Looking forward to Sydney Writers Fest, 16-23 May. I have a really varied slate of sessions to take part in. Lots to prep but should be fun, and some very cool people to connect with.
I’m doing a kids’ session for Varuna at the Carrington in the Blue Mountains. James Roy, Andy Griffiths, Kim Gamble and Anna Fienberg are on the bill, too. I’ve been loving reading Fienberg / Gamble’s Tashi books. I also love the way Griffiths pushes his stories to the very end of the line and beyond. James Roy is an excellent writer, a funny man and a good friend.
I have a digital kids’ publishing panel with David Levithan (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), Wendy Harmer (I Left My Mobile at the Mall) and Laura Harris (Penguin Children’s publisher). The future of books is something I spend lots of time thinking about and it’ll be good to be challenged and pushed to crystallise my ideas.
I’m reading Judy Nunn’s Maralinga right now and I’ll be hosting an evening with Judy at the fest. She launched my first trade book, Mac Slater Coolhunter, at Byron Writers Fest a couple of years ago and we go way back to my early days in TV when I was 17 or so. I learnt a lot about professionalism from Jude and it’s an honour to be asked to speak to her about her book. It’s a great read.
I’m on a Behind-the-Scenes on Children’s Publishing panel with Kristina Schulz and Zoe Walton, my publishers at Random House and UQP, as well as Deborah Abela. They’re all cool cats and hopefully it’ll be a good session for all those looking to get published.
Finally, I’ll be hosting a School Days session with 1200 primary school kids at Sydney Town Hall. Should be loud and loose. I love that age group. Their enthusiasm is so infectious.
Hope you get along to the fest. I’m hoping to catch a whole bunch of great sessions.