Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author with a background in acting and filmmaking. His books include the My Life series, Mac Slater Coolhunter (Australia and US) and Two Wolves, a crime-mystery novel for middle-graders. Two Wolves won Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards. It also won the YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards and has been released in the US as On the Run (Farrar Straus Giroux). Tristan's short films as writer and director have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV. His most recent book is My Life & Other Exploding Chickens, a fourth book of weird-funny-gross, semi-autobiographical short stories. Tristan is excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create.
The Fall (2017)
In the middle of the night, Sam is woken by angry voices from the apartment above.
He goes to the window to see what’s happening – only to hear a struggle, and see a body fall from the sixth-floor balcony. Pushed, Sam thinks.
Sam goes to wake his father Harry, a crime reporter, but Harry is gone. And when Sam goes downstairs, the body is gone, too. But someone has seen Sam, and knows what he’s witnessed.
The next twenty-four hours could be his last.
My Life & Other Weaponised Muffins (2017)
Have you ever been trapped inside a runaway car? Have you broken a world record? Is there someone in your class who will stop at nothing to kiss you? Have you ever tricked your dog into doing your homework? Or found something seriously disgusting in your food? Have you sold head lice for fun and profit? Or has your mum ever used raspberry and white chocolate muffins as weapons of minor destruction?
I’m Tom Weekly and all of these things have happened to me. I’ve captured them here in stories, jokes, cartoons, quizzes and lists. Believe me, real life is weirder than anything you can make up.
Two Wolves (2014)
One afternoon, police officers show up at Ben Silver's front door. Minutes after they leave, his parents arrive home. Ben and his little sister Olive are bundled into the car and told they're going on a holiday. But are they? It doesn't take long for Ben to realise that his parents are in trouble. Ben's always dreamt of becoming a detective – his dad even calls him ‘Cop'. Now Ben gathers evidence and tries to uncover what his parents have done. The problem is, if he figures it out, what does he do? Tell someone? Or keep the secret and live life on the run?
Galactic Adventures: First Kids in Space (July 2011)
Dash Campbell has only ever had one dream. To go to space. But does he have what it takes to survive Space School? A gripping and inspiring space adventure for ages 9+. www.firstkidsinspace.com
My Life series (2011 to present)
Have you ever been kissed by a dog? Ever had to eat Vegemite off your sister's big toe? Has a bloodthirsty magpie ever been out to get you? Have you woken up to discover that everything hovers? And have you eaten 67 hot dogs in ten minutes? Tom Weekly has.
A rollicking book series jam-packed with funny short stories for ages 7+.
Mac Slater, Coolhunter 1: The Rules of Cool & Mac Slater 2: I Love NY (2008/09)
The Mac Slater books (Random House) are a rapid-fire read for grades 4 to 8, full of wild inventions, fast-paced action, and technology that kids can relate to. Extensive teachers' notes at www.tristanbancks.com.
Nit Boy 1: Liftoff and Nit Boy 2: Bugout (May 2009)
The Nit Boy series is for primary school aged children and it deals with the perennial problem of nits in a fast, funny and slightly disgusting way, with fantastic illustrations. These will grab even the most reluctant reader (www.nitboy.com).
it's yr life (June 2009)
YA novel for ages 14+. Co-written with Tempany Deckert, Tristan's co-star on Home and Away as a teenager. They re-teamed to write this suspenseful novel via email between his home in Byron Bay and Tempany's in L.A.
All of Tristan's talks can be delivered remotely via Skype. This is a great option for regional visits to cut down on travel costs. It is also a good option for an ongoing series of workshops and interactions with students. A brilliant use of the technology now available in most classrooms.
1. My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up
Autobiographical talk using anecdotes, images, video and the Web to trace how Tristanʼs books relate to his life story. From schoolboy in Sydneyʼs Blue Mountains to teen TV actor and presenter in Australia and London, through travel and university to filmmaking and life as an author. Discover the books Tristan loves to read, how he finds inspiration and how he makes a living telling stories for page and screen. Along the way, have lots of laughs, gain valuable tips on using your own life to inspire your stories and help create a weird, funny, gross short story for My Life book three.
2. Two Wolves
Tristanʼs middle-grade novel Two Wolves is a collision of Nature and technology. Discover why he wrote the book mostly outdoors and how he took pictures of real-life locations and gathered news stories to build the world of the book. Hear a short reading, see the TV news story book trailer, sample the soundtrack and get inspired to read, and even to write your own crime / mystery story.
3. Vision Boarding
One of Tristanʼs most popular talks. From soundtracks to storyboarding, movie trailers to animation, writing a book can be a totally 3D experience. See his Vision Board, which helps him create his books. Learn techniques on how you can fuse TV, the web, video, music, maps, apps and old-fashioned books to write your own stories.
Look at Tristanʼs stories by exploring the three pillars of good storytelling – Character, Story and World – and how he develops these on each of his books in order to bring fictional worlds to life.
NB: Tristan can tailor talks to address specific areas of the curriculum.
All of Tristanʼs talks and most of his workshops can be delivered remotely via Skype, Google Hangout and other video conferencing tools. A great option for regional visits to cut down on travel costs. It is also a good option for an ongoing series of workshops and interactions with students. A brilliant use of the technology now available in most classrooms.
1. Your Life & Other Stuff You Made Up
How can you use all the odd, boring, funny stuff that happens to you and turn it into excellent stories? Author Tristan Bancks used bits from his life to inspire his short story collections My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up and My Life & Other Stuff That Went Wrong. Like the time his sister made him eat Vegemite off her toe and the time he had his appendix removed just to get out of school detention. Learn how to mine your own life for cool, weird, funny stories that your friends and teachers will love.
2. Story Safari – An Outdoor Writing Adventure
Participants observe, experience and let the world around them rush onto the page. The forward-motion and physical exercise bring the writing experience alive, forging new and unexpected stories. Can be done in the school playground! http://bit.ly/xror8X (Inspired by Tristan’s writing process on his book Two Wolves.)
3. Story Scrapbook – Writing Supercharged
Create and visualise stories using Tristanʼs free multimedia story brainstorming tool, Story Scrapbook. Bring together images, video, music, maps, text and web grabs on virtual pages. This popular workshop is based on the authorʼs own multimedia-fuelled approach, supercharging the writing process for people who think visually, interactively and aurally, as well as textually. http://bit.ly/Jhk46m
4. Tell Stories Like a Filmmaker
Discover storytelling tools that I learnt while working in TV & film. Find out how cinematic story tools can make writing more engaging and fun. Filmmaking tools help with worldbuilding, imagery, detail, voice, pacing and other important facets of storytelling.
5. Introduction to Short Story Writing
A hands-on 1–5-hour workshop discovering the basics of writing a short story:
Freewriting, Drafting, Rewriting, Detail and ensuring your idea fits short story form.
6. Writing From the Inside Out
In-depth writing workshop for very keen / talented writers aged 10+ wanting to take their work to the next level and excavate the stories locked inside them. This workshop goes beyond ʻGetting Startedʼ and plunges into Voice, Setting, Character Development, Conflict, Plotting, Analysis of Great Writersʼ Work and saying more by saying less.
Tristan was marvellous and the kids loved him working with them. His presentation to our entire Year 7 cohort was interesting, funny and informative. After this session, the conversation amongst the students related to reading, getting hold of Tristan's books etc and this was perfect as we were just launching our Term 3 Reading Challenge.
His Writers Bootcamp over two lessons was brilliant. The students' responded very positively and his sneak peak of Chapter 1 of his new novel had all of us ready to queue up for this book when it's finally published.
Feedback was most positive and I'd not hesitate to book Tristan again. Students particularly liked how Tristan utilised technology in the stages of his writing.
It was truly a great experience seeing Tristan work with the kids. All positives and no regrets.
Tristan Bancks - Bray Park State High School, July 2016Tristan Bancks - Bray Park State High School, July 2016Tristan Bancks
The English department teachers, Deputy Principal and students involved were extremely impressed with Tristan Bancks and his author session. He was energetic and engaging with young adolescents and very creative and humorous in his approach to writing. The use of interactive media with video and sound was outstanding and catered to a range of learners particularly the male students. We were pleased that Tristan’s passion for writing was passed onto our students and assisted in their assessment task. Tristan also provided excellent resources for students and teachers to use in the classroom and was very willing to assist teachers with further resources and materials from his website. After the session we immediately purchased class sets of two of his novels for our Year 7 and 9 English students for next semester.
Tristan Bancks - Merrimac State High School, March 2016Tristan Bancks - Merrimac State High School, March 2016Tristan Bancks
We had a fabulous visit with Tristan. I knew he would be good and I was not disappointed. One thing that particularly impressed me was how he was able to tailor his address to each group - he didn’t just repeat the same material. He was very engaging and the feedback from staff and students has been extremely positive.
Tristan Bancks - Saint Stephen's College, May 2016Tristan Bancks - Saint Stephen's College, May 2016Tristan Bancks
Tristan was fantastic. The boys loved listening to and working with him. Teachers also gained new ideas to use with the boys. The handouts Tristan emailed for teachers were very well received. The boys were so inspired we sold $800 worth of Tristan's books! Was very worthwhile.
Tristan Bancks - The Southport School, May 2016Tristan Bancks - The Southport School, May 2016Tristan Bancks
Tristan was amazing!
The feedback from students and teachers was overwhelming – everyone loved his sessions. He kept the students enthralled and has inspired them to read and to write.
He is extremely personable, interesting and funny – I can’t wait to have him back here again!
Tristan Bancks - Sheldon College, May 2016Tristan Bancks - Sheldon College, May 2016Tristan Bancks