About The Centre

The Literature Centre provides quality student workshops and writing programmes across Western Australia, inspires teachers through professional learning, and supports Australia's talented Authors and Illustrators of literature for children and young adults.

The Literature Centre (formerly Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre) is unique – a place to nurture young people’s interest in reading and writing, using innovative techniques to explore and interpret literature.  Uniquely located within the walls of the Old Fremantle Prison, it is the only centre of its kind in Australia.  

Established in 1993, the Centre offers a diverse range of student programmes in metropolitan, rural and regional areas of Western Australia. We work with over 35,000 students each year, either at the Centre or in schools.  Experienced Education Officers, Authors and Illustrators conduct inspiring and interactive workshops, using a range of original manuscripts, preliminary drawings, and artwork.  

  • Picture Book Exhibitions - featuring original artwork
  • Student Literature Workshops 
  • Authors/Illustrators In-Residence Programme
  • Metropolitan and Rural Residence Programme
  • 'Centre Classics' Workshops, Poetry and Writing Workshops
  • Talented Young Writers' Programme (TYWP)
  • The Sound of Picture Books Workshops
  • Professional Learning for Teachers 
  • Bookshop - Selling Books and Artwork  
  • Family Open Days/Festivals
  • Leslie Rees Fremantle Lecture, Book Launches and Author Talks 

Family Open Days

Family Open Days are free events held periodically on a Sunday.  Typically, the Centre's gates are open from 10am to 3pm with scheduled talks by guest Authors and Illustrators.  

On these occasions, the general public has the opportunity to view four picture book exhibitions in our galleries, meet local and interstate Authors and Illustrators, and purchase books and artwork from our Bookshop stocking quality Australian literature for children and young adults.

To find out more about the next Family Open Day, keep an eye on our News section of the home page. 

Book Launches

The Literature Centre is the perfect place to hold a book launch!  The Centre has a regular programme of book launches, with some of the titles launched in our main gallery over the years including:

  • Dog Lost by Jan Ramage and Brian Simmonds
  • Before You Forget by Julia Lawrinson
  • Hello from Nowhere by Raewyn Caisley and Karen Blair
  • Annie's Snails by Dianne Wolfer and Gabriel Evans
  • Midnight by Mark Greenwood and Frane Lessac
  • Losing It by Julia Lawrinson
  • The Greatest Liar on Earth by Mark Greenwood and Frane Lessac
  • The Last Viking by Norman Jorgensen and James Foley
  • Daywards by Tony Eaton
  • Ned Kelly and the Green Sash by Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac
  • Chess Nuts by Julia Lawrinson
  • Simpson and his Donkey by Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac
  • The Red Tree by Shaun Tan
  • Skyfall by Tony Eaton

Author/Illustrator Evening Talks

From time to time, the public will also have the opportunity to come along to an evening event at the Centre depending on the Author/Illustrator in-residence.  Previous talks have been held by Jackie French and Markus Zusak in the main gallery.

Visit News on the home page to keep up with the latest event news, or join our mailing list via a link at the top of the home page. 

Leslie Rees Fremantle Lecture

This event honours Mr Leslie Rees, who died in 2000, leaving behind a legacy of unparalleled diversity in journalism, travel writing, drama and, of course, children’s literature. Leslie won the very first Children’s Book Council Book of the Year award in 1946 with the picture book, The Story of Karrawingi the Emu, illustrated by Walter Cunningham.

The 2016 Leslie Rees Lecture was presented by award-winning author/illustrator, Coral Tulloch, on the evening of Monday 22 August.  A wonderful crowd of children’s literature enthusiasts gathered at the Centre to enjoy drinks and finger food on the verandah, and explore our Bookshop.  Coral gave a deeply personal view of what she believes to be important in children and youth literature and treated the audience to a stunning powerpoint showcasing the versatility of her art and the place she calls home.

To keep up to date with News at The Literature Centre, please joining our mailing list on the home page of this website and find us on Facebook 'The Literature Centre', Twitter '@thelitcentre' or Instagram 'The_Literature_Centre'.

Previous Leslie Rees Fremantle Lecture presenters:

  • Coral Tulloch (2016)
  • Tony Eaton (2014)
  • Shaun Tan (2013)
  • Libby Gleeson (2011)
  • Jan Ormerod (2010)
  • Markus Zusak (2009)
  • Matt Ottley (2008)
  • Jackie French (2007)
  • Barbara Ker Wilson (2004)
  • Christobel Mattingley (2002)
  • Libby Hathorn (2001)
  • James Moloney (2000)
  • Mem Fox (1997)
  • Gary Crew (inaugural lecture 1995)