If you read yesterday’s blog post you will know that I spent an hour yesterday morning blogging about my time at the recent Ipswich Festival of Children’s Literature, only to lose it all. It is now in that black hole in cyberspace.
No time to dwell on what cannot be recovered. So I trudged on, trying to remember what I had originally put in. Couldn’t finish it yesterday as the insertion of pictures is very time consuming (for me anyway). And, woke up in the middle of the night remembering I had forgotten to add something.
The festival started on Monday 31 August and ended on Monday 7 September. I manned a tent, as part of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) from the Wednesday till the Friday.
But before I go any further, I must first show you the cosy Book Garden bookshop set up by two charming gentlemen. I don’t think the following pictures I took do it justice but the bookstore looked soooo lovely, positioned in one of the beautiful wood panelled rooms on the ground floor of the gorgeous plantation style mansion at Woodlands on Marburg. (see prior blog entry describing the mansion)
I spent as much time as I could browsing through many children’s books. I took a bundle, found a little nook and read away.
And the Pièce de résistance – seeing my children’s book, ‘Bubble Gum Trouble and other Giggle Poems’ sitting in a pile next to lovely books by well known authors and illustrators.
I actually hadn’t expected to see my book there as I was advised that it was probably a good idea to supply the books myself and sell at the tent as it was less work for the co-organiser, John Moffatt. But there it was. I was very happy with the sales over the eight days – only three books left on the Sunday, with one day left. Then it was off to Esk. And no – I know what you are thinking – there were more than four books provided by the publisher.
I should add here that, Jenny Stubbs, coordinator Ipswich District Teacher-Librarian Network and Ipswich Festival of Children’s Literature, did an amazing job. And the volunteers were very organised and friendly. Everything ran so smoothly. But I forgot to take a photograph of Jenny’s t-shirt. Jenny and the volunteers wore lovely, bright t-shirts which represented the theme of the festival, ‘Book Safari.’
Each morning, excited school children poured out of buses for a day’s session at the festival. Sessions were grouped according to levels: primary, middle and upper State Schools, with each group attending three sessions (on a rotation basis).
During the three week days that I was there, it was funny how each day differed for me in regards to the interaction of the students.
On the Wednesday I felt like a rock star. Students were very eager to collect autographs and ran with books and scraps of paper, from illustrator and author , Lynelle Zita Westlake’s tent to mine, then onto the tent manned by author/poet/artist/calligrapher Peter Taylor and writer/editor/artist, Jennifer Poulter. There, students lined up not just for autographs but also eager for Peter to sign their Christian name in beautiful calligraphy.
The line at Peter’s table didn’t wane until the afternoon sessions were due to begin.
On the Thursday my bright promotional cards, that can be used as bookmarks, were in great demand. I didn’t expect my pink business cards to also disappear but like little bower birds, the children pecked them off the table. I had been wondering of late how to dispense with my cards, without throwing them away, as they have my old logo. So now, with only a small handful left I can get new ones. Yippee!!
And Friday was different again. I had quite a few children milling around the table while I read from my book. As the children selected humorous poems, ‘Trick or Treat’ and ‘April Fool’ were the most popular. Two little boys made up ‘Knock Knock’ jokes using lines from these poems. It was so cute.
Here are some pics of the tent area.
Writer/editor/artist, Jenny Poulter and some of her books.
Jenny Poulter’s award winning children’s book, ‘Mending Lucille., taking the 2009 Crichton Award for New Illustrators. Sarah Davis illustrated the beautiful pictures for this lovely story.
Author/poet/artist/calligrapher and Queensland Coordinator of SCBWI, Peter Taylor.
Peter at work.
Mmmm. I should have got Peter to write my name in this beautiful artform.
Below, Artist/Author/Illustrator, Lynelle Zita Westlake at work.
Lynelle’s lovely books
Now to the sessions.
As the children nestled in rooms, it was of course quiet in the tent/lawn area, so volunteers were able to attend any sessions, as long as we were back at the tents during the breaks.
So on the Wednesday I sat in on sessions with YA writer, Brian Faulkner, and illustrator, Elise Hurst. Sorry about the blurry photo, but you can identify Elise by her hair.
- I first met Elise in May this year at the Page Parlour, Federation Square, as part of Melbourne’s Emerging Writer’s Festival. From memory, I think she had blue and pink hair at that event. Elise isn’t really an emerging artist but an established artist and now author. Unfortunately I didn’t get to talk to her at the Ipswich festival but I was able to catch one of her sessions in the ‘dungeon’. I had to be careful of the stairs and remember to duck as I entered and it did feel like being in a dungeon with the stone walls. With the children contributing their ideas, this talented artist produced a naughty fairy with purple hair (not Elise’s suggestion).
On the Thursday I was entertained by storyteller/author/dancer and didgeridoo player, Boori Pryor, author/poet/musician Mark Carthew, and children’s entertainers and authors, Pat and Liz Flynn (brother and sister team).
Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos.
On Friday, Anne Haddon from Books Illustrated talked fondly about the lovely children’s book, ‘Chester and Gil’ by Carol Faulkner (author) and Ann Jamesa (illustrator). My last session for the day was with author/poet Janeen Brian.
Here is the lovely Janeen telling a story with the help of her audience. If you look close enough you can just spy Janeen’s tiny toy monkey that she used for the story.
I couldn’t make the Saturday but the weekend sessions were mainly for teachers. librarians, authors and illustrators, aspiring Children’s/YA authors and illustrators, and anyone interested in children’s and YA literature and illustrations.
The dragon really looks like it is going to lift off the page – just amazing.. And that is Artist Terry Denton’s head in the foreground. You can just catch a peek of Elise’s hair.
I really had a good time, and hope to attend next year’s event by which time I should have two books to promote.