Behind the Scenes: Meet the Faculty Dimity Powell

So far, being head gardener, aka Conference Blogging Coordinator, has been a breezy time of cultivating new expectations and enjoying a bouquet of happy memories. I can’t wait to make more with you all very soon. Meantime if you not sure who I am - for shame! - here’s a wee overview of the infamous?, exceedingly talented??, Dim but nice, Dimity Powell.

Briefly state your conference role and conference responsibilities:

I’m the mad nutter who’ll be shoving a camera and notebook into everyone’s faces under the umbrella of National Blogger Coordinator. This will be the third conference I’ve assumed a Roving Reporter role. Overseeing the RRers is one of the highlights for me. They are a fabulous team, willing and able to go to any extreme to cover every image, syllable and story the conference uncovers. My role is to ensure we report on each of the sessions, including the master classes and all the fun bits and publish them on the Conference Blog. See Write Share.

I’m also one of the authors at The Children’s Bookshop Celebration of Stories event Sunday afternoon before the Conference. Plus, I’m on the panel for one of the PD sessions as part of the awesome Creating Creative Writers auxiliary Conference, Tuesday 26 February.

Celebrate these authors and illustrators’ stories at The Children’s Bookshop, Beecroft

Celebrate these authors and illustrators’ stories at The Children’s Bookshop, Beecroft

Describe your most notable achievement or proudest moment in Kids’ Lit to date:

It came as a genuine surprise to be shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards for, The Chapel of Unlove, the digital narrative commissioned for the incredible Story City app. I had an absolute hoot writing this multi ending, interactive, locative fiction and am so proud and pleased to see it recognised in this way.

I actually think any word of mine that makes it onto any public publishing forum is a huge step forward.

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

The overall vibe of these conferences is stupendous but one of my glowing memories was being in the same room for the first time with Holyrood Lane’s illustrator, Nicky Johnston and EK Books publisher, Anouska Jones. It was the first time I laid eyes on Nicky’s roughs for Holyrood Lane, too. When she showed Anouska and me, it felt like receiving a book of magic.

Name one thing you can’t live without:

I tend to spiral into a spin if I forget my hairbrush and I know for sure I’d seize up like a rusty gate if I didn’t have yoga in my life but for me, ice cream is my Band-Aid; it makes EVERYTHING better and therefore is a life essential.

Provide at least one Fun Fact from a SCBWI Conference you’ve attended or organised (anywhere in the world)

A few months before the 2016 Sydney Conference, I met this girl in a bookshop in Brisbane. When I say met, I mean she accosted me in a non-threatening but completely unexpected ‘BOO!’ kind of way. She seemed to know me but stupidly, I didn’t know her. When my heartbeat returned to normal, I acknowledged I was happy to make her acquaintance.

Turns out, that girl was the incredibly gifted, supremely funny, Queensland illustrator, Sophie Beer who was later awarded for being incredibly gifted at the official 2016 Conference Dinner Dance. When I heard her name read out, I leaped from my chair and screamed like a banshee in delight. It felt like being at the Logies, even though I’ve never been to the Logies! I may have cried a bit too, sook that I am.

Well folks, it’s not long now till we all find our respective ways to Sydney. Join me later this week for a pre-conference, last-minute, wrap-up of Who’s Who and Doing What. Till then,

Rove ya’ later!

Dimity (aka Head Gardener)


Meet the New Recruit!

The ocean is a capricious mistress at the best of times. One never knows which way her winds will blow and so it is with leaden hearts we bid one of our most idiosyncratic crewmembers farewell. Roving Reporter, Nette Hilton has had to jump ship as it were and is no longer able to attend the Conference. Fear not Nette for you will not miss out! We have recruited a new Rover keen to share all and sundry with you and anyone else who cannot make it to Sydney this year.

Charlotte Calder

Charlotte Calder

So raise your voices and sing a welcome shanty for Roving Reporter, Charlotte Calder.

Charlotte Calder is the author of four YA novels published by Pan Macmillan, a picture book - Stuck! and a junior historical novel The Ghost at the Point, both published by Walker Books. Stuck! illustrated by Mark Jackson, was a CBCA Notable Book, 2010. 

Another picture book, The Twelfth Dog (Hachette, Lothian Books imprint) is coming out at the end of January 2017, illustrated by the brilliant Tom Jellett.  All about a naughty pooch who won’t give the ball back in a backyard game of cricket.

Charlotte lives with her husband, two dogs, a cat and two beautiful thoroughbreds saved from the knackery in a beautiful spot near Orange in the central west of NSW. Plus their three adult children when they drop in for the weekend. These days her time and headspace tend to get gobbled up by pressing deadlines for her daytime job as a freelance copywriter, but she’s determined to get back to writing novels for kids - one of these days!  

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

This is my second CBCA conference, after 2014 at the wonderful Hughenden, in Woollahra.

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

Getting to know so many kindred spirits, and feeling so energised by the end of it all!

As a creator in the Kids Literary Industry, what do you want to be best known for?

My books being loved by their readers. (And by relevant adults doesn’t go astray either!)

Name one thing you cannot live without.

Apart from the obvious, Big Stuff … how to limit it to one?? Smooches from four legged (and other) kids, olives, chocolate, roses, sunny days … Writing, naturally, and music … and BOOKS! 

Learn more about the rest of our Roving Reporters, here. And there’s more to come, when we share some tantalising tip bits about what to expect at this year’s Conference.

Rove you then!