Two years in the dream job. It has flown by and crawled past simultaneously Previous to moving to Melbourne and making YA the "career", I was teaching in Adelaide (and Japan) and book blogging in every second of non-working time I had. It still seems incredible to me that blogging opened up so many doors to people, places and organisations that I otherwise would have been a stranger to. I feel incredibly blessed, and proud.
So what have I achieved in the past two years outside of sorely neglecting my blog?
Let's see shall we:
- I moved to Melbourne and started working within 24 hours.
- Worked alongside the lovely Pam, Lili and Cordelia as they all finished up with CYL.
- Launched the redeveloped teen reading and review website insideadog
- Questioned whether I should change my twitter handle to something more professional
- Headed to Sydney to meet all the publishers and lit organisations doing tremendous work
- Was invited to speak at the CBCA-NSW branch's Claytons. My six book choices were all on the notables list with 3 in the shortlist, not bad.
- Met Shaun Tan shortly after his Oscar and Astred Lindgren win
- Gotten familiar (by getting lost) with the State Library of Victoria my home away from home and it's bountiful treasures and beautiful spaces.
- Presented my first "book talk" to an audience.....and then many, many, many more. (Year nine students are the hardest audience by far.)
- I moved again.
- Organised, MCed and loved the 2011 Reading Matters conference. Highlight: chairing a session with Melina Marchetta, Cassandra Clare and Markus Zusak....which was my first panel ever...in front of 400 people. No pressure.
- Undertaken my first Inky awards.
- Spent a week driving Melina Marchetta and Liz Honey on regional tour where they taught writing and watercolour workshops that I (sometimes) got to participate in :)
- Chaired 2011 Melbourne Writers Festival sessions with Maggie Stiefvater, Penny Tangey, Oliver Phommavahn, Sally Rippin and Gabrielle Wang.
- Still worrying about twitter handle.
- Became a Mac person
- Spoke on the Emerging Writers' Festival on the genre of YA alongside Tim Pegler, Fiona Wood and Andrew McDonald. (I also attended my first EWF event to hear Stephanie Laurens speak and then promptly became ridiculously embarrassed when asking her to sign my book.)
- Was joined by the fabulous and oh so very geeky Jordi at CYL!
- Met Margo Lanagan for the first time....fell into a crush.
- Spent what would be my first and last afternoon at Dromkeen.
- Had my team swell in numbers with the addition of the lovely Liz and Nicole.
- I moved again.
- Celebrated the 21st anniversary of the Centre for Youth Literature and met David Levithan for the first time. He was lovely (yes, that word crops up a lot). He also made me a playlist. It's a treasured item.
- Was a bridesmaid at my sister's wedding.
- Saw the first (hopefully not the last) Wordage festival be a raging success with authors Kirsty Eagar, Doug McLeod and Gabrielle Williams. Also our first collaboration with Geelong Regional Libraries.
- Hosted EWF's Fright Night in the Library's Queen's Hall.
- Guested on Midsumma, Bayside Literary Festival and numerous other awesome literary events.
- Became an iPad person
- Attended my first CBCA conference.
- Wrote numerous grant submissions and acquittals.
- Received an email from Judy Blume.
- Chaired a number of sessions for the 2012 Melbourne Writers Festival with Melina Marchetta, Linda Sue Park, Oliver Phommavahn, Julia Lawrinson, Vikki Wakefield and Fiona Scott-Norman.
- Read an ms that I am very excited to see released in 2013.
- Wrote for Bookseller and Publisher, The Age, Newswrite, Off The Shelf and many blogs.
- Started organising the 2013 Reading Matters conference.
- Hit the road with Bernard Caleo and Heath to present on graphic novels to regional students. Had a ball and invented graphic novel speed dating for year fives.
- Read 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' for the first time and was immediately hard on myself for not doing so earlier.
- Said farewell to manager Paula and greeted a new one, Anna.
- Presented at the YA Literature Symposium on Australian YA in the United States. Met David Levithan again...got a hug. Met many lovely people who were so incredible enthused about my country and its amazing YA.
- FINALLY met Capillya. Loved her immediately. Sadly said farewell.
- Attended YALLFest in Charleston and met two authors I was dying to meet - Stephanie Perkins and Siobhan Vivian. Reunited with Gayle Forman (after meeting her in NYC in 2010) and Cassandra Clare (from Reading Matters). Met David Levithan again...another hug (I am probably rubbing it in at this point.)
- Spent the day with the exceedingly generous author Alexa Young seeing the sights on LA.
- Continue to stir many pots.
It has been a bit of a blur but it was great for me to write down everything I can remember. I am pretty positive that I have forgotten something though. Regardless I am very happy to be living in my sleepy seaside suburb of very crap public transport and to be working with such hard working, good humoured and passionate individuals inside of CYL and my division as a whole. It's been amazing.
So if you're wondering why I don't blog it is because I am doing everything that I've listed and more. But I couldn't do any of it without our team and my friends. I am very fortunate.
In celebration of two years at CYL and four years of Persnickety Snark (blogiversary was this week too), the Snark will be getting a facelift. It will look pretty, fresh and help me keep my goal of blogging throughout 2013.
In the meantime you can catch some of my recent bits and piece on these links: