Meet the Team # 6

Well me lads and lassies, we have just about worked our way through our marvellous motley crew. In my view, they are all best, but someone had to go last. These two personify talent and drive. So as our good ship glides ever closer to Sydney shores, settle back and meet the last two of our Roving Reporter Conference Blogging team, Rachel Noble and Sheryl Gwyther.

Rachel Noble

Rachel Noble

Rachel Noble

Rachel is a picture book writer, committed to writing stories that delight, comfort and give children wonderful dreams. Fortunately for her, she has four wonderful children to try them out on (the best focus group ever).  Rachel has her first picture book under contract with New York based press, Enchanted Lion. FINN’S FEATHER (inspired by her late son Hamish), is about a boy who finds a feather and believes his brother (in Heaven) has sent it. The feather becomes a symbol of his love and grief. Soon, he starts to play with feather and it becomes an object of joy and ultimately, hope. This book is slated for US Fall, 2017.  She’s excited about her trip to New York straight after the SCBWI conference. 

Rachel is an ex- ABC radio producer and journalist and has loved telling stories her whole life (some true, some not-so-true).  Her ambition is to keep writing children’s stories that make a difference and to continue to her honour her son through her work.  She lives on the Sunshine Coast and is proud to be a part of the new Sunshine Coast sub-branch in Queensland, headed by Aleesah Darlison. 

You can read more about Rachel, here.

 Is this your first SCBWI Conference?

Yes and I’m terribly excited about it. Writing can be such a lonely business, so meeting with others who don’t glaze over when you start talking about writing is thrilling!

What is the most memorable (SCBWI) Conference experience you’ve had to date, or hope to have?

I expect to have a wonderful time connecting with names and faces I’ve only ‘spoken' to online. I will be child-free, so I am looking forward to kicking up my heels (in a responsible manner!) at the Opening Dinner.

As a creator in the Kids Literary Industry, what do you want to be best known for?

I write from the heart. As my own distinct voice begins to develop, I realise I want to write books that matter (in a non-diadactic way).

Name one thing you cannot live without.

One thing? Surely you mean three things!  Apart from the obvious (family, friends etc.), I can not live without my notebook, MacBook and my memories. Without these things, I am nothing. 

Sheryl Gwyther

Sheryl Gwyther writes children’s novels, school plays, short stories and chapter books, and flash-fiction for adults. Many of her short stories and plays appear in The School Magazine.

Sheryl Gwyther

Sheryl Gwyther

Sheryl’s awards include two ASA Mentorships and two May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Fellowships. A SCBWI International Work of Outstanding Promise Grant for her mid-grade historical adventure, Sweet Adversity made Sheryl the first non-American to win this award.

As SCBWI ARA for Queensland and a former director on the Board of the Australian Society of Authors, Sheryl is a passionate advocate for children’s literature.

See how passionate she is, here.

Is this your first SCWBI Conference? If not how many have you attended, where?

This is my 4th SCBWI Conference. The first, in 2010 was amazing and I was hooked. Meeting, for the first time writers and illustrators, many of whom have become my dear friends; and actually talking to publishers is something one never had the chance to do back then. Another highlight was meeting Susanne Gervay and her wonderful, Hughenden Hotel. What a splendid home and backdrop it was for us over the past conferences – we will miss her beauty and history.

But onwards and upwards! This year at the Menzies Hotel will be brilliant. We could meet in an outback shearing shed and it would be just as fabulous! Why? Because we are part of the SCBWI Tribe. And when the Tribe gets together, the world of children’s books zings!

What is the most memorable (SCBWI) Conference experience you’ve had to date, or hope to have?

My most memorable experience at a SCBWI Conference? Pitching my JF novel, Fangus Fearheart (aka Fearbottom) at the 2014 Conference. I was a bit nervous standing up in front of 250 people, including a fabulous line-up of publishers and agents (like Lisa Berryman!) But it was an amazing experience, and very good pitching practice. Excellent feedback too!  So gird your loins and your lions of courage, folk. I hope you get the chance to do it too!

As a creator in the Kids Literary Industry, what do you want to be best known for?

I'd love to be best known for fabulous short stories for kids (love this genre to bits!), and the real love of my life, capturing history and fascinating characters in my two work-in-progress novels. I promise you will love these feisty girls!

What’s the one thing I can’t live without, Dimity? Writing, of course. Storytelling! Creating things, whether in words or art. And music! How could one live without music? Especially Antonio Lucio Vivaldi! Such genius. Of course, I couldn’t live without my family. And my close friends from the world of children’s books. And exploring the world. And… oh, sorry, Dimity … you said ONE thing, didn’t you? There I go, breaking rules again.

Ah Sheryl, some rules are made to be broken!

Sheryl forgot to mentioned she is also this captain's best mate, as inright-hand-man, following her enthusiastic leadership of our Roving Reporters team in 2014. Looking forward to working together again!

Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for one final Meet and Greet instalment next week.

Till then, Rove you later!