What can I say? In my last post I took you on a whirlwind tour of the latter part of 2017, and promised you and exciting start to 2018 - and exciting and fabulous it was - a trip down to the gorgeous Araluen Valley for a day with Jackie French alongside a very excited and happy group of SCBWI members, mostly from Canberra and Region, but some from further afield, too.
Okay, what I can say is that it was an amazing day, where Jackie shared her wisdom and gave us lots of friendly advice about writing. All in the beautiful setting of her cottage in the midst of the bush... definitely a day to remember!
January also saw the first Illustration Group Get Together for the year, full of ideas and plans for the coming months and what we are all hoping to get out of it. For me, very much on my L plates, the answer is anything I can, but hopefully, in time, that is also something I can give back to. Thanks to Leanne Barrett for being the mover and shaker for this group.
Then, in February, it was back to school for me, on a new year level and working with a new team, with so much to learn and take on board. It didn’t stop me from getting along to the launch of Stephanie Owen Reeder’s Marvellous Miss May, though, which included jugglers and clowns and children dressed up for the circus!
February also saw me battening down the hatches and focusing on the final edit for my next book, due out later this year. I was also deep into the final prep for a new course, Introduction to Fiction, that I was leading for two sessions of the Purple Ink program for the ACT Writers Centre and Soldier On. This was delivered over two evening sessions in March, and was a fabulous experience, working with a small but enthusiastic group of veterans and families out at the Gungahlin Homestead site.
There was also another Meet & Greet for SCBWI during March, on a very windy Canberra day, at Poppy’s at the War Memorial, and it was lovely to meet so many new members and chat about what we do and how great it is to be part of such a friendly and generous community.
Which brings us to April, and our Secrets development evening, where we heard all about self-publishing from an all star cast of local authors – Nicole Godwin, Kerry Malone, Genevieve Hopkins, and Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern – and also about applying for grants from super knowledgeable SCBWI members Tania McCartney and Irma Gold, who have been there, done that, and got the tee-shirt (or, more to the point, the grant).
The next thing on my list was a coffee date with a handful of SCBWI members to catch up with out of state friends who were down this way for the Flash Fiction Festival (that I couldn’t fit into my schedule this time around, but will be watching out for in future years!). Fabulous Queensland based author, Sheryl Gwyther, shared the news on her new book, Sweet Adversity, due for release in July, which I absolutely cannot wait to read!
Talking of new books, coming up in May is Devon Sillett’s book launch for Scaredy Book at Harry Hartog in Woden, and Maura Pierlot's Trouble in Tune Town at the National Library, both of which I am looking forward to catching up with.
Other than that there is the next get together for the Illustrators group on my calendar, and then a trip down to Melbourne for a Scribbles Masterclass with children’s author, Jen Storer. And, boy, I can’t wait to tell you all about that, and the little bevy of book launches that I’m hoping to get to, as well, while I’m down there, checking out my old haunts.
Until then, however, that is it! Phew!
(Moral of the story - Cate needs to keep up to date with her out & about blog!)