SCBWI Australia West held its annual Christmas party at Heathcote Reserve overlooking the Swan River on December 9. RA Frané Lessac kicked off the celebrations by noting the group’s impressive achievements record for 2012.
“What a year it was,” she said. “Our members have been very busy indeed, with numerous awards, 17 book launches, three CBC short-listings, six notables, a review in Wall Street Journal, a play, a musical and two books on the NY Public Library Best Books for Reading and Sharing.”
Among the string of awards members took out were a Hoffman Award, Text Publishing Prize, Crystal Kite Award, Davitt’s Crime Writing Award, Queensland Premier’s Award and a portfolio prize in the UK.
Five books by members were released in the USA, two in Korea and one each in the UK and Finland.
Along with literary achievements, the group also celebrated a wedding and a baby.
The “special awards” presentation that followed caused plenty of laughs, with recipients being recognised as Most Jovial, Best Dancer, Best Laugh and Best Ideas Person among the categories.
Looking ahead to 2013, Frané said a number of events had already been planned for the first half of the year, starting with Lunch on the Grass at the Perth Writers’ Festival in February. In March members could choose between a workshop on speaking and presentation skills or SCBWI 101, a “crash course in everything you wanted to know about writing/illustrating for children but hadn’t yet thought of asking”.
In June two children’s book publishers would visit the West to conduct a workshop for members and some manuscript assessments. There would also be the popular annual Rottnest Island Retreat where the emphasis would again be on taking time out to write, with PD happening on the mainland.
Illustrator Liaison James Foley announced a mural project on WA fairy tales for the State Library that would offer a chance to promote local books and creators.
Once the official business was over it was time to relax and enjoy the celebrations. Sam Hughes stood in for Santa, who was otherwise engaged, and distributed the gifts with festive flair.
- Teena Raffa-Mulligan