Monday, November 4, 2013

Inside Story Success!

Everything you might hope for when organising a big event was realised at the inaugural celebration of SCBWI's Inside Story in Brisbane on Saturday, 2nd November. 

An initiative of The Society for Children's Book Writers and IllustratorsInside Story - where children's author and illustrators share the 'inside story' of their books - took place on the one weekend in 12 cities internationally.
Convenor and MC for the day, Angela Sunde (me) at Black Cat Books
Held within the tumbling, tropical gardens of Black Cat Books in leafy Paddington, Brisbane, the springtime sunshine dappled us with welcoming warmth, surpassed only by the charm and grace of our host, owner of Black Cat Books, Stephanie Hogan and her staff.

Audience arriving
BlackCat Books is a ‘home away from home’ for many Queensland children’s authors, who often pop in to pick up a latest release, launch their own books or support a fellow author. It’s here that you find writers and readers sitting at tables in the café and chatting over a second or third cuppa.
Dimity Powell, Katherine Battersby and (myself) Angela Sunde with the Inside Story Books Table
Photo courtesy of Dimity Powell

Following repeated radio coverage of the event (including a live interview), writers, readers, parents and children collected together to celebrate. A comfortable crowd of about 50 gathered on the terraces, enthusiastic to hear the ‘behind the scenes’ secrets of our 14 featured SCBWI author/illustrators’ most recently published books.
Authors Dimity Powell, Michelle Worthington, Samantha Wheeler and (myself)
Photo courtesy of Dimity Powell
As convenor and MC of the Brisbane Inside Story event I welcomed everyone on behalf of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (including a note of welcome from Queensland ARA, Sheryl Gwyther, who is presently in the USA).
A full house
Setting a quick pace with my own 'inside story', I then introduced each of the other author/illustrators with a short recount of their awards and achievements followed by a personal anecdote. The professionalism and creativity of each author/illustrator’s three minute talk made for an entertaining session, which zipped past.
A SCBWI welcome
Photo courtesy of Chris Bongers
There were ‘inside stories’ of silly snakes, koalas in danger, surprise endings, missing letterboxes, tumbling chairs, hospital merry-go-rounds and scary chickens. It was a feast for the imagination.
Stephen Axelsen shares his 'inside story'
Photo courtesy of Dimity Powell

Candice Lemon-Scott shares her 'inside story'
Photo courtesy of Dimity Powell
Pamela Rushby shares her 'inside story'
Photo courtesy of Dimity Powell
Keeping efficient time management in mind, a program was available on each table, together with a colour flyer (with information on each of the 14 participating SCBWI author/illustrators) placed on each seat. Many attendees took notes during the talks and children eagerly asked and answered questions.

The Raffle Prizes Table
Photo courtesy of Dimity Powell
By now everyone had received a ticket for the Queensland Inside Story draw. The winner was a Brisbane woman interested in illustrating, who had come along having just heard about the event that morning on the radio. Her name now goes in to the international draw for the Grand Prize.
Happy Inside Story cake

L-R Back Row - Judy Paulson, Dimity Powell, Angela Sunde, Stephen Axelsen, Pamela Rushby, Chris Bongers, Peter Taylor, Christina Bollenbach, Samantha Wheeler.
L-R Front Row - Michelle Worthington, Candice Lemon-Scott, Julie Nickerson, Katherine Battersby, Jennifer Poulter.
Photo courtesy of Dimity Powell
After a ceremonious cake cutting, more prizes and a loud rendition of ‘Happy Inside Story’, there was little more to do than lick the cream off our fingers, sign autographs and have photos taken by The Sunday Mail’s photographer for the next day’s issue. What a wonderful morning!
The Sunday Mail 3/11/2013
Sincere thanks go to SCBWI QLD support team member, Pamela Rushby, for all her help and advice, and to Stephanie Hogan and the staff of Black Cat Books for their continued support of children’s books and the authors and illustrators who create them.
The Brisbane Inside Story Team
Pamela Rushby and (myself) Angela Sunde


Sam Wheeler said...

Thanks Angela for organising such a great event. Your calm nature and sense of humour made for a very relaxing enjoyable morning. I enjoyed hearing everyone's inside story and as a new writer, felt inspired and proud to be part of such a talented QLD team. Thanks too to SCBWI and Black Cat Books! Fantastic opportunity :)

DimbutNice said...

You do us all proud Angela. A superlative post recalling a superlative day. More than just a moment of puff for those invited to share, this event was one of pure pleasure for all involved. Being privy to so many fascinating inside stories was not only a privilege but also a real, rare treat.

Candice Lemon-Scott said...

A beautiful morning. Gorgeous setting at Black Cat Books, wonderful hearing all the fabulous inside stories and so impeccably organised. Thanks for making it all happen Angela and I'm in awe of your flair for running such an event so seamlessly. I feel very grateful to have been a part of this fabulous SCBWI event.

Pam Rushby said...

Great post Angela - and great pictures! So tropical and Queensland. You were a wonderful MC and kept everything moving along. Good time had by all.

Julie Nickerson said...

Thanks, Angela, for organising this great event. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear the 'inside stories' of all the books as no two book journeys are the same. I look forward to next years' event!

Michelle Worthington Author said...

I had such a super fun awesome time with amazeballs people at a fabulous book store. Cant wait for next year!

Angela Sunde. said...

Thank you, everyone for your lovely comments. The day was so enjoyable - it certainly left me with a warm glow to begin the week. Events like Inside Story inspire us all to imagine, observe and think outside the box. Our creative tanks are once more filled and ready to make magic.

Karen Tyrrell said...

Thanks Angela,
LOVED your photo journal of your Inside Story at Black Catm my favourite book shop.
Love reading success stories, especially one involving Brisbane & Gold Coast children's authors... Karen :)

Kaz Delaney said...

Every time I see any event advertised about Black Cat I wish, wish, wish I lived in Southern Queensland! This event almost made me pack up and leave home! It DID turn my brown eyes green!!!

Thank you Angela! I loved the photos and wish I'd heard the stories. I know just by the beaming faces that it was a fabulous day.

Congrats to you all - and all at Black Cat. Hugs xxxxx

Angela Sunde. said...

Thank you so much, Kaz and Karen! For a first time event, it was a huge success.