Before any landscaping team launches into a new project, they need a sound and detailed brief from someone with a clear vision of how they wish their garden to grow. Coordinating a SCBWI conference is no different. It requires foresight, planning, creative vision and above all, an united team effort.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll endeavour to introduce you to a few of the movers and shakers behind next year’s 2019 Sydney Conference, the faulty as it were; the directors of our creative direction. This week, Susanne Gervay, SCBWI Australia’s Regional Adviser, reveals some of her conference fun facts. Wave your gladioli in the air for Susanne!
Susanne, briefly state your conference role and conference responsibilities
Conference Director – the glue between the many moving parts of the conference team with the incredible Marjorie, Sue, Jodie, Margaret, Sarah – and the enthusiasm of the coordinators of the chapters Victoria, Qld, SA, ACT, Tas, NSW and NZ, as well as the Roving Reporters and of course the fabulous delegates of the children’s book industry.
Describe your most notable achievement or proudest moment in Kids’ Lit to date
The nomination for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award representing Australia and receiving an OAM for children’s literature. Both mean the world to me, as my parents were refugees who came with only courage to Australia, to rebuild their broken lives. Their belief in Australia was validated through the recognition of my work in Kid’s Lit. They would be so proud. I am proud too.
What is the most memorable (SCBWI) Conference experience you’ve had to date, or hope to have?
It has to be meeting the incredible FONZ at the LA Conference. Henry Winkler wasn’t in his leather gear, which was a disappointment. His hair was a little grey and his motor bike missing in action, but he was charming and definitely hadn’t lost any of the FONZ charisma. We did talk about the Hank Zipster series, but really I was waiting for him to comb his hair. Ahhh.
Name one thing you can’t live without
My family. They fill my life with all the emotions and drive my writing.
Provide at least one Fun Fact from a SCBWI Conference you’ve attended or organised (anywhere in the world)
It has to be the insanely enthusiastic dancing, singing, shouting at the SCBWI dance party in Sydney. The SCBWI band with SCBWI authors and illustrators centre stage – led by James Foley, Meredith Costain, Scott Chambers, when Dale Newman, Vair Buchanan and Karen Collum - all jumped in. Dale played a mean guitar. So much talent! Heaps of fun.
I think that moment will remain for us all who were there!
Visit again for more fun facts and behind the scenes revelations soon. Till then,
Rove ya’ later!
Dimity (Head Gardener)
Floral images courtesy Tania McCartney