Sunday, August 30, 2009

Packing Away the Safari Suit

After travelling almost 2800 kms (1600 by plane, 1200 by car) to give 11 author talks , 3 writing workshops and attend 5 Book Safari events (including 2 Safari luncheons, 1 dinner and 1 brunch!), it's time to pack away the leopard skin and zebra print outfits and head back to the "day" job.
But it's been a blast.


The surprise "welcome" performance of a dramatisation of Taming Butterflies by a group of Year 6 girls at Meriden.

The nail-biting finishes to the "Who Wants to Win a Sue Whiting Book" competition.

The open-eyed, gaping-mouth response to my readings of Freaky - especially from the boys at Sydney Grammar.

The opportunity to join in with the Queensland events.

The enthusiastic response to some new material I was trying out.

The numerous kids begging me to write a book about the Antarctic adventure story I told.

Favourite quote:

Kindi boy: What is your next book going to be?
Me: A book called A Strange Little Monster.
Kindi boy (gleefully): Yay! It's about me.

And I think he may be right ...
Photos courtesy of Sally Govett at Meriden Junior School. Thanks!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Safari, anyone?

Book Safari 2009 started off with an early morning flight to the Gold Coast to attend the announcement of the CBCA Book of the Year winners and honour books.

It was my happy duty to look after our talented Walker Books' winners: Bob Graham (Winner, Early Childhood category for How to Heal a Broken Wing) and Mark Greenwood and Frane Lessac (Honour Book, Eve Pownall Award for Simpson and his Donkey). Speeches were accompanied by the barks and coughs of the neighbouring sea lions and a wild time was had by all.

Next stop was Brisbane to the CBCA Qld Branch's Book Safari dinner where the highlight was Glenda Millard's poignant and heartfelt speech, entitled, Getting Naked, which dealt with the use of raw emotion in writing. It was truly wonderful.

Saturday morning I trekked to Cafe San Marco, South Bank, for a wild Book Safari brunch with a great bunch of kids. It was lots of fun celebrating Book Week Queensland-style. (Thanks Beth!)

(I also had the chance to catch up with my sister and nieces and nephews, which was an added bonus!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Children's Book Week Fast Approaching

It's that time of the year again!

Children's Book Week is officially celebrated from 21st - 30th August, but for most, the fun and frivolity lasts for most of August. Perhaps we should change it to Book Month? (No groaning, please!)

Although always hectic, I thoroughly enjoy all the festivities, events and school visits. I love the bookishness of the whole thing - the chance to really celebrate Australian children's literature and to put kid's books in the spotlight (albeit briefly). It also provides me time away from my "day" job, to share my passion for story and writing with others and to recharge my batteries.

Once the festivities are over, I usually finish up exhausted and enthused in equal measures. And I'm often ready to dive head first into my current writing project. (I'm really hope this will be the case this year as I have most definitely stalled on my WIP.)

So where will I be?

Monday, 17th August: Gib Gate School, Mittagong, NSW

Tuesday, 18th August, Gib Gate School, Mittagong,NSW

Friday, August 21st: QLD CBCA Book Week Dinner, Brisbane, Qld

Saturday, August 22nd: Book Safari Children's Literary Brunch, Cafe San Marco, South Bank Brisbane, Qld

Monday, August 24th: NSW CBCA Children's Book Week Luncheon, South Steyne, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Tuesday, August 25th: Frenchs Forest School, Sydney

Wednesday, August 26th: Meriden Junior School, Strathfield

Thursday, August 27th: Sydney Grammar Prep, Edgecliff

Sunday, August 30th: NSW CBCA Book Safari at the Australian Museum, Sydney, 10.30 - 11.00.

As you can see, there are a number of events open to the public. So why don't you contact your local CBCA branch and see what they have planned for your state? Come along and join in the fun!

See you round.