It’s been a big week!

Emu has been shortlisted for the Environment Award.

Then there was lunch with Walker and Black Dog peoples from both sides of book-making. I received my copies of the US version of ‘Emu’. It has a dust jacket and looks very swish.


That evening I was lucky enough to attend the announcement of the Text Prize. There was a shortlist of four manuscripts and Kimberley Starr won with The Book of Whispers. Look forward to seeing this novel set in the 11C making its way into print.

Friday signalled the beginning of Reading Matters. So many wonderful sessions, so many people to catch up, and to meet. I actually had a conversation with someone who teaches at the school where I was a boarder (many moons ago). What are the odds? The conference opened with a panel of YA readers and finished with video ‘Shelfies’ from more young readers. Both groups were wonderfully articulate and thoughtful. Laurie Halse Anderson (US) was amazing, as was Sally Gardner (UK).  Priya Kuriyan shared her illustrations. Highlights for me included the discussion between Sean Williams and Jaclyn Moriarty about Science and Magic and the panel with Laurie Halse Anderson and Sally Gardner – very different but equally passionate. I also love the opportunity to mix with so many book people. I saw some sketches for an upcoming book (oh my giddy aunt they’re gorgeous!), and realised why another manuscript is still not ready to be a book. There was a wonderful reception in the beautiful Queens Hall in the State Library and then a dinner at Supper In, Melbourne icon. I came away exhausted but full of ideas and inspiration.

Sunday included a celebration for son2’s birthday. Always lovely to be surrounded by my boys and their girls.

This morning sees the official release of two new books. ‘My Name is Lizzie Flynn’ and ‘Meet Weary Dunlop’. Asking me to choose a favourite is like asking me which of my children I love best. I hope they both find their way in the book world and that readers enjoy them.


I’ve just been in Sydney for the Walker Conference followed sharply by the SCBWI International Conference.

The Walker Conference was for authors and illustrators who work with Walker Books and was a great way to meet all the Walker team and learn more about how they work together with us to make and sell books. It was also great to meet new people and spend time with friends and co-creators.

Two highlights for me were meeting Graham Byrne, illustrator of ‘Big Red Kangaroo’ and ‘Emu’ for coffee before the conference, and then meeting Lizzy Newcomb who is illustrating ‘My Name is Lizzie Flynn’. Lizzy had brought with her the art for ‘Lizzie’ and I was bowled over. Okay, I cried. It’s so beautiful.

The conference was held at Rose Bay on a glorious Sydney day.

The following day was just as beautiful and a group of us went for a walk across the Harbour Bridge … not the climb, but the walk. It was fabulous. Lovely to stretch the legs after a day mostly sitting, and to see the Harbour at its sparkly best. Good company too! We were quietly chuffed to be identified as ‘artists’ by someone we asked to take our photo!

 We weren’t the only ones to enjoy the day. This wedding had a video photographer and at least three other professional photographers!

Three wise monkeys aka me, Sue and Sally. Emu, my new picture book is dedicated to these two good friends. 

The second conference was the bi-ennial SCBWI Conference which is always great fun. The program is full, as is the time between. It’s stimulating, noisy, informative and absolutely exhausting! I’ve come home for a rest!