Christmas and my January birthday usually find me receiving exciting gifts such as Coles’ vouchers or bed socks; so last year I asked for a contribution towards my registration for Reading Matters. http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/
reading-matters. To make my celebrations last a little longer, I also registered for the students’ day and the keynote event – a panel discussion on "My Favourite children’s book".
I won’t try to compete with the excellent bloggers who have written detailed reports. Here are a couple:
But here are some (not all) of the highlights for me:
- The performances – from Book Thief, City of Bones and When you reach me.
- Authors such as Markus Zusak and Karen Healey reading their own works (especially the works that are as yet unpublished)
- Authors giving fascinating talks to the students
- Markus Zusak explaining that details make a story, that the most important party of storytelling is the unexpected (i.e. a slightly vulnerable Death telling the story is better than a powerful one). Also, I will now listen for the supermarket conversations - sentences where every third word has a full stop and sentences end with a flourish (listen closely).
- Hearing that there are as many ways to write a book as there are authors – from Jane Burke’s meticulous research into pig hunting and gutting, to Cassandra Clare’s "microplotting" with her friends over a 13 hour session, to Markus Zusak reworking the story yet keeping it simple to Ursula Dubosarky’s use of the titles of Charles Blackman’s 1950s school girl paintings to shape a story. Dubosarky describes her writing process as “crystals gathering on a pear”.
Another highlight was My favourite children’s book - a panel where authors reminisced about their favourite books as children. The panellists were:
- Rebecca Stead – award-winning US children’s author
- Russel Howcroft – "adman" and Gruen Transfer regular
- Roland Harvey – celebrated local author and illustrator
- Miso (Stanislava Pinchuk) a Melbourne artist
- Lawrence Leung – comedian, writer and star of ABC TV’s Choose Your Own Adventure
Lawrence went home to his parents to find this favourite book The Bike Lesson by Stan & Jan Berenstain. He knew exactly where it was, what it looked like, what colour it was ... will it be the same for the ebook generation?
Still more highlights included:
- Paula Kelly’s 5 myths about young people, books & reading (let’s hope she turns that into a paper we can show the educational hierarchy)
- Zoe Sadokierski’s session on covers and her "Gruen Transfer" style "design a cover for a new book"
- Kate Burridge’s session on swearing. Interesting to hear about how Australians use "infixes", i.e. – abso-bloody –lutely? And did you know that the use of body parts as insults started in 1928
- The wackiness of Richard Newsome & Oliver Phommavanh
So thanks Richard, Mum, Dad and Little Brother, for the Christmas/birthday present!
PS: Need a hint for presents for 2011/2012?
The CBCA conference will be in Adelaide next May ...
- by CBCA secretary Nella Pickup