'On Friday fifth of April...' by Fiona Lloyd
'On Friday fifth of April, our merry band did go. To wine and dine and pass the time at Gymea bowlo…'
Ok, enough of that, but wine and dine we did, and a lovely evening was had by all.
The pre-festival dinner was a fun addition to last year's festivities. As we happily introduced ourselves, the anticipation for the main event of the weekend was clear. There was much excitement over the quality of the presenters, Jackie French, Jacqueline Harvey, Deb Abela and Emma Quay, with each of us having our own 'talent crush' on a particular one. Discussions were had over works in progress and manuscript assessments, the most nerve-wracking part of the day for some. Those fortunate enough to have early assessments were thankful for their time slot, ready to relax and enjoy the rest of the day. As a bit of fun, we each brought along a pre-loved book or a piece of our own work to swap along the table. On offer from our published authors were:
Sandra Bennett's 'Secrets Hidden Below', books one and two of Jeff Doherty's 'Olivia Stone' series, 'Hayden's Bedtime' by Wendy Haynes, 'The Trouble in Tune Town' by Maura Pierlot, and of course Georgie Donaghey's 'Lulu' and her new book 'In the Shadow of an Elephant'. Georgie was excited to be launching 'In the Shadow of an Elephant' at the festival the next day, complete with an incredible cake. This was to be all the more special as her publishers Peter and Kathy Creamer from Little Pink Dog Books were coming all the way from Armidale.
We were joined for dinner by Justine Barker from Mayfair Literary Agency, and Emily Lighezzolo from Wombat books. I must admit I had handbag envy over Emily's very cool book bag! It's certain to say that for everyone attending, being part of this wonderful supportive community of children's literature, and having the occasion to network with other aspiring and published authors and illustrators was an opportunity in itself. It was fantastic to make new connections and catch up with friends made at last year's festival. Despite the noise, we had some great conversation and plenty of laughs, with an early enough wrap up to get our heads down ready for a big day. A very pleasant start to the #cktfest2019 weekend!
By Fiona C Lloyd