Welcome to Katapult!
Where did April go? That must mean it’s time for the May edition of my newsletter, Katapult. So what has been happening at my desk since the last time we had a chat? Truckloads!
The Newcastle Writers Festival Schools Program and Family Fun Day: This was amazing! In case you missed it, the link to my newsletter blog post about it is here.
Baking: I’ve been trialling an original recipe I wrote to be included in my latest picture book about a great-grandmother and her great-granddaughter. It has made me realise the work that goes into making a cook book ready for publication. We've had fun eating my creations, even the failed ones! I think I’ll need to make one more before I’m happy. Maybe two ;)
Writing Workshop with Zanni Louise: I was lucky enough to attend a writing workshop at The Children’s Bookshop, Beecroft presented by Zanni Loiuse during the school holidays. I love going to workshops and soaking up any snippets of information I can on how to make my writing even better. Zanni was so beautiful and so were the people attending.
Harry Hartog, Kotara: I presented a little storytime at Harry Hartog, Kotara during the last week of the school holidays. Some of the kids made my laugh with their stories about the weather, rainbows, unicorns and their TV viewing.
Puppy: We got a puppy last Sunday. Her name is Ivy and she is a black cocker spaniel. You may think this isn’t writing related but trust me it is! I’ve been eagerly jotting down notes about her arrival and the ups and downs. There may be a picture book in there somewhere. I do have a dog in my next picture book, No Baths Week. Dogs are an endless source of ideas for stories.
Play Outside Day: Last Friday, Kirrili Lonergan and I presented an interactive storytime at the Hunter Wetlands as part of the Play Outside Day event hosted by Newcastle Region Libraries. Kirrili and I shared our book Dandelions, went on dandelion hunts, hosted craft activities, blew bubbles, and drew pictures. There were lots of kids, beautiful weather and a few pesky mosquitoes, but overall we had a beautiful day.
Storybox with ABC1233 Newcastle: I was handed the ABC1233 Newcastle Storybook last Wednesday and was interviewed on ABC1233 at 6:30am the following morning. Whomever has the box agrees to share their ‘story’ on the radio with the local listeners. It was a nerve-wracking experience but lots of fun.
1) I’m doing a monthly story time event at Harry Hartog, Kotara until the end of the year. My next one is this Wednesday, 9th May at 10:30am.
2) I was interviewed for the Just Write For Kids blog by the lovely Debra Tidball. It has been broken into three parts as I talk too much and Deb couldn’t fit it in the usual two parts - oops! Thanks for having me, Deb.
The third part will be released early June.
3) The third meeting of the CBCA NSW Branch Inc. Newcastle Sub-branch is this Wednesday night. We’ll be hearing from Deb Abela and Susanne Gervay about Room to Read, SCBWI and their wonderful books. I’m really looking forward to this event.
4) The MANTLE Conference is on this Friday. It’s an annual one-day conference for teaching librarian from the Central Coast up to Taree. I’ll be helping man the local CBCA table at the trade fair. I love talking books and reading with educational specialists. They do such a wonderful job making literature a joy for children.
5) Kirrili and I are off to Melbourne for the Kidlitvic Conference next week. This will be our third year attending and we’re very excited. I have a manuscript critique with a publisher while I’m there so fingers crossed they say something nice and encouraging. They usually do but that doesn’t help the nerves that come with the critique.
6) Kirrili and I have a school visit towards the end of May we are really looking forward to. I’ll have photos in the next edition. If you’d like us to come to your school, shoot me an email so we can organise one that is perfectly designed for your school’s needs. Preschools, Primary Schools and High Schools welcome!
I have news to announce but not formally yet. Hopefully I can announce it in the June edition. Keep an eye on my social media platforms as the news may appear there first. They’re all linked below.
Anything to Share?
The Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program hosted by CBCA NSW and sponsored by Harper Collins is open for submissions. Good luck to anyone entering. Submissions close 30th June. For more information, click here.
Davina Bell will be hosting a workshop at the NSW Writers Centre on Saturday, 26th May. It looks wonderful.
Recent Book Purchase/s?
If I’d attended the Sydney Writers Festival on the weekend I would have had a truckload of new books. But I didn't make it so I don’t. Phew! My shelves are getting full and my ‘to read’ pile is very high. I hope everyone who presented at the festival, especially as part of the children’s program, or who attended it had a wonderful time. All your photos on social media looked amazing. I was quite jealous! And the weather was divine.
At the moment I’m reading ‘Missing’ by Sue Whiting.
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Happy Mother’s Day
to anyone in a motherly role.
The definition of ‘mum’ is so diverse.
Hope everyone in your family has a wonderful day.
This photo of my cherubs is a few years old now but I love it!