Tristan Bancks tells stories for the page and screen. His books for kids and teens include Two Wolves, The Fall, Detention, the Tom Weekly series and Nit Boy. His books have won and been shortlisted for many awards, including a Children’s Book Council of Australia Honour Book, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, ABIA, YABBA, KOALA, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and Queensland Literary Awards. His new release for 2021 is Ginger Meggs, a 100th anniversary book of brand new short stories based on characters created by his great-great uncle, Jimmy Bancks, in 1921.
Tristan is a writer-ambassador for literacy charity Room to Read. He is currently working with producers to develop a number of his books for the screen. He’s excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create. You can find out more about Tristan’s books, play games, watch videos, join his Young Writer's StorySchool and help him try to change the world here at tristanbancks.com
Tristan's Latest Books:
Sima and her family are pressed to the rough, cold ground among fifty others. They lie next to the tall fence designed to keep them in. The wires are cut one by one. When they make their escape, a guard raises the alarm. Shouting, smoke bombs, people tackled to the ground. In the chaos Sima loses her parents. Dad told her to run, so she does, hiding in a school and triggering a lockdown. A boy, Dan, finds her hiding in the toilet block. What should he do? Help her? Dob her in? She’s breaking the law, but is it right to lock kids up? And if he helps, should Sima trust him? Or run?This moment, these decisions, will change their lives.
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?
Online Talks and Workshops
Tristan has been innovative in creating content that caters for teachers and students operating in physical and/or social isolation.Check out the options in his Online Talks and Workshops tab (above) for the latest initiatives.
1. Young Writers' StorySchool is Tristan's brand new online video writing masterclass program for students aged 9-14. It is 24 x 3-4-minute videos to supercharge the writing process in the classroom with comprehensive teachers’ notes and activity sheets. Like having an author in the classroom all year round. See the trailer here and the first video lesson at www.youngwritersstoryschool.com.
2. Alongside StorySchool, Tristan is also innovating in the live online talk space. He is now delivering most of his live school talks via Zoom, WebEx, Teams, Meet and also as streamable hour-long videos for flexible individual or classroom viewing. The videos are high-energy with all the images, video, music, maps, readings, humour and anecdotes of Tristan's in-person talks. Lots of inspiration to read and create. They’re tailored to each school and Tristan will answer 10 questions from the school’s students at the end. See a two-minute sample video here.
3. Tristan is doing a limited number of in-person school visits in 2021.
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.
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. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 incredibly flexible and responsive. His communication prior to the event was excellent, and he interacted with such enthusiasm to engage some of our budding young writers. Of course, the subject matter of his workshops was exactly what we'd hoped for - he offered practical advice infused with his own story and experiences.
Brisbane Grammar School - July 2021Brisbane Grammar School - July 2021Tristan Bancks
It was wonderful to have Tristan present to numerous classes of our Years 7,8, and 9 cohorts. His presentations were individually designed for each year level and the students were enthralled. Students said he was 'cool', engaging AND gave helpful tips on writing.... needless to say his books have been loaned out and we have had to purchase more copies to keep up with demand. Thanks for a great visit...
St Peters Lutheran College - July 2021St Peters Lutheran College - July 2021Tristan Bancks
Our Year 7 group were very shy but Tristan was able to entertain and inform them in an environment that was a little quiet. his presentation was a mix of him talking and video clips which were entertaining. being able to hear his about his new writing was a bonus. a thorough and polished presentation. can't wait for next year. thanks Tristan!
FCJ College, Benalla - May 2021FCJ College, Benalla - May 2021Tristan Bancks
Tristan was vibrant, energetic and inspiring. Despite the performance being via a Team's meeting, it was like he was here in the room with the students. He interacted with the students, persevered when we had technical difficulties and pivoted his performance when required.
All Hallows School - November 2020All Hallows School - November 2020Tristan Bancks
I just wanted to say a very big thank you for your wonderfully engaging author visit today. You had our kids hooked from the get go! The teachers were also very complimentary and have been inspired with ideas for their quick write sessions with students.
Milton State School - October 2020Milton State School - October 2020Tristan Bancks