What a brilliant start to the revamped SCBWI meetings! We aim to have at least four meetings a year where we share ideas and news, but now our focus is also to hear from industry experts. In a profession that is constantly changing, it’s vital for us to be listening to those who can help us develop our craft and careers as book creators and our two first guest speakers did just that.
Jenny Stubbs, has to be one of the busiest T/Ls you’ll meet. She not only instigated the first author visit in Queensland, she runs the biennial Ipswich Festival, coordinates The Readers Cup, is President of Book Links and Project Officer for the Travelling Suitcases, a brilliant scheme where schools can borrow suitcases brim-filled with props, drawings and artifacts crucial to creating the books of 6 Australian authors and illustrators.
Valerie Khoo was a powerhouse! Wanting to write since she was a kid, she never thought it was a real career prospect, so studied accountancy instead. Years later, she realised her heart was still with writing and she set up the Sydney Writers’ Centre, which has helped more than 10,000 students get published, score book deals, change careers and improve their job prospects. She believes writers can make a good living, and runs courses not only on craft but on making sure you are doing the best to earn, including making use of social media. Valerie is also happy to look at CVs for potential tutors.
Phew! This was followed by dinner, more chatting for an inspiring start to our new-look SCBWI meetings.
Thank you Susanne again for opening up the beautiful Hughenden Hotel for us to meet and play.
Written by Deborah Abela