I had such a great time on Wednesday 6 August at the 2014 Literary Lunch of the Illawarra South-Coast Children’s Book Council of Australia. With more than 160 guests from schools around the Illawarra and South Coast and fifteen guest authors, the day was all about stories and books – bringing them to life and encouraging a love and enjoyment of reading and stories, whatever the genre.
I had the privilege of sitting with ten students and the Teacher-Librarian (Sharon) from Jamberoo Public School as well as Jean, a CBCA representative. The students had so many questions to ask about my novel, Racing the Moon, and their enthusiasm was infectious. The historical photos that I brought along to give them a feel for what it was like in the early 1930s (the period when my book is set) were a big hit.
The really exciting part of the day was the three-minute pitch sessions by the authors: Di Bates, Toni Brisland, Jill Bruce, Lynda Calder, WeiChim, Bill Condon, Di Ellis, Sandy Fussell, Peter Macinnis, Belinda Murrell, Lillian Rodrigues-Pang, Oliver Pommavanh, Lesley Vamos, Jodie Wells-Slowgrove and myself.
Each of the pitches were so different – some authors talked a bit about themselves and their writing, some concentrated on a particular book, story or character, and some, like Oliver, just went wild. The pitches were all timed and there wasn’t a computer or Powerpoint presentation in sight. It was very entertaining and the students loved it. Lillian, a professional oral storyteller, also gave a longer and very energetic performance of one of her stories after lunch, which kept the audience captivated to the very end.
After the presentations, I was so busy chatting to students, signing their program booklets and generally having a lot of fun, that I forgot to take any photos!
A big thank you to the CBCA ISC organisers and to the enthusiastic students and teacher-librarians who made the literary lunch such a special event.