CBCA Big Book Day Out - September 2015
by Georgie Donaghey
NSW Writers’ Centre, Rozelle
A warm Spring day greeted visitors to the 2015 CBCA Big Book Day Out at the NSW Writers’ Centre. The grounds were filled with families, smiles and excited children waiting to steal a moment with their favourite author or illustrator. Tristan Bancks was the perfect choice as MC for this year’s event.
Tristan shared a story with the audience at the main stage. He talked about blending fiction with real life and amused the hypnotised crowd with a story about his missing toe. Listeners were left scratching their heads as to which parts were fact and which were fiction.
Stalls from various sub-branches of the CBCA such as the Illawarra and Newcastle branches were decorated with balloons, posters and friendly faces. Attached to the SCBWI stand an illustrators table where well-known illustrators entertained visitors with drawings from their latest books.
I was fortunate to share the SCBWI stall with Deborah Abela, Margaret Roc, Lesley Gibbes and Therese Waters.
Sausage sizzle and a cake stall made up just a few of the places to visit on the day.
R.A. Spratt mesmerized the audience at the main stage with her animated story telling of her Friday Barnes series. The story tent was again a popular feature with stories from Sandy Fussell, Deborah Abela, Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, Sue Whiting, Lesley Gibbes and the amazing Ted Prior. Grug also made a special appearance.
An Illustrator draw-off using mustard and tomato sauce bottles was not only messy but highly entertaining. This idea was the brain child of Tristan Bancks.
Jacqueline Harvey launched her latest Alice-Miranda book. Post launch Jacqueline was glued to her chair for three hours signing autographs and chatting with her young fans. Wow!
The aroma of sausages sizzling on the bbq blended with onions crackling on the hotplate was too tempting to ignore. The lines were long and never-ending. The coffee and cake stalls were just the right spots to refuel in between presenters of the packed program.
Lulu sat proudly on the Dymocks table and sold a handful of copies which is impressive considering the other books she was joined by, e.g., Jacqueline Harvey, Kate Forsyth, Andy Griffiths, Belinda Murrell, Mem Fox, Dianne Bates and many other wonderful Australian authors and illustrators.
Visitors left with bundles of exciting new adventures waiting to be discovered tucked under their arms. Children had been entertained, many meeting their favourite authors and Mum and Dads wallets were now a little lighter. All in all, another wonderful festival organised by Gail Erskine and Dot Tonkin.
I love these events and the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere, energy and ideas.
This was the second CBCA Big Book Day Out and next year’s promises to be even bigger and better. A highlight for me was meeting Grug author, Ted Prior.
- Deborah and Marjorie
- Di Bates, CBCA Illa.
- Tristan & Georgie
- Illustrator Draw-off
- Jacqueline Harvey
- Lulu on SCBWI table
- Sandy & Sad, the Dog
- Sue Whiting
- Ted Prior (Grug)
- Tristan and Zak
- Tristan Bancks