Conference Time – Sydney

Last weekend/ week was the latest instalment of SCBWI conferences; I can’t believe that it is the fifth SCBWI Australia and New Zealand conference – hence my not high five photo below and it was fun! I spent much of the time chit chatting with folk whom I rarely get to see, and presenting on a panel too.


Dim's Day 2 14th July  (20)

names please

Just in case people didn’t recognise us we were asked to hold up our name tags! So, here I am in the photo above (thanks Dimity Powell) with the delectable duo of Rosie Smith and Bruce Whatley. I was also on a panel presenting a session on SCBWI Awards and Grants, but of course the highlight for me (well one of them anyway) was Professor Ernie Bond from Salisbury University talking about the Common Core and guess what book he mentioned – Python! Just brilliant. Every few years Ernie brings a gathering of students from his literature class on a literature northern or southern hemisphere literary tour – and this year’s tour just coincided with the conference. Glorious. A few years back I spoke with some of Ernie’s students at Salisbury University … and I hope to do so again soon!!

I had lovely time meeting Kathryn Otoshi (who creates the mega terrific KO Kids Books) and of course the delightful and totally wonderful Connie Hsu from Roaring Brook Press. I loved listening to her chat about the USA market (after we chatted in New York earlier this year) but even more fun was our tripping for an afternoon around my neck of the woods.

Yeah! and Hooray! I also had a great long (some very, very long session-missing chats) with Prue Mason (we spent ages chatting away and catching up); Kim FlemmingSarah Davis (we have been trying to catch up all year and we have to come to a conference to see each other); Frances Plumpton, Christina Booth and of course my lovely friends Libby Gleeson and Donna Rawlins to name just a few. Too many people and not enough time!

Two more glorious highlights for me:

  • the the mega successful Duelling / Duet Illustrators starring Bruce Whatley and Steven Axelsen each creating two pieces of art from four words drawn from cups – noun, verb, adjective, adverb (Sarah’s rather incredible kids came up with that idea). I forgot the phrases that were created – one about a gherkin/pickle and another about a “boring bull” (you had to be there) but the art was spectacular. Creative types like this makes authors like me go argh!
  • Melina Marchetta in conversation with Laura Harris about her books and transforming them to movies – what a process and it is another art – and Melina does BOTH!


One Response to Conference Time – Sydney

  1. It was our most successful conference with lots of deals and friendships and great support from the publishing industry! SCBWI is such a wonderful community.

    Susanne Gervay July 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm Reply

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