Where does the time go?
Here I was, planning to keep up to date with writing about events I’ve been attending, and here it is, close to a year since my last out & about missive.
Looking back through my calendar, I can see that there have been one or two SCBWI Meet & Greets and a couple of Illustrator Get Togethers, where like minded people share where they are up to with their writing or illustrating journeys. These are always lots of fun, and very inspiring. Casual events, where we just tend to chat and share bits and pieces, they are worth their weight in gold as places to catch up on gossip, find out about events and competitions, or hear which publishers are open for business and accepting submissions.
I’ve also had the opportunity to be part of some bigger events, too!
There was my own launch party for Trouble and the Exploding House back in August 2017, which was a bitter-sweet event for me. Exploding House is the last in the series, and I was very excited to be launching such a beautifully produced book out in to the big wide world, but knowing it was the last one was a bit sad, too. There were lots of lovely people who came on out to help me celebrate, though, and Harry Hartog in Woden were, once again, perfect hosts.
Then CBCA Book Week followed hot on the heels of that excitement, with the Awards announcement at the National Library on the Friday before, followed by a week or two of school visits and celebrations, which are always loads of fun. I love visiting schools, whether to talk about my books or deliver workshops. It is always great to chat with the children and share ideas.
September was another full month, starting with a full day enrichment program for budding young writers and quickly followed by the SCBWI ACT Level Up Conference. It was the first time any of us had experienced what it is like to co-ordinate a full day of keynote speeches and workshops, manuscript and illustration assessments, and catering, and it was a steep learning curve, but, by golly, we did it, and it was fun.
Another couple of school visits kept me busy, and there were one or two book launches for friends and colleagues, but I missed a couple of events, too, when some sad family news took me away to Queensland for a while.
October took me away, too, on a writing retreat in the beautiful lIllawarra, where I met many other SCBWIers from (almost) all over Australia, and learned so much about the craft and others’ personal journeys. It was a fabulous weekend, and I blogged about it for SCBWI, I was just so excited!
I was excited, too, to be asked to be a guest speaker at the Lake Tuggeranong College Literary Lunch in early November. There is something quite special about such opportunities, and being able to reach out to a different group of people and share their journeys, too.
More book launches (and a map launch!) and an author talk by Fiona McIntosh carried me through to the end of November when we had our SCBWI ACT Christmas Development Evening and I delivered a presentation on Author School Visits, and before I knew it the year was drawing to a close with the ACT Writers Centre end of year celebrations, and school done and dusted and ready for the holidays. With Christmas and family events to farewell the year, I was eagerly awaiting the start of the New Year, with yet another exciting SCBWI offering soon to come... a special event down in... aahhh... maybe I’ll tell you about that one next time...