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 Performances
  • Professional Learning for Teachers 
  • Bookshop - Selling Books and Artwork  
  • Open Galleries at the Centre and Festival Appearances
  • Leslie Rees Fremantle Lecture, Book Launches and Author Talks 

Open Galleries and Bookshop Events

Previously held on Sunday's as an Open Day, we've now created space in our term calendars for the public to explore our Centre during Open Galleries afternoons/evenings from 4pm to 8pm. On these occasions, the Centre's gates will open from 3.30pm. It's a chance to view four exhibitions of original artwork and browse in our Bookshop stocking quality Australian literature for children and young adults. Typically, no scheduled talks will take place so visitors can come and go between 4pm and 8pm. For book, original art and print purchases we have EFTPOS facilities available.

To find out more about our next public event, keep an eye on our News section of the home page or join our emailing list by sending your details to info@thelitcentre.org.au

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:

  • When Billy Was A Dog by Kirsty Murray and Karen Blair
  • Pearl Versus The World 10th Birthday Celebration by Sally Murphy
  • Catch a Falling Star by Meg McKinlay
  • Under the Southern Cross by Frané Lessac
  • Puddle Hunters by Kirsty Murray and Karen Blair
  • Hive by AJ Betts
  • The Dog with Seven Names by Dianne Wolfer
  • 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 include:

  • 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)

Coming Up... 2019 Leslie Rees Fremantle Lecture 20 November by Invitation


The Literature Centre proudly holds a Statutory Education Licence. The Good Copyright Governance initiative recognises organisations who have the Statutory Education Licence in place, therefore hitting a benchmark for copyright compliance and fairly supporting Australian creators. Find out more at www.copyright.com.au