May 31, 2016

It’s taken me a while to sit down and write this blog, but then given my blogging history, there’s no surprise there! It’s been a big couple of weeks in my author world. I spent a week in Sydney, where I attended the NSW Premier’s Literary Award ceremony at the NSW State Library and the Children’s Book Council of Australia at the Menzies Hotel.

Talented author and gorgeous person, Meg McKinlay, Walker Publicist and all round guru, Claire Smith and me.

The talented and gorgeous Meg McKinlay, Walker Publicist and all round guru, Claire Smith and me.

When I found out a few months ago Freedom Ride had made the shortlist for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, Ethel Turner prize, I decided it was one of those events I just had to attend. I’m so grateful I did. Keynote speaker, Wesley Enoch was simply inspirational and it was wonderful to see talented writers such as Bruce Pascoe, Magda Szubanski and Alice Pung win awards in their categories.

Walker Book's incredible Steve Spargo, all round amazing author and friend, Claire Saxby and I at the CBCA Walker Books stand.

Walker Book’s incredible Steve Spargo, all round amazing author and friend, Claire Saxby and I at the CBCA Walker Books stand.

Later that week, I attended the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s ‘Let’s Read’ conference. Speakers such as the inspirational Libby Gleeson spoke about literacy, creativity and the importance of play, Jeannie Baker discussed her new book, Circle and creators like Mark Greenwood and Terry Denton shared their collaboration secrets. It was a thought provoking, inspiring and conversation generating few days.

The Australian Children's Laurette, Leigh Hobbs surrounded by fellow creators, l to r - Sally Murphy, Bernadette Kelly, me, Leigh, Corinne Fenton and Anne Ryan

The Australian Children’s Laurette, Leigh Hobbs surrounded by fellow creators, l to r – Sally Murphy, Bernadette Kelly, me, Leigh, Corinne Fenton and Anne Ryan

The highlight for me, in a selfish sense, was Freedom Ride making the CBCA Book of the Year, Older Reader shortlist. To be there, surrounded by friends, including my publisher, Maryann Ballantyne was truly memorable. A big congratulations all the authors who made the notable and short lists in all categories. Be very proud – Australian children and young adult literature is thriving.

A shaky shot post announcement.

A shaky shot post announcement.

After the conference, we meandered through Darling Harbor, stopping to marvel at Jeannie Baker’s beautiful work from her latest picture book, Circle.

Shiny stickers

Shiny stickers

Herding cats? Corinne Fenton, Claire Saxby and Carole Wilkinson

Herding cats? Corinne Fenton, Claire Saxby and Carole Wilkinson

Carole Wilkinson and Corinne Fenton awed by Jeannie Baker's skill and precision.

Carole Wilkinson and Corinne Fenton awed by Jeannie Baker’s skill and precision.

Godwit and chicks

Godwit and chicks

And then it was back home, inspired and recharged, to work.

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