I'm a children's author, wife and mum in no particular order. I perform these jobs simultaneously and I love them all!

Thursday 9 March 2017

CBCA Night of the Notables, a School Visit, and another Book Launch

CBCA Night of the Notables

Nette Hilton - NSW Judge
My friends Kirrili, Gwynne and I went to Dymocks in George Street, Sydney last Tuesday evening to celebrate the announcement of the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book Week Awards Notable Books.

The notable books are a long list of books. The judges then choose the shortlisted books from this list. The shortlisted books will be announced at midday on Tuesday, 28th February. From this shortlist, the winners will be chosen. The big announcement of the winners in each of the categories will be announced at the beginning of Book Week on Friday, 18th August. All books entered were published in 2016.

The full list of books in the notable list can be found here.

Margaret (Nette) Hilton, current NSW judge, spoke about the judging process while Jacqueline Harvey (Alice Miranda series) talked about the importance of encouraging children to read. 

More information about the judges and the judging process can be found here.

It was so lovely to see some of my Sydney and Central Coast literary friends again. The children's literature community is so beautiful, and every time I go to a related event, I get to catch up with some amazing people.

Congratulations to all the book creators linked with books on the notable list (these include authors, illustrators, book designers, editors, publishers, publicists as so on). What an amazing set of books. All of these books are quality literature from cover to cover and would be an asset to any home and school library, or a personal collection. My collection just keeps getting bigger!

School Visit: St Brigit's, Raymond Terrace

Last Friday I had the privilege of talking to and workshopping with Year 3 from St Brigid's Primary School, Raymond Terrace. We had a very busy day discussing narrative structure, realism writing and where to get ideas from. Thanks to Aleesah Darlison from Greenleaf Press who worked with the school and I to meet the needs of the children. Beautiful school, beautiful children :)

Book Launch

Lastly, I attended Renee Price's book launch of her second picture book, 'Digby and the Yodelayhee Who?' at Wallsend Library. She sang, she told stories, and she was very funny. A happy and delightful event. Congratulations, Renee!

On another note:

Some of you have worked out this is my third blog post in a week. Yes, my third. This has only happened a few times before and may never happen again, but at least you're now up-to-date with my mischief. Cross your fingers I will be writing the next blog post in my new writing studio currently under construction. I can't wait! 

(Oh, and we're painting inside our house at the same time. Utter chaos here!)

Tuesday 7 March 2017

The Newcastle Writers Festival and Schools Program 2017

The 2017 Newcastle Writers Festival is almost here. The main program will be held Friday, 7th April until Sunday, 9th April in the Civic Precinct. 

The program was launched on Friday, 24th February in the Lovett Gallery of Newcastle Library by festival director, Rosemarie Milson. Everyone behind the scenes was very excited to launch the program for this 5th festival. What a milestone!

Full program can be found here.

As a part of the Main Program, the festival will also be hosting a Family Fun Day on Saturday, 8th April in Wheeler Place, next to Town Hall from 10am. 

Visiting children's book creators include Jackie French (Diary of a Wombat series), Richard Roxburgh (Artie and the Grime Wave), and Nick Earls (Word Hunters series). How exciting!

We will also be hosting local creators including illustrators; Kirrili Lonergan, Liz Anelli, and Gwynne Jones, as well as story teller John 'Sinker' Clarke.

The Newcastle Youth Orchestra will also present a special performance linked with the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter.

I have the privilege of being the MC for this amazing event - I AM SO EXCITED! Block out your diaries and come into town.

The Newcastle Region Libraries will also be hosting a Schools Program to compliment the festival. 

Visiting book creators are coming from all over the country to spend time inspiring school aged children from around the Hunter and surrounding areas.

Jacqueline Harvey will be the guest speaker at a High Tea held at Wallsend Library on Tuesday, 28th April. Booking can be made here.

Then on Wednesday, 29th and Thursday, 30th of April, our town will be invaded by book creators such as Michael Wagner (Maxx Rumble series), Louise Park (Zac Power series), George Ivanoff (You Choose series), Jack Heath (Countdown to Danger series), Jacqueline Harvey (Alice Miranda series), and John Flanagan (Ranger's Apprentice series). To have all these amazing authors in the one place at the same time is an extremely rare event. We are very lucky.

The Schools Program can be found here.

I'll be in and around the Schools Program volunteering and soaking up the inspiration. Hope to see you there!

Book Launch, SCBWI Event and the Williamtown Child Care Centre Open Day

Gosh, is this really my first blog post for 2017? I can't believe how time flies. March already!

So much has been happening at my end that I've neglected my blog. Let's catch you up.

Book Launch

Firstly, Lara and I went to the launch of Deb Kelly's new book, 'Ruby Wishfingers: Hide-and-Seek', the third in the Ruby Wishfingers series in January. Deb's launch attracted lots of Ruby fans to this Newcastle Library event. Deb read from Book 1 so not to give too much of the third book away. Then the kids enjoyed yummy treats and craft activities. Congratulations, Deb!

SCBWI Event 
(Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)

I attended 'The Art of Picture Books' event at The Hughenden, in Sydney in January. We had the privilege of meeting and listening to Scholiastic publisher, Clare Hallifax and illustrator, Nina Rycroft. What an inspirational pair of ladies!

I was very lucky to secure a manuscript assessment with Clare as part of this event. She offered great advice and feedback on one of my favourite stories. Watch this space.

Photo of my friend, Carly and I

Williamtown Child Care Centre Open Day

Kirrili Lonergan and I spent a very hot Saturday (I think is was nearly 45 degrees) in February helping the Williamtown Child Care Centre launch it's new location off the RAAF base and into Raymond Terrace. We had lots of fun entertaining children, reading stories and drawing.


Phew! More updates coming. I'm renovating at the moment so things are a little chaotic here. Hope your 2017 started well.