News and Events from Tassie

Heather Zubek.jpeg

There was much ado in Hobart during Children’s Book Week as our wintry little state hosted the announcement of the Children’s Book Council 2017 awards.

At a ceremony at Government House on 18 August, the Governor of Tasmania, Professor Kate Warner, commended all shortlisted authors and illustrators, and announced the honour books and award winners - Congratulations to all SCBWI members who entered the awards and to those who received commendations for their work.

The CBCA awards were followed by a CBCA dinner, when Mem Fox was announced as the recipient of the Nan Chauncy Award. Named after Tassie’s acclaimed pioneer of children's writing, the award honours persons who have made outstanding contributions to the field of Australian children’s literature. Mem was thrilled to have received the award, and spoke of the formative influences of Nan Chauncy’s books on the young Mem, who grew up in Southern Rhodesia as a child of Australian parents.

SCBWI Tas took advantage of the influx of children’s book devotees to hold another of our Hope & Anchor lunch talks on Sunday 20 August. Heather Zubek was our guest speaker.

Heather has been a primary school teacher, library teacher and freelance writer for many years. Originally from Brisbane, she spent over 20 years in Perth but now lives on the green fringes of Melbourne. As the children’s literature specialist for The West Australian and freelance writer, Heather has interviewed countless authors and illustrators.

After her first year as judge for the CBCA Eve Pownall Award, Heather is on a mission to save children’s non-fiction from the blackholes of cyberspace. She discussed how information books are making a comeback and how small publishers are leading the charge.

Heather also read from selected interviews with authors that she has collected in her little black book. We were treated to some serious, and some hilarious insights into the writing lives of Graeme Simsion, Morris Gleitzman, James Patterson, Dav Pilkey, Mark Greenwood, Shaun Tan, Joy Dettman, Kerry Greenwood, Tristan Bancks, Danny Katz and others. Not surprisingly, each author approaches the business of making books in a unique way, but the overall wisdom to be gleaned from these interviews, is, according to Heather, ‘to just write.’