yarra valley grammar literary day

Sunday, 23 October 2011

What an absolutely amazing time I had at the Yarra Valley Grammar Literary Day in Melbourne. Organised by a fabulous team, including Wendy, Leanne, Chris and a mass of other dedicated teachers, and sponsored by Ford Street Publishing, around 220 students from several schools spent the day immersing themselves in literary heaven.

I arrived early to set up for my presentation with the kids from prep to year 3. What an intelligent, dynamic and warm bunch of students. It was so much fun, and afterwards I signed books from a seemingly endless line of kids, chatting and laughing all the while.

After the book signing, I headed straight into the festival proper, where MC Graham Davey was introducing a line-up of glorious authors and illustrators, including Paul Collins, Meredith Costain, George Ivanoff, Dee White, Hazel Edwards, Phil Kettle, Michael Panckridge, Sean McMullen, Jacqui Grantford, Marc McBride, and Judith Rossell.

L to R: Sean McMullen, Claire Saxby, Dee White, George Ivanoff, Michael Panckridge, Phil Kettle, Hazel Edwards, Jacqui Grantford, MC Graham Davey, Speaker, David Miller, Paul Collins, Meredith Costain, Judith Rossell, Marc McBride, Tania McCartney

Phil Kettle gave the keynote speech about inspiring kids to read, and then we all headed straight into rounds of workshops, seeing around a dozen students at a time. I talked to students about picture books and why you're never too old for them, about character development, and about how book series, of all genre, are tied together.

Afterwards was a lovely, informal lunch - with time to chat and meet with the authors and illustrators I've known or have heard of for so long. Here I am with George Ivanoff and Dee White ... we all three blog for Boomerang Books.

Then it was another round of book signings and chatting to the kids.

Here we have (above, from left) George Ivanoff (who was working up a signing sweat!), Paul Collins and Phil Kettle, whose daughter had a baby that very morning!

Here again is Paul Collins, Phil Kettle, me, Judith Rossell (who can illustrate until your eyes boggle) and the lovely Michael Panckridge.

And the day was wound up with the YVG launch of Riley and the Grumpy Wombat - introduced by the fabulous Graham Davey (right). Wendy even had an amazing replica plane made (thanks to her son!) - you can see it in the picture above, bottom left hand corner.

I did a quick intro, read the book and then some student reps stood up and launched some red paper planes into the audience, to squeals and screams.

More book signings! and this incredible day was suddenly over. Warmest thanks to Paul Collins, Wendy Andrews and her dedicated team for organising such an overwhelming day and for making us feel so welcome and well looked after. The kids - and most especially the author/illustrator guests - had the most fabulous day.


Dani said...

Wow, wow, wow! It looks amazing. You look so happy. Positively glowing. LOVE the red planes! X

Paul Collins said...

A great collaborative effort by all! Catholic College Bendigo next month! :-)

tiarastantrums said...

LOVE seeing you do what you LOVE

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