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CBCA National Conference

Me with Bren Macdibble

Last weekend, I went along to the Children's Book Council of Australia's 2019 National Conference - And Now They're Laughing. Writing and podcasting take a lot of time away from my family, so this year, I had resolved to attend fewer conferences, but one look at the program for this one and I knew I had to be there. CBCA only holds a national conference every few years, and when they do, they really get their pick of the best kids authors Australia has to offer. This year was no exception, with Morris Gleitzman, Emily Rodda and Jeannie Baker just to name a few.

My book, Dear Grandpa, at the Allen and Unwin stand in the trade hall.

The CBCA were super generous in allowing Nat and I to record interviews for One More Page from a small room at the venue, and with so much star power around, we really went to town. Nat interviewed Morris Gleitzman and Allayne Webster, while I spoke to Bruce Pascoe about his new book Young Dark Emu, which aims to bring the messages of his blockbuster non-fiction book Dark Emu into schools. I also interviewed Bren MacDibble, the author of post-apocalyptic middle-grade novels How to Bee and The Dog Runner, as well as Karen Foxlee, whose most recent novel Lenny's Book of Everything has been taking the book world by storm.

The event was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with authors, illustrators and publishers, and even to make some new friends. The children's book community is incredibly friendly and welcoming, and it never ceases to amaze me how happy people are to say hi, and how supportive more established authors are of relative newbies like me.

To cap off the weekend, Allen and Unwin had my upcoming picture book Dear Grandpa on display at their trade stand, so I was able to herd everyone I knew in their direction so they could take a peek. Many thanks to the CBCA for putting together such an amazing conference. I'm looking forward to the next one!

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