You can order it at your local bookstore, or buy from Booktopia.
In other writing news, getting a story in for the Buzz Words competition defeated me this year! There was too much going on in life, to give the story the attention it deserved. Good luck to those who entered! I did manage to get something in to some flash fiction competitions, though, and I have a couple of stories in with publishers, awaiting the outcome...
In the meantime, I haven't been idle! SBWI had an event in Sydney at the beginning of the month, with a bumper line up. First up, Victoria Mackinlay spoke about all things Google related for authors and I think her talk should be essential listening. It. Blew. My. Mind. Who even knew all the stuff that happens in Google land behind your screen? I went home with a notebook full of handy hints to implement. Can't say I've nailed it yet, but boy, were my eyes opened!! After Victoria, Eve Tonelli from Harper Collins spoke about publishing, and it's always interesting to hear the state of the industry from a publisher. Eve was so open, offering information under the 'cone of silence' that you won't find in any tweets or social media from the day - and that's the value of SCBWI membership! Katrina McKelvey and Kirrili Lonergan rounded up the day with warmth and humour and tales of their picture book partnership springing form their real life friendship.
It's always fun being one of the Stars at CBCA NSW Inc Northern Sydney Sub-branch Lunch With The Stars. This year's special guests were the wonderful Tim Harris and Matt Cosgrove. How cool is the booklet cover design by Matt? After 10 years of organising this event, Belinda Murrell has decided to take a well earned rest, and we really can't thank her enough for the legacy she has left with this flagship event.
Talking about CBCA and literary lunches, I caught up with Kiah Thomas at the Illawara lunch and lined her up for an interview on The Just Write for Kids Blog - you can see part one here. Kiah was a delight to interview, and such a good sport, agreeing to the interview days out from giving birth. You can catch part two of the interview on Friday (4th Oct).
Also on CBCA, it was wonderful to celebrate with Northern Sydney Sub-branch President, Jan Latta and other members of our supportive group, on Sydney harbour for a high tea in honour of her significant birthday. Happy Birthday Jan! I think she's about to jet off to Asia for school visits - she is irrepressible!!
Reading Hour this year for me coincided with the presentation night of the Northern Beaches Young Writer's Award for which I was one of the judges. It was a lovely synergy, I thought. The night was a sparklingly joyous evening, with all the judging authors saying some very lovely and encouraging things about the stories from this talented pool of writers, who were so excited and proud. I loved Jaclyn Moriarty's simile about her finalist's stories sparkling like stars, and how the runner-up and winning stories sparkled just as brightly, only they were a different colour.
After hearing the judge's comments, I was inspired to read the stories, and you can too, if you follow this link. and scroll to the bottom for the ebook: Wild. Thanks to the Northern Beaches council for these photos:
I had so much fun travelling with author buddies Katrina Roe, Penny Reeve/Jaye and Kat Colmer to Brisbane for the Wombat Books Conference. This was a wonderful celebration of TEN years of Wombat Books and a great opportunity to meet and network with other Wombat Books' authors and Illustrators for the 'in house' personal development day. We heard about the vision and staffing of the company, and shared with each other from the wealth of experience and wisdom in the room.
The conference day drew participants from wider afield, and focused on skills development. Kate Forsyth, as keynote speaker, set the tone for an inspiring and encouraging day of workshops and panels - Kate Gordon even bribed her audience with chocolate (Mint Slice, Cherry Ripes and Crunchie bars - the food of her childhood) as she and Lora Inak spoke in a warm and insightful way about writing from experience and memory (photo below left).
Below are some photos from the days. At right are Tina Marie Clarke who is the force behind the CYA Conference and super-nice person, and Renee Treml, whose picture book, One Very Tired Wombat is my go-to for new babies, who I met for the first time this weekend. Sadly, there were so many photo opportunities that I missed!
Back at home, I've been reeling from the news of the imminent closure of the oldest specialist bookshop in NSW, The Children's Bookshop, Beecroft, in November. Those who regularly read my news will know what a significant part it plays in many of my adventures in KidLitLand. The support Paul and Beth MacDonald give to those in the children's book industry is invaluable. The bookshop will be sorely missed, although gladly, Paul and Beth will continue their involvement with children's books through their writing, illustrating and other exciting plans. You can hear all about what they are up to next on Brydie Wright's radio show on Radio Northern Beaches from 3-4pm this Saturday (5th Oct). Find out more about the show here.
Talking about The Children's Bookshop events, I attended the launch of Robert Vescio and Nicky Johnston's beautiful new picture book, Under the Same Sky, (and Robert gave me a cup-cake for my birthday - so sweet!!) and met Karen Foxlee, who read her delightful new picture book, Horatio Squeak.
Lisa Sibery's The Brilliant Ideas of Lily Green was fresh and fun with a dollop of fantasy - a charming read. You can listen to the Middle Grade Mavens talking about it and interviewing Ampersand prize winning Lisa, on Episode 28, here.
At left are my book purchases this month - I can't seem to walk past a bookshop, or go to a conference, or run into an author (in the case of Jules Faber), without buying a book! I love how eye-catching all the covers are!
My Hope 103.2 radio reviews this month were: Can't Beat the chemistry by Kat Colmer, and The Things the Will not Stand by Michael Gerard Bauer. I totally adored both these YA books.
Kat's book was fresh and fun and I didn't want it to end. Michael's book was funny, deep, wise and layered - a book I wanted to hug! It's been shortlisted for the Prime Minister's literary award. Click on their titles above to see my full Goodreads review.
I also WON a book form a Books On Tour giveaway! I'm really excited to read Cameron Macintosh and Dave Atze's Max Booth, Future Sleuth: Film Flip - the premise of a kid in the future (the year 2424) investigating 'ancient' technology, like a roll of camera film, really appeals to me! Plus, there's a dog! You can find out more about the book by following the blog tour here.
@story_hound Archie was excited to hear a shout out for his Insta account on One More Page Podcast episode 37 - thanks Liz! The episode also reviewed two books on our radar - The Secret Science Society by Kathy Hoopmann, Josie Montano and Anne-Marie Finn (illustrator) that we bought at the Wombat Books conference (and got signed, of course!), and my writing buddy, Stephanie Ward's gorgeous picture book, Arabella and the Magic Pencil, that I've mentioned before.
Talking about Archie, I'll leave you with the post below, with the most comments on his Insta account this month - would you believe it was one of the easiest photo shoots to date?
But before then - what am I looking forward to in October? This is a big family celebration month, with weddings and birthdays scattered throughout the month, although I'm sure I'll find some Kidlit adventures tucked away in the cracks :-) . In November, I'm looking forward to celebrating the end of a busy year with the CBCA: Northern Sydney drinks at Terrey Hills Tavern on the 27th and NSW Aspire and Celebrate 2019 on the 28th.
Until next time,