SCBWI Conference Day and Book Speed Read - October 2016

SCBWI Conference Day and Book Speed Read – Adelaide – 16th October, 2016

by Eileen Magee

On Sunday (16/10/16), I gleefully trotted off to the SCBWI one-day conference in Adelaide.

As many of you know, these sorts of things are great for inspiration and motivation to us, the lone writer/illustrator, and we typically come home exhilarated and more committed than ever.

At events like these, we meet new acquaintances and friends—and are reunited with long established ones. We know too, there is a great deal of difference talking about your writing/illustrating with a fellow writer/illustrator than talking about it with a ‘normal’ friend—with a kindred writer/illustrator friend, there is an understanding, recognition of each other’s journey, and an appreciation of creativity.

I came home with an armful of books, all signed by their author or illustrator. Three of which were purchased after the six-minute pitch session (per book) by the relative author and/or illustrator!

The first speakers of the day were Adam Cece, an author of middle-grade fiction, and Marianne Musgrove, an award winning children’s author. Adam and Marianne shared stories of their journey as authors and of their work to date, including Adam’s book, Wesley Booth Super Sleuth, and Marianne’s book, The Willow Tree. Their talks incorporated insights into their processes, their least favourite part of writing, and some handy hints.

Mandy Foot and Kelly Hibbert gave us an update on the Sydney Conference…eagerly noting the highlights and pointing out opportunities that conferences offer.

We were mesmerised by Andrew Joyner’s illustration demonstration—a peek into some techniques, skills and tricks—and his brilliant drawing abilities!

After lunch and lots of chatter, Anna Solding, the Managing Director of SA based Midnight Sun Publishing talked to us about the beginnings of Midnight Sun, their published works to date, and opportunities for children’s writers with Midnight Sun.

We then had the Children’s Book Speed Launch where eleven authors pitched their book to us all within a six-minute timeframe each. This made for much amusement with impressively inventive and informative presentations in such a short space of time.

All in all, it was a great day and was over before we knew it! I’m looking forward to the next one.

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