Meeting Margaret Roc - SCBWI Conference Volunteer

Merry Margaret

Merry Margaret

It takes great skill and patience to herd cats as they say, perhaps even more so to coordinate large groups of hitherto over-zealous creatives. It is a task no single person should attempt alone. Fortunately for our SCBWI Conference organisers, there is a woman in their midst who is up for the job, Margaret Roc.

Who is Margaret RocAuthor, co-author and editor of over fifty published fiction and non-fiction books for children and teachers, Margaret Roc is a forced to be reckoned with. Yet her demure manner and ever-smiling face belie not only her writing prowess but also her supreme ability to organise and coordinate, qualities required in galleon proportions when facilitating a conference as involved as the SCBWI Biennial Sydney Conference.

Her colleagues regard her as somewhat of a dynamo. Here’s what fellow Conference organiser and Assistant Regional Adviser, Marjorie Crosby-Fairall has to say:

 ‘Margaret has done an amazing job of very patiently organising around 130 critiques. She has had a mammoth job to sort through the schedule, availability and match appropriate assessors and fulfil requests where possible…all while crosschecking that participants aren’t double booked as roving reporters, volunteers or participating in pitches or other panels. In addition, she has been organising all the volunteers for things like timekeeping and registration and all the little things that go unnoticed…unless they are not done.’

 Let’s meet Margaret

As a teacher and Teacher Librarian I especially enjoyed inspiring children in reading and imparting the love of books.

I began writing when my own children were born I have continued writing in my spare time ever since. Now I’m an author, co-author and editor of more than 50 books for children and teachers including picture books, early readers and non-fiction books.

Most of my picture books are light-hearted and amusing but deal with important themes like loneliness, friendship, family and belonging. I love writing about animals and many of my non-fiction books are about animals and the environment. My latest books Jellybean Goes to School (PenguinRandomHouse), Australia's Critically Endangered Animals and Australia's Deadly and Dangerous Animals and Plants (Heinemann) are on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge.

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

I have only attended Sydney SCBWI conferences and I have been actively involved as the Critique Coordinator in 2014 and 2016 conferences

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

Most amusing and frustrating record: It took 27 emails before I was able to answers all the queries for one delegate

Greatest fun: dancing and singing along to our wonderful Conference Beatnickers band

Greatest pleasure: hearing about our authors and illustrators who have picked up publishing deals through the Conference

Greatest admiration: for those amazingly talented brave souls who pitch their MSs

One of the many most memorable Conference experiences at the 2014 Conference: Bruce Whatley’s amazing session and the wonderfully amusing illustrator’s dual with Bruce Whatley and Stephen Axelson

On behalf of all the Conference delegates this year and past, thank you Margaret!

Well, it’s almost Conference time. Stick around, we’re going to squeeze in a bit more fun before we sail into Sydney Harbour. I hope you’ve packed your dancing shoes…

Rove you Later!