Dear Children’s Writers and friends,
This was originally going to simply be about the brilliant StoryArts Festival in Brisbane a fortnight ago, then about that and two exciting new events, but it’s now four! And maybe even more! I’m having the delayed Star launch activities/opportunities and Book Week events which I couldn’t have last year and during my busy work time this year (Book Week clash 🤷🏽♀️C’est la Vie) now and I must admit it’s as exciting and draining and ‘all the feels at once’ that I’ve been told it would be.
Book Signing at Alfie and Noa, Castle Towers. Well this was a lovely surprise addition to my agenda. An author friend Julie Thorndyke was have a signing of her beautiful book of Tanka- Borrowed Riches today, so I went along to support her and she introduced me to the friendly, enthusiastic, service-oriented Nish who spoke to me between serving customers with knowledge and a smile. We planned to have a signing and sales session for Star. As it turned out he supports so many local authors that, much like the little town in Star, his calendar was full, so this Saturday was quickly organised and if you’re in the area and/or looking for a great Christmas story, exploring the true message of joy, love, peace and sacrifice, then come along to Alfie and Noa on Saturday the 12th of November and I’ll be happy to share my special little Star with you.
My next big exciting event is another local one, the Christmas Markets at St Bernadette’s Lalor Park, which will be held next Friday the 18th of November from 4-8pm. Come along and bag yourself a bargain while also supporting a great cause, close to my heart, namely children’s education. I’ll be selling Star, handmade bookmarks and a couple of other little artistic surprises (possibly to me as well 🤣) There’ll be many other lovely stores from plants to food, to photography. Check it out here at https://www.facebook.com/groups/506989374097164/
The following week is the inaugural Book Fair Australia two day event at Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush. I’ll be there with several other wonderful children’s authors including Sandra Bennett, Jacinta Froud, Emma Hay, Karen Hendriks, Ashling Kwok and Susea Spray. We’ll be in our own section so it’s easier to find all your children’s book needs in one place, but there will be many, many other authors of all sorts of other genres if you’d prefer. Come along and I’m sure you’ll find something to please all the readers in your family.
GIVEAWAY : Two tickets to enter the fair! These will be randomly drawn. All you have to do to WIN is to like and share this post on their socials.
Finally and what may well be my favourite, I’ll visit the lovely staff and children at Nido Early Learning Centre, Seven Hills again, where I’ll be sharing Star and signing copies with a personal message for children in the Kinder 2 room and maybe even doing a little origami as a fun farewell and good luck in ‘Big School’ event.
And no, I didn’t forget. Here amongst the many gems gained while at StoryArts are my top 10!
1. Trust yourself to do something out of the box, but true to you. (Zanni Louise)
2. The five story senses are humour, justice, belonging, danger and wonder. If children find a few of these in your writing that’s great. (Sean Williams)
3. Children often have wonder drummed out of them when they’re very young [Do I hear echoes of Supertramp?] Wonder is linked to ‘why?’ You want to get a kid to ask, ‘Why?’ (Sean Williams).
4. I learned early how to use white space and blank spaces to show loss. (Freya Blackwood)
5. Creativity is a problem solving exercise. Pare back as far as you possibly can without losing the story. (Freya Blackwood)
6. Use tension and voice in a way which keeps the kids wanting to know what comes next (Clair Hume)
7. Seeing an author is serious, in it for the long term and willing to collaborate. (Rowena Beresford in answer to ‘What are Publishers looking for?’)
8. Be really sure of your manuscript, know what you’re submitting. (Clair Hume)
9. Agents are great as they’ve done a lot of the hard work already. (Kate Stevens when discussing slush pile- a very full inbox. She also said that’s one of the reasons she loves festivals like StoryArts)
10. I love it when an author has done the work and says, ‘I’ve noticed there hasn’t been a book on… so here’s my PB/ JF/YA ms on… ( 😳 cannot remember which editor said this – publisher panel)
Well I’d better go and get some rest for the weeks ahead,
Farewell fellow travellers,
Savour the quest,