by Simon Andrews
On Friday 23rd November, SA SCBWI met for our Xmas Dinner at the Astor Hotel. The Pulteney Room had been merried up with Xmas decorations by Kelly Hibbert, our tireless SA coordinator.
We were very fortunate to have Tania McCartney as our guest speaker. You need only to google Tania to see how accomplished, professional and prolific she is as both an author and illustrator. As a person and a speaker, she is down to earth, and spent the evening sharing her trek through the book industry. It was amazing to hear that she has had nine different publishers, that she began a 52 week illustration challenge in order to improve her drawing, and that her idea of being tipsy is to have half a glass of champagne. She brought along her latest book, Mamie, a story about the life of May Gibbs. In addition, she brought some of her beautiful working drawings so that we could see the hard work that goes on in preparation of the finished product.
With a half kilogram gift of Haighs choccies, and to appreciative applause, Tania sat down and then went within a whisker of winning more Haighs in the annual Xmas Bingo game. All SCBWI members had been turned into Xmas Elves for this game, which was either flattering or frightening depending upon how your elf was dressed. The mayhem continued with a find-the-inch-high-Santa game. Our members need not apply for any jobs in search and rescue, as it took five whole minutes and a stack of hints before he was finally located, by the chimney funnily enough.
A door prize with a difference - Who’s behind the door? Why it’s Cymphany Chan from The Extremely Weird Thing That Happened in Huggabie Falls by SA’s one-and-only Adam Cece.
Christmas Bingo with marshmallow counters.
A fabulous evening with huge thanks to Kelly and her band of Xmas helpers.