I moved back from Japan to Adelaide. And then again to Melbourne. I started a new job in a new city in a new field.
Everything was new.
New friends. New place. New bookstores. New transport (believe me when I say that trams initially terrified me.)
And I have been unbelievably lucky.
All of those new things have become my favourite things (and no, there will be no Julie Andrews moment here.)
Next week I am honoured to be part of the Centre for Youth Literature's 21st celebration. Twenty one years of innovative programming and youth literature promotion by some truly inspiring people (Agnes Nieuwenhuizen, Mike Shuttleworth, Lili Wilkinson) and an array of Australian authors and illustrators. Looking over the many years of photos from the years has been equal parts hilarious (the 90s were not a fashion friendly time) and awe inspiring (the gamut of guests has been amazing).
For our 21st we're having a shindig that will reflect on CYL's history and highlight the wonderful contributions of Agnes in establishing CYL in 1992. If you are free on Tuesday, February 21st, you can attend by following this link.
I am really excited about the schools program that accompanies this event. Teens from across Melbourne will be able to experience bookgigs (dramatic adaptions of novels), an author discussion and writing workshops with an amazing bunch of YA talent including
- Melina Marchetta
- David Levithan
- Cath Crowley
- Simmone Howell
- Michael Pryor
- Alison Goodman
I have the honour of chairing the two author discussions; one with David and Melina, the second with David and Cath. It's basically awesome meets awesome with an audience and then me with some questions :)
The other big news...
I am heading to the United States in November to attend the YA Literature Symposium in St Louis. I will be co-presenting on the effect globalisation has had upon YA with closer examination of Australian YA which is a huge honour. The program hasn't been released and the registration is not yet open but it is a fantastic event that lends to significant discussion of youth literature by some of the best and brightest from across the US. The presentations sound incredible and I love that I'll be able to take their knowledge in and bring it back to Oz to share.
While plans are fuzzy right now I would really like to see what's happening down in Austin for the Texas Writers' Festival in late October as well. They do some great programming there and I am am crossing my fingers that I can make it happen. Also, there are some places that I need to visit that may or may not have to do with Friday Night Lights.
I am also terribly excited that after four years of online friendship I will finally meet Miss Capillya from That Cover Girl. She's insistent that she will finally meet me in St Louis (pun intended). She's been a tremendous friend and though she's never got to "hug my neck" (I really do need an explanation on this one), she will soon. I hope Missouri is really for some squealing.