Monday, June 30, 2008

storylines is over...conference is beginning

Did I need another project?
Have I got one?
Am I an idiot.....don't answer that!

At a recent Wellington Children's Book Association committee meeting the subject of conferences came up. New Zealand hasn't had a national gathering of children's writers and illustrators for many years. Our convener Fifi was off to Melbourne for a conference. We all lamented that it was sad to have to pay a lot of money to go to a conference in another country. $900 NZ dollars...just for the conference and that doesn't count the airfares and the accommodation. A big undertaking!
When Fifi came back we found out that there was a bit of false advertising. Fifi was hoping to make contacts with editors and publishers in Australia. She is well known here as a top illustrator and also the author of three published novels for children. She was one of this years judges of The New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards...she has street cred!
They didn't want to know....she wasn't a librarian with a big the publishers didn't want to talk to her....All that money....not quite wasted... but no work will come out of it.
OK we said what would it take to put a conference together?...
and we all started to suss things out... and ask around... what do we want???
keynote speakers... workshops.... masterclasses... The word went out and we have been inundated with requests from around the country!
I have a month to get the first funding application in - a detailed breakdown of costs and cv's of everyone involved....
What have we started.... Fifi and I are shaking our heads as the emails pour in... aren't we supposed to be writing books!!!
so I am now up to my eye teeth in another project....
Um! I should have kept my big mouth shut!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"storylines is cool"

Well the Storylines Festival is over for another year. We didn’t crack 3000 but we got closer to it than other years with 2700.

I was in the middle of the swirling crowd being the human sign post, directing people, answering questions, calling out announcements, looking for lost parents, etc etc.

Funny things that stand out for me....
The looks on little kids faces as they saw Hairy Mclairy and the usual mob that appears wherever he goes.
Martin doing a great King Bubbles as he looked after Babette Cole....
Ruth Paul not being able to get into the performance of the Animal Undie Ball which was based on the picture book she wrote and illustrated, because of the crowd of people already in there.
Babette Cole...being Babette Cole. Listen to Radio NZs podcast for today, Wednesday 11th, 10am to find out what I mean.
The three little girls who were so thrilled with their stars and that they saw planets and they saw stars and they saw planets and they saw stars and.....(it made me feel good anyway considering the work that went into the planetarium.)
The huge hum around the craft tables and illustrators gallery. The illustrators were closer to the crowd and I think that made the kids at the craft activities feel like proper illustrators.
The gelato and the 20 minute wait for a coffee.
The fact that I couldn’t find my middle child for most of the day because she was in the most popular room and I couldn’t get in there because of the people crush.
The babies faces when I shook my head because I was wearing a jesters hat and all the bells rang.
The kids that dressed up- there was so many of them. The best was the tin man.
The manic set up starting at 7am and 10 was when the doors opened. All the things you can do with duct tape! (the break down also was done in record time.)
“Storylines is really cool especially when you’re in there,” quote from middle child. “You need to come next year”
There will be photo’s up at the storylines website
There are some up on the national library blog see link in sidebar.
We all had a great time that the committee has committed for another year (a first) and the convenor wants to do it again (another first)
We’re all nuts or drunk on storylines energy...It is all about the kids and the way they make you feel it is all worthwhile.
Onto the last event in the festival- tomorrow night the seminar is on with Babette and Carole.


Monday, June 9, 2008

blog posts

You should always write you blog post in word before posting it in your blog box....
Last Thursday I worked for an hour on a post, that had links and was going to have a picture and I was feeling pretty proud of all the information I was going to tell you
about storylines
About pitch slam
about phoenix star date conference
Latest news from mars
And then I hit the wrong button and lost the lot.
Pretty depressed only hints at my despair...
I couldn’t type it all again... so that is why there has been a gap in the postings...if you have been following the convoluted musings of the computer techno newbie.
You should always write you blog post in word before posting it in your blog box....because it has auto save and you can get it back!!!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

storylines-2 sleeps away

and then you find it in drafts which you never looked at before....
(Pic is Opportunity looking back
at how far it has come...)

What a busy week I've had...As usual Storylines takes up the bulk of my cyberspace time.

Just keeping up to date can be a challenge... also attending the committee meetings....

However this years event at the National School of Dance and Drama promises to be amazing!
In a first, we have free buses from the cities in the Wellington region.
My planetarium looks good and we have an event manager for my room, which is the busiest room in the huge venue. We have so much on offer my fingers would cramp telling you so go to to check it out!!!

If you are in Wellington on Sunday come along-10-4. I'll be mc- ing the whole day! (why did I open my big mouth-that's why huh...)
We hope to crack 3000 people this year. This festival of children's writing and illustrating talent just gets bigger every year. We can't wait to meet Babette Cole and Carole Wilkinson as well as our home grown superstars in the children's lit world.

Speaking of superstars the family attended Stardate, the Phoenix society winter astronomical conference over the long weekend. We got some star gazing in at the obsevatory.(gee Saturn looks like a jug tonight...)

We heard some great speakers...did you know that the surface of Jupiter has a 20,000 km deep ocean of liquid hydrogen?

There was breaking news...little old phoenix swung it's camera down underneath to look at the ground the landing thrusters had cleared...yes ladies and gentlemen, it is sitting on a block of ice!
How's that for a major hole in one!

When we got back home, major news on the radio, the Mt John guys and girls along with their Japanese team members have discovered the smallest sun with an orbiting planet!

This week I have been working on a pitch my spare creative time...(not much).
What is a pitch slam?
I didn't know either but this blogging business just gets you into more trouble...

If you go and look at other writers blogs to see how they do it, as I do, you come across Alices blog.

Alice is the editor of the children's writers and illustrators marketplace- the bible for american writers

Then you trip to Jane's blog (Alice's boss) who talks about the pitch slam competition at the Book Expo America which gives authors 3 minutes to pitch their book to an editor or agent.

Jane Friedman, managing editor, writers digest books

then you trip to the editor of the literary agents guide...all the editors at writer digest seem to have a blog...

and there you discover The Buried Editor's blog.

This editor is going to be a pitchee at the book expo and she decided to have a little pitch slam of her own -so muggins here decided to have a go....

I have just finished agonising over my pitch and sent it off, phew.

I'm sure she will be inundated- but surprise could be on my side. How many pitches would she get from New Zealand???

If you have the time, have a look at the blogs above. They are interesting to children's book people...if you are not a children's book person...have a look anyway- it will give you an insight into their mad mad world...and why we love it so....

maureen-off to draw up a must pack list for Sunday... throat lozenges... water bottles...sellotape...
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