Ten children's book creators gathered in the Screening Room at the State Cinema Café on Sunday 18 March 2018 for our first SCBWI talk of 2018. Acclaimed children's writer, Claire Saxby (VIC), was in Tassie for school visits, and we were privileged to hear her speak about her recent picture book, My Name Is Lizzie Flynn - a Story of the Rajah Quilt, illustrated by Lizzy Newcomb (Walker Books) and her soon to be released picture book, Bird to Bird illustrated by Wayne Harris (Walker Books).
Claire spoke about how choosing a viewpoint distance shapes a story. My Name is Lizzie Flynn takes a close look at the making of the Rajah Quilt, while Bird to Bird takes a long view of history, convicts and recycling, but in many respects the underlying story about convict transportation from England to Australia is the same.
In the Q&A following Claire’s talk, many new book creators were amazed to hear Claire say that she has gained a contract out of every SCBWI conference she has attended. NOT, she explained, by passing manuscripts under gaps in toilet walls to publishers in the next cubicle, but by listening carefully at conference sessions where publishers explain what they are looking for. Then, when she finds herself sharing a breakfast table with a publisher who asks what she is currently working on, she has her elevator pitch ready.
Claire’s blogsite is https://clairesaxby.wordpress.com/
Thanks for sharing your books and your writing journey with us, Claire. Your talk has been praised by all who heard it. And congratulations for your shortlisting for Koala in the Children’s Book Council Eve Pownall Awards 2018.
Congratulations too, to my fellow SCBWI TAS leader, Christina Booth, for her CBCA 2018 Notable for Anzac Tree (Omnibus Books) in the Picture Book of the Year category and to new SCBWI member, Nic Gill, for her Eve Pownall Award Notable for Animal Eco-Warriors (CSIRO Publishing).