Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky’s Author Workshop

Australian history/English incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools
Storytelling & Writing

Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky’s Author Workshop

Australian Studies/History/English
Jan has written books, shows, radio and television documentaries, audio tours and more.
here he tells stories from his writing and talks about how he goes about his work.
(See writing CV below)

$3.50 per student with minimum $350 per workshop (60 mins)
Travel/accom/ road toll costs may apply in some locations




Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky’s Author Workshop

I have been the author/writer of eight books, twelve radio features, two television documentaries and several stage shows, many of them dealing with life stories. (See Writing CV below)

In this workshop I talk to students about my experiences as a writer across these various forms, including:

  • What inspires and where his ideas come from
  • Learning to write on the job
  • Story research
  • Storytelling
  • My passion for sharing quality Australian stories
  • The importance of respect for other people’s stories, particularly Indigenous stories
  • Oral literature on the page, and the process of oral history.
  • The publishing/broadcasting experience
  • Reading and performing pieces from his work

In this presentation I draw on forty years of performance experience to deliver a session that is educational, highly entertaining and inspiring.


Practical Details:

Curriculum: For all years of Secondary English. Teacher’s should talk with Jan about their particular agenda.

Duration: 60 mins.

Numbers:  Maximum  of 120.

Cost:  $3.50/ student, minimum of $350 per session. (Plus travel/accom/ road toll costs to some locations.)

Bookings/Enquiries: Phone: 0417 332 065,  Email




Books (Writer/editor/co-editor)

2014  The Monster Meeting Book: Manuscript that tells the story of how Eureka began with the 1851 Monster meeting on the Forest Creek diggings, now Chewton near Castlemaine.

2011 Me & Phar Lap: the remarkable life of Tommy Woodcock: Best-selling life of the young man who looked after and loved the champion racehorse, Phar Lap.

1996 Born Under the Paperbark Tree (with Yidumduma Bill Harney): Life story of Wardaman songman, elder and master of all trades, Yidumduma Bill Harney .

1989 In The Footsteps of Our Ancestors  (edited with Rachel McDinny): Story of Yanyuwa & Garrwa Indigenous communities, NT, reclaiming culture by taking younger generations to country.

1992 I Was Born: The Selby Court StoriesLife stories of people living in special accomodation home.

1984  The Fruitcake of Australian Stories (edited with Deborah Sonenberg): Collection of short stories and poems.

1980 The Bushwackers Band Dance BookBest-selling bush dance instruction manual.

1978 The Bushwackers Australian Song BookBest-selling volume of Australian folk songs.

Television Documentaries (Script writer)

1990 Buwarrala Akarriya – Journey East (ABC TV):Award-winning program on journey of Yanyuwa and Garrwa Indigenous communities of Borroloola, NT, taking younger generations on a footwalk to traditional country. (Australian Teacher’s of Media 1990 awards for Best Documentary and Best Australian Production.)

1992 Aeroplane Dance (SBS Television, 1992): Story of Aboriginal search for lost American airmen in World War Two.

(Awards include: 1997 International Festival of Ethnographic Film (RAI) Winner – Basil Wright Prize; 8/11/1997 International Festival of Ethnographic Film (RAI) Winner – Basil Wright Prize; 1997 Festival Internazionale del Film Turistico Finalist – Ethnography Category; 1995 Chicago International Film Festival Silver Hugo.)

Radio Features & Stories (Writer/presenter)

2009    Bilarni (Hindsight, ABC Radio National): Life story of W.E. (Bill) Harney (1895-1962)

2006 The Treaty (Hindsight, ABC RN): Program on John Batman’s 1835 ‘treaty’ with the Wurundjeri-willam clan of the Port Phillip area.

2006 The Music of Gallipoli (Music Deli, ABC RN & ABC Local Radio): Feature on the Turkish, Maori and Australian music of Gallipoli, linked with personal story of performing at Anzac Cove.

2005 The Tommy Woodcock Story (Verbatim, ABC RN): Feature program and syndicated segments on life of Phar Lap’s strapper, using interviews with Tommy Woodcock.

2004 Honouring Mother – The Nelly Darby Story (Hindsight, ABC RN): Feature program on one Victorian Aboriginal Stolen Generation family, the Darby’s.

2002 A Long Lunch With Kenneth Cook (Books & Writing, ABC RN): Program on life and writing of Australian author Kenneth Cook, most famous for his novel Wake In Fright.

2002 The Ants That Ate Plutarch (Books and Writing, ABC RN): Program on the unique library at Borroloola, NT – a 4000 book Edwardian library in a town without a road.

2002 Ned’s Noggin (The Law Report, ABC RN): Feature program on the whereabouts of Ned Kelly’s skull, stolen from Old Melbourne Gaol in the mid ’seventies.

2002 Anzac Day Promotions (ABC Local Radio): Writer-presenter of 10 three minute stories on Australians at war.

2002 Wongar (Books & Writing, ABC RN): Program on author B. Wongar, a Serbian born author with a life deeply intertwined with Aboriginal people.

1996 Yapucha (Music Deli, ABC RN): Original and extravagant shaggy dog story of a big adventure ‘up north’.

1991 The Aeroplane Dance (for Music Deli, ABC RN):  Feature program on WW2 story from the NT, which became Television documentary of same name.

1990 Buwarrala Akarriya-Journey East (Music Deli & Free Range, ABC RN): Program on music of Yanyuwa people in NT, based on the recordings made for the television documentary of the same name.

1989 The Music Tree (and Jack the Dancer) (Bushfire Radio, CAAMA): Five-part serial, with original story of Jack the Dancer, for remote Aboriginal communities in Central Australia.

1987 Travellers Tales (ABC RN): Fifteen original short stories for weekly broadcast.

Stage Shows (Writer/performer)

2014 Bilarni  Storytelling theatre on life of WE (Bill) Harney (1895-1962)

2007 The Go-Between: William Murrungurk Buckley  (La Mama): Storytelling theatre on life of William Buckley (1780-1856).

2003 Lest We Forget  (Galliopli/Anzac Day; Castlemaine State Festival): Turkish-Australian Gallipoli story.

1996-8 Whitefella learns to Dance (Brunswick Institute; toured Victoria, NSW): Original one man show about a whitefella who ‘goes black’ and gets egg on his face.


Jan Wositzky’s Storytelling Workshop

Australian history/English incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools
Storytelling & Writing

Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky’s Storytelling Workshop

Primary & Secondary
Australian Studies/History/English
In this workshop Jan tells stories, explains how they work
and gets the students making up their own stories.

$5 per student with minimum $500 per workshop
Travel/accom/ road toll costs may apply in some locations


The workshop can last between 60 – 90 minutes, and can be varied according to the needs of the school. Number can very from 25 – 100, also depending on what the school want to get out of the workshop.

“The guest storyteller at our Junior School Arts Festival, Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky, was so entertaining and a great presenter! Jan was very flexible and he was able to adapt his workshop formats to suit our requirements and mould his sessions to best cater to multi aged groups of 5 – 12 year old girls, with approximately 28 girls in each group. Not an easy task, and with only one day’s notice! Over the course of the 3 days, Jan presented 8 storytelling workshop sessions, and included music and humour in every session. Thank you Jan for taking part in our Arts Festival and for doing such a fabulous job!”
                                                                                                                                              Marissa Caluzzi, Ivanhoe Girls Grammar

Workshop description below


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