From Kinglake to Kabul


David J Williams, Celeste Wahlberg and Neil Grant collaborated with students from Kinglake and Kabul to produce the 1000 Pencils project and award-winning book From Kinglake to Kabul.

From Kinglake to Kabul is available from any book store and online at

Listen to the students talk about 1000 Pencils on ABC radio here or watch the ABC TV story.

The 2010 Melbourne Writers Festival production 1000 Pencils: from Kinglake to Kabul was supported by The Lions Clubs of Australia and FRRR.

The 2011 Melbourne Writers Festival production of 1000 Pencils was produced by David J Williams, Loz Bowie, Neil Grant and Antoni Jach.

Read more about the 1000 Pencils writing project in David and Neil’s forewords to the original book 1000 Pencils: from Kinglake to Kabul.

Read Sabrina Omar’s story Magical Kabul.


Artists in Schools -

A Victorian Government Initiative

Young people and their opinions...they’re going to be the future. It’s most important to listen to them. I can see through all of our stories that we’re able to share our difficulties and problems and find similarities and share a kind of a healing process. It’s important for us to be able to speak.

  1. -Sabrina Omar 15-year-old student from Kabul

The stories are riveting...The students express a profound love for their country and a determination to rebuild it. There are moments of breathtaking forgiveness and kindness, and tales of strangers who offer refuge despite the life-threatening danger.

  1. -Arnold Zable (from The Age feature article)

A frank, moving, compelling collection by students with a gift for storytelling - The Age is thrilling...when kids find the wherewithal to fashion such stories...A collection of stories such as 1000 Pencils feeds into our national narrative in an enhancing way. - Robert Hillman co-author of The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif and My Life as a Traitor