The Children’s Books Council of WA’s annual A Night With Our Stars event was held on Friday 18 March at the Bendat Parent and Community Centre in Wembley. En-masked, sanitised and socially distanced teachers, librarians, publishers, booksellers, writers and illustrators were out in force, and those of us lucky enough to present were boggled at seeing the list of more than 75 – count them, 75! – books by Western Australians published in 2021. We really are punching above our weight in this state, and Friday’s event showcased a mere sliver of the talent out there.
Some of the presenters, mind you, were alone the producers of two (Amy Calautti, Aśka, Alicia Rogerson, Cristy Burne and Denis Knight) or even, ridiculously, three (Karen Blair, Jasmine Berry, Kitty Black) books in 2021 – although utter ridiculousness was reached only by Briony Stewart, who published four books with three different publishers.
I was the last presenter of the evening, talking about Mel and Shell, and rather felt the weight of the highly entertaining presenters before me. I was gratified at the response I received from the assembled crowd, perhaps because they were eager to return to the glories of the catering and wine supply – and I was even more gratified when a number flocked to my ABBA record display and fondly recall which they had possessed back in the glory days of the Swedish superstars.
Thank you CBCWA for organising another smashing event, and to everyone who shared in the joy. I leave you with a couple of happy snaps to recall the energy of the evening.