working on next?

MATT STANTON: Sure. So, I'm working on 3 different series, mainly, at the moment. I'm working on the 'Funny Kid' series. And I've got another book coming out for that later this year. I'm working on my-- a graphic novel trilogy called 'The Odds'. I've got one more book of those to go. I've written it, and I'm illustrating it at the moment.

And I've just started a brand new series called 'Bored' which is about funny things that can happen when you're feeling bored.

CEDRIC: Thank you for talking to me, Matt. It's been great.

MATT STANTON: Thank you so much, Cedric. They were great questions.

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