Spring is in the air! And it’s not just baby currawongs hatching in the tree outside my door or my orchids bursting to life – so many new books are springing from launches onto bookshelves and into my eager hands! Every weekend lately one or other of my friends is launching their new books – it seems like the publishing industry is making up for time lost over Covid! And I've been as busy as a bee flitting from one event to another this past month or so. What a delight!
But first, in my writing news, I am patiently waiting! I have a non-fiction article accepted by The School Magazine that I can't wait to see in print and illustrated! I'm thinking about ways to promote my next picture book, Anchored, when it comes out in July next year. And I’m liaising with my publisher at HarperCollins about an illustrator for my book with them due out a year later. I was thrilled with the outcome of my publisher assessments at the CYA Conference, despite my being a no-show due to catching rotten Covid! Undeterred, one generous publisher liked both my manuscripts so much that she is taking them to her team to discuss! How good is that?? Fingers crossed!!
Talking about the CYA conference, I was so pleased it was online again this year. I’m still looking forward to getting to a LIVE CYA conference, but online this year I was able to network and make some new friends, as well as catch up on the sessions I missed due to not feeling well. The most helpful session for me this year was Claire Thomas with School visits: How to primp and preen your presentation and was timely - I got to do a bit of primping and preening before heading back into schools for book week!
And what a hoot Book Week was! To be able to get back into schools and Preschools felt like a hit of oxygen into depleted lungs! Here are a few happy snaps from a preschool visit (I always find the school photos trickier to get!):
And for those who have yet to catch up on the Book of the Year news, you can find it all here. The announcement video is worth watching, as we get to see the reaction of the winners in real time! And remember to check out what the kids thought too, in the Sun Project, Shadow Judging section.
I was unable to get to the Kids and YA Festival at Writing NSW, but again, was able to catch up on some of the sessions I was keen to get to, via their podcast here.
My local CBCA NSW branch sub-branch had a fabulous evening exploring the latest exhibition at the State Library of NSW – Imagine… the Wonder of Picture Books, and then retiring to the Library Bar. I highly recommend both – the exhibition and the Bar (it has amazing sweeping views from the rooftop). It was fantastic to see books included by my friends, like Lisa Nicols and Bethany Macdonald.
The evening was also a time to celebrate the launch of our sub-branch previous president, wildlife photographer and author of children's True to Life books, Jan Latta's inspirational memoir, Doing it My Way. Pictured at right with me, Abbey Lane and Carla Fitzgerald.
Still on the subject of CBCA NSW Branch Sub-branch, our legendary Lunch With the Stars was back this year after two years of Covid hiatus - and what a delight it was! Catching up with a room full of authors/illustrators, chatting to kids and teachers, and hearing from amazing author guest speakers (this year it was Louise Park and Oliver Phommavanh) is always a highlight of the year! Photo below...
And now for a gallery of new book photos: some launches I got to...
And a few I didn't get to but got to catch up with the authors at Lunch With the Stars!
I’ve read two books from Kathryn Apel recently and they couldn’t be more different! What Snail Knows is an achingly beautiful story of a lonely girl with a pet snail and how she (and her father) start to come out of their shells. It’s sublime! Miss Understood is a riotous fractured fairy-tale picture book (illustrations by Beau Wiley) casting the wolf from the Three Little Pigs as a misunderstood hero and the pigs as, well – pigs! Told in Kat’s exquisite rapping rhyme and full of jokes and puns and great hilarity!
I’ve finished Oliver’s book, What About Thao? (above), which is warm and wise and just altogether wonderful! And I adore Carla's Keeping up with the Dachshunds (above) - it's funny with a great message and... dogs! I'm sharing this one around lots - it's one of Archie's favourites!
'Ya gotta be in to win it! I have been so fortunate to WIN TWO Books recently, from giveaways!
The first is from the ASA - A Little Spark, the latest from Barry Jonsberg - I love his books and I look forward to reading this one (photo to come)! The second is actually a whole package of goodies from Shae Millward including her adorable and fun picture book, Koala's Like to... which young children will delight to read over and over again (illustrated by Brent Wilson). I also received a book that I was the winning bid for in the Lismore Flood Relief auction earlier in the year - The Naked Sheep by Crystal Corocher and Rebel Challenger. This one is a rhyming romp of hilarity.
It was my birthday recently, and one of the treasured gifts I received was this totally loveable book with a gentle dual language story that captures the essence of donkey's personalities perfectly! The illustrations are so unique - hand woven sculptures by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers, a social enterprise of indigenous women. There's also a gorgeous animated film clip you can view here. With my little donkey mate no longer with us, this will be a book I treasure forever <3
Looking forward to:
The Just Write for Kids Pitch It! Competition is back on for another year and I’m one of the picture book judges. This is such a fun competition to judge, and I’m looking forward to reading those entries! Find out more here.
Next week is Australian Dementia Awareness Week with World Alzheimer's Day on the 21st. Look out for my posts on socials - there might even be a give-away!
SCBWI is having a sketch and Scribble at may Gibbs' Nutcote in December - it should be great fun!
Until next time, or I see you somewhere in my KidLitLand adventures, I'll leave you with StoryHound Archie trying to keep up with the latest totally bow-wow trends, and the Dachshunds!