Other 2018 highlights include ASA mentoring the super talented Amelia Mellor, speaking at the National ALEA/AATE Conference, Write Around the Murray and the CBCA NSW Kids Bookweek event. I love being part of the friendly and inclusive children’s literature community. Special thanks to the SCBWI West team for all that you do to support creative spirits.
2019 looks like being another exciting year. More about that in a few weeks. In the meantime I’ll be enjoying a quiet family Christmas at home, with plenty of beach-time, reading and the odd glass of bubbles. I’m also happily writing something new. Stay safe and thank you for helping to make 2018 a good year.
2016 has been a whirl, with so many highlights, as well as the challenge of balancing study, writing and work commitments.
With just a few tweaks left to finalise my PhD research (Crafting Animal Characters in Children’s Literature), I look forward to working on several new projects over summer and launching a new book in 2017, but first I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to the schools, festivals and libraries that hosted me in 2016. Here are some of the highlights:
The inaugural 7 Rooms 7 Stories Writers Festival in Busselton was fabulous and I’m thrilled to have been invited back in 2017. Boasting a sparkly new name ‘Between the Lines’ this festival is sponsored by Dymocks Busselton and will be held in March at Mary MacKillop College.
A few weeks after 7 stories, and further south, I enjoyed mixing with local creators and interstate visitors at Great Southern Grammar’s Literature Festival.
Meeting readers during school visits and returning to schools I’ve previously visited is especially rewarding. In the first half of the year that included St Stephen’s, St Mark’s and Lakeside SHS (Perth) as well as St Josephs College in Albany…
Travelling to Wickham in the Pilbara, celebrating Granny Grommet and Me being part of Better Beginnings Recommended Reads for 4s & 5s was fun.
So was revisiting NSW’s Riverina. Thank you Albury and Lavington Libraries for organising school visits last May.
Each Winter brings the excitement and anticipation of the SCBWI WA Rottnest Retreat. This year was as fabulous as ever, spending time reading, writing and workshopping with friends as well as being inspired by visiting legends Erica Wagner and Craig Smith. Thanks to the SCBWI organisers…
July brought the long-anticipated launch of The Shark Caller, a YA novel that was ‘in-production’ for about ten years. Some books take longer than others! To celebrate there were two launches; one at the Albany Surf Club and the other at Perth’s fabulous Aquarium (AQWA). Both were wonderful evenings.
Between these two launches, my sister, Karen and I went on a road trip/writers tour of Esperance and the Goldfields region where I enjoyed meeting students at Esperance SHS, Esperance Anglican Community School and Kalgoorlie’s John Paul College.
The second half of the year is when things get busy for children’s authors and 2016 was no exception. The excitement began with Albany Library and Penguin Random House helping to organise a Shark Caller Haiku Competition. The entries were delightful and I met with the winners to enjoy a milkshake meeting.
Then it was Bookweek. Thank you Iona, Newman, Mel Maria, PLC, Southlands Albany and Brighton Primary. As well as Rio Tinto for organising a full day trip to Paraburdoo …
Then in October (and November) it was time to celebrate Fremantle Press’s 40th birthday. What a fabulous milestone for an independent publisher!
In October I also enjoyed an amazing week in Bunbury and Busselton as part of The Literature Centre’s Talented Young Writers’ Programme facilitated by one of the Centre’s motivating Education Officers, Beck Blaxell. Each year the TYWP programme reaches hundreds of budding creators, giving them unique opportunities to develop their skills. It was a pleasure to work with these highly committed high school students.
One 2016 regret was having to cancel sessions at Bremer Bay Primary due to urgent family illness. Thankfully my Mum is now okay and I hope to visit Bremer early 2017.
So that was my 2016. Thank you again to all of the schools, festivals and libraries that hosted me this year. After the adventures above, my 2017 resolution was going to be to slow down and enjoy each moment… however with some exciting events coming up, this might be a challenge!
More about that in the next post. In the meantime, I wish you all a very Happy New Year!
The students (from Years 6-12) meet four times a year with a visiting author to hone their writing skills. We talked about developing ideas, plotting, character development and my PhD research topic ‘anthropomorphism’. Students shared their own ideas and writing drafts. I heard so many great stories and can happily report that the future of WA storytelling is in safe hands.
Thank you to all at The Lit Centre for inviting me to be part of this great program, to the schools, teachers and parents for supporting this investment in our future. And… a special shout-out to Beck who made sure everything ran smoothly, for being wonderful company and for introducing me to the delicious cabbage salad at Market Eating House (sounds weird, tastes great).