I am about to go to Albany for my final two days working with the Talented Young Writers program, workshops organised by The Literature Centre for kids who love reading and writing. They come from different schools to a host site (in Perth, the Lit Centre itself in Freo) to spend four days each year working with different writers and illustrators. As a writer, it is a gift to be with these young, enthusiastic and brimming-with-talent people. The feedback the participants give confirm that they love the days as much as we do: from this week, a St Mark’s student wrote:
“Honestly this was my favourite ever day at the Lit Centre. Not only did I learn a heap and write things that I am pleased with but Julia’s stories and background was super interesting to hear about. I am grateful to have this opportunity and thankful to have learned so much in such a short time!”
This week I also had the pleasure of speaking to Nadia L King, Paper Bird Fellow, and Jen Jackson about all things YA on Thursday night, at the gorgeous Paper Bird book shop in Fremantle. There was a small but enthusiastic audience, including Nadia’s two intelligent and informed daughters.
My daughter travelled to Melbourne last week to speak at the Be the Change conference, the national conference of Alzheimer’s Australia (now known as Dementia Australia). She talked about growing up with a father who was developing younger onset Alzheimer’s; the isolation and distress of it; the transformative power of art: of she and Gemma writing /discussing/workshopping Before You Forget with me, and creating her own art. It was a hard thing for her to do, but the connection she made with others going through the same thing, including parents with younger onset Alzheimer’s, was incredibly validating. I do not have words for how proud and pleased I am that she could do this. My thanks to Dementia Australia, especially Celina Day, for making it possible for Annie to attend.
I’m sure I have other things to note, observe and celebrate, but I shall get packing now. Happy reading, happy writing, happy spring to you all.