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

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Katapult - Edition 4 - Newcastle Writers Festival - April, 2018

Welcome to Katapult!

In this edition I would like to reflect on what a wonderful time everyone involved had during the 2018 Newcastle Writers Festival last week. The festival had three main parts: the Schools Program, the Main Program, and the Family Fun Day.

The Schools Program was held over two days. The first day (Thursday) was hosted by Cessnock Library and involved Kate and Jol Temple, Yvette Poshoglian and Tristan Bancks presenting in lots of schools in the Cessnock area. I heard they all had a hoot! 

Books by Yvette Poshoglian

Books by Jol and Kate Temple

Tristan Bancks (photo from NWF 2014)

The second day (Friday) was held in Newcastle between Newcastle Region Library and Newcastle City Hall. Wonderful presenters included Leigh Hobbs, Yvette Poshoglian, Jess Black, Paul Russell, Kate and Jol Temple, Liz Anelli, Gregg Dreise, and Tristan Bancks. The kids were treated to presentations and workshops that left them inspired to read and write. This is always my favourite day of the festival. It takes me back to my teaching days.

There may be a story about a bus full of kids attending the festival getting a flat tyre before they even arrived which could have caused me as a program supervisor a minor breakdown, but everything worked out in the end - thank goodness :)

Liz Anelli

Books by Leigh Hobbs

Books by Jess Black 

That night I attended the festival's opening night event: Jimmy Barnes - Working Class Man at the Civic Theatre. Jimmy told the story of his life in the Cold Chisel days as well has his solo career. He laughed, cracked jokes, sang, and shared his very personal journey with suicide, drug and alcohol addiction, and depression. I was left wondering how he's still alive! 

Civic theatre just before Jimmy Barnes took the stage

On the Sunday, the festival hosted the Family Fun Day. Kids and their families were entertained by a host of guests and local talent including Zanni Louise, Gregg Dreise, Lynn Jenkins and Kirrili Lonergan from Lessons of a LAC, Renee Price from Digby Fixit Live!, and Emily S. Smith and Graham Davidson from Storytime Lane. This was another jam-packed event full of fun, dancing, entertainment and inspiration.

Zanni Loiuse and Digby's Moon Misison by Renee Price

Images from Lessons of a LAC

Of course I had to buy books at the festival. Here's a few of my purchases. My kids ran off with them as soon as I brought them home. Now I need to find them so I can read them.

Books by Jol and Kate Temple, and Zanni Loiuse

Congratulations to all involved in bringing the festival alive again this year. Thanks to all the schools and parents who brought their kids along. And congratulations to all the kids who threw themselves into the activities and stories presented to them. 

    Family Fun Day marquee in Wheeler Place

If you want to keep up with out-of-festival events and next year's festival to be held 5-7 April, subscribe to the NWF newsletter here.

One of these upcoming out-of-festival events: Terry Denton and Andy Griffiths are coming to Newcastle on the 15th July to present their new book, The 104-Storey Treehouse. Ticket still available here. Hurry! Tickets selling fast. I'll be there!

I look forward to doing it all again next year. I may even launch a book or two!

(Of course Blogger and my computer are not talking today so only a few 
of my photos have loaded. Head over to my author Facebook page  
and my general Facebook page to see more photos.)

Where can you find me on social media?

I’ve made it easy. Just click on the live links below and like or follow me.

Feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email: author@katrinamckelvey.com

I’d love to hear from you!

Blast from the past: A photo of Matt Ottley and myself (NWF 2015).

Thursday 5 April 2018

Katapult - Edition 3 - April, 2018

Welcome to Katapult!

Here’s the April edition of my newsletter, Katapult. So what has been happening at my desk since the last time we had a chat? Heaps!

Don’t forget: I’m not apologising for any typos. 

What’s Up?

CBCA NSW AGM Guest Speaker: I was very honoured to be the guest speaker at the CBCA NSW AGM on Saturday, 17th March. I may have shown a few sneak peeks of upcoming books but you had to be there to know what they were. All will be revealed in time. I know, it's a slow business :)

I broke my toe! Yes I did - I am a clumsy monkey. It has slowed me down but it’s more of an inconvenience than anything - thank goodness I can still drive! So how did I do it? A mixture of losing my balance and trying not to land head first on sharp-cornered furniture. SNAP! I have a pretty photo of my bone and three hours wasted in ER thanks to my efforts.

I attended the AWC Writing Chapter Books for 6-9 year olds course with Lesley Gibbes. I’ve been thinking about and planning an early chapter book series for a few years now. I keep hearing some of the big publishers are keen for new voices in this area. So after completing Lesley’s course, I now feel I have the tools to seriously jump in. Watch this space!  

CBCA NSW AAA Event - Shortlist of Book Week Awards: I boarded a 5:27am train to attend this very exciting event. It was a long day (didn’t get home until 8pm) but it was worth the effort. Not only did we have engaging speakers try to predict which titles would be shortlisted in each of the categories, we heard amazing authors and illustrators talk about their books and how they match the new Geography syllabus. They included Jackie French, Bruce Whatley, Tim Harris and Susanne Gervay. 

~ I have some photos but Blogger won't let me load them. Grrr! ~

CBCA NSW Branch Inc Newcastle Meeting: Exhibition - The Art of Anne Spudvilas: Our lastest local CBCA meeting was held at Newcastle Region Library. As part of that meeting, we had a tour of the recently renovated library space as well as a look at the Anne Spudvilas exhibition. This exhibition was breathtaking!

It will be on Monday 26 February to Saturday 14 April so be quick if you want to catch it. 

From the Newcastle Region Library website:

25 years of illustration - The art of Anne Spudvilas.

A visually stunning exhibition of illustrations from the multi-award-winning artist and children’s book illustrator Anne Spudvilas.  This striking exhibition includes works from picture books by well-known Australian authors such as Isobelle Carmody, Margaret Wild, Bryce Courtney and Gary Crew. 

From sketchbooks, dummy books, storyboards and background material viewers will be taken on a creative journey to discover some iconic Australian picture books. The exhibition includes original artworks from award-winning books The Race, Jenny Angel, Woolvs in the Sitee and The Peasant Prince.  Beginning with the cover of Isobelle Carmody’s picture book The Gathering, the exhibition includes work from Li Cunxin’s popular story Mao’s Last Dancer in its picture book  – The Peasant Prince.

The exhibition provides rich opportunities for students to explore the nature of visual texts and to participate in illustrator workshops.

More information can be found here.

Upcoming Events

1) In a special edition of Katapult next week, I’ll give a run down on how the Newcastle Writers Festival went. It started today with the Cessnock Schools Program. Tomorrow I’ll be at the Newcastle Library helping supervise the Newcastle Schools Program and then I’ll be attending the Jimmy Barnes Opening Night event at Civic Theatre. Over the weekend the main program will be in full swing. And the finale on Sunday will be the free Family Fun Day.

2) I’m looking forward to the upcoming school holidays. I dare say we’ll get up to some literary fun.

3) I have submitted my interview for the Just Write For Kids blog visit. It will be broken into three parts. I think the first part will be released tomorrow. I’ll share the link on my social media platforms.

Publishing Update

We've been working hard on edits for the cover of No Baths Week. It’s not ready to reveal yet but it’s looking great.

Kirrili has started mapping out the spreads for Up To Something and preparing the paper for the final illustrations. We’ve also been chatting about a few design features. This is the magical stage - where stories come to life thanks to illustrations. 

Anything to Share?

If you're keen to attend the next Writing Chapter Books for 6-9 year olds with Lesley Gibbes on 16th May in Sydney, the link is here.

Recent Book Purchase/s?

Suri’s Wall by Lucy Estela and Matt Ottley (signed copy by Lucy)
Pea Pod Lullaby by Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King
The Feather by Margaret Wild and freya Blackwood
Archie and the Bear by Zanni Louise and David MacKintosh
Exploding Endings - Book 1: Painted Dogs & Doom Cakes by Tim Harris (signed copy)
A Boat of Stars written and illustrated by Australian authors and illustrators and edited by Margaret Connolly and Natalie Jane Prior  

Where can you find me on social media?

I’ve made it easy. Just click on the live links below and like or follow me.

Feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email: author@katrinamckelvey.com

I’d love to hear from you!

~ I usually put something inspirational here but Blogger isn't playing niceat the moment. 
So here's a lovely memory of mine. Thanks Ramona! ~