Dear Reader, it’s BookWeekMonth for creators of children’s and young adult books, as well as most teachers and long-suffering costume-creating parents around Australia.
I was hugely thrilled to return to Kalgoorlie in Wongatha country for my first gigs there since … well, I think 2005-ish. Then, I was writing mostly YA; now, I’m writing mostly middle grade (and a memoir, hence my lack of blogging on this site). It was interesting to note what has changed: despite the change of demographic, I do think that kids generally are more open and accepting than I’ve observed previously.
I visited seven schools in Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie, and Boulder; toured the Boulder Town Hall, visited the Coolgardie museum, and discovered that you never, ever say Kalgoorlie-Boulder Many thanks to the Children’s Book Council and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (I think I have that swathe of portfolios correct!) And in particular, my gratitude to the warm and lovely women at William Grundt Memorial Library in Kalgoorlie for making it all run so smoothly.
I could not have felt more welcomed by the teachers, teacher’s aides, library staff and reception folk at the schools I visited, and the kids were full of enthusiasm and questions. I even got to road test my first picture book, due out next February (more on that later: but can you guess, looking at the picture?)
Next week is Scribblers Festival – details are here – and then BookWeekMonth will be officially done.
Huge congratulations to Western Australians Shirley Marr (Winner, Book of the Year, Younger Readers) and James Foley (Honours, Picture Book of the Year) for the recognition of their superlative and important books in the CBCA awards. We are incredibly proud of you both.