Friday, March 8, 2013

Days 24 & 25 in the Burrow - Adelaide Writers' Week

Well actually it's really just Day 25, the Sunday of the 3rd March. On the Saturday I was too tired to venture out and spent the day with my laptop sitting up in bed, resting. All in preparation of course for the BIG EVENT and a bright sunshine, early start on Sunday morning - The Booklovers' Breakfast organised by The Independent Arts Foundation in the beautiful grounds of Government House, South Australia, followed by a day full of Adelaide Writers' Week sessions in the parkland behind.

A perfect blue sky day in the grounds of Govt House, SA.
His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, Governor of South Australia, attended together with his wife, Mrs Liz Scarce and other dignitaries. You can read the Governor's speech, and below is a short sample: 
"We're particularly glad to hear that the event was sold out weeks ago, and that there are several international visitors here this morning - both writers and publishers - along with some local home-grown writers. We extend to you our best wishes for a thoroughly stimulating and enjoyable visit to Adelaide."

I was a guest of the May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust and dear, Mary Wilson, a founding member of the trust committee, had organised a table for the May Gibbs members. It was wonderful to sit with people I now consider friends.

Mary Wilson, Margaret and Andy Wilkinson - my May Gibbs buddies.
The pretty garden party frock I wore (made for me by my daughter).
Notice how my 'inner child' has popped out and shown herself in my morning shadow.
Hmm, she seems to be only about seven.
As tempting as it was to stay on in the beautiful, lush-lawned garden, Mary and I headed out the back gate and straight into the setting of Adelaide Writers' Week. It couldn't have been more perfect.

The best thing is, all the sessions are FREE.

and in the shade!

Dear friend, Janeen Brian, reading her latest picture book, I'm a Dirty Dinosaur
(Penguin Books Australia) to the crowd of children and parents.
Janeen Brian actually has two new books out simultaneously. She also engaged everyone with her picture book for older readers, Meet Ned Kelly, Random House Australia.

While in Adelaide I was very fortunate to meet with Janeen, author of over 65 books, on three occasions. She was sweet enough to lend me some books on the craft of writing. And here is a quote from one of these called 'Juicy Writing' by Brigid Lowry:
"The spirit of play will slide into your work and make miracles."
The Art of the Picture Book with author/illustrators, Tohby Riddle and Nick Bland,
chaired by Dyan Blacklock.
The first thing you'll notice at the Adelaide Writers' Week is that there are two Auslan signers for the deaf at every panel and one for the children's tent. This really impressed me.

Here are some little snippets from Tohby and Nick's conversation with Dyan (from my very messy notebook.)

Considers himself a commercial artist and is self-taught and colour blind.
 "The best texts take half an hour to write....  The Runaway Hug took just an hour."
"Don't be married to the idea of doing the text and the illustrations. You can't always." 
"Pictures mustn't be hard to read. Decide whether to draw the action just before, just after, etc."
"Not too wordy is best." 
"Morality comes through, good vs bad. Happy endings aren't always 100% necessary." 
"Pictures and words shouldn't do or say the same thing."
"Ideas aren't precious, just a fleeting thing. Grab the good one and write it in a notebook."
"A decent submission is only competing against a few other decent submissions."
"I would never have got an 'in' if I hadn't submitted text and illustrations together."
"One page can spoil the whole book, so re-do it even if it took you five days to do the first time."
"Find work you like and work out how they did it."
"The simplest books are the hardest to do. There's nowhere to hide."
"Don't think you'll only get one idea to a problem. There's always more. Keep your thinking playful and flexible and wonder a lot."
"Write down your curious and interesting thoughts. I send messages to myself."

Hmm, Tohby says, keep your thinking playful... Remember the quote from Janeen's book, 'Juicy Writing' by Brigid Lowry?

"The spirit of play will slide into your work and make miracles."

Now that's a good thought to leave you with. 


sew and sews too said...

Dear Angela
I work at Arts SA and am preparing a case study on the access program of the Adelaide Festival. I have found an excellent photo on your blog of writers week incuding auslan interpreters and was hoping you would allow me to use this photo in my report. You will of course be acknowledged as the photographer. Can you let me know via email: The report is a case study for the review of the National Arts and Disability Strategy. Thank you
Clare Tizard
Senior Industry Officer

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing the atmosphere, and the tips. :)

Angela Sunde. said...

You're welcome, Kat. I gained a lot from Nick and Tohby's session.