Saturday, 15 September 2012

Crazy busy head 'sploding time of chaos

Linda Sue Park
The title of this blog accurate summarises my life in the past few weeks and into the future. I am conscious of how busy I am most of the time but when you have other people commenting this to you it heightens that realisation. A few weeks back I said I would post about the various panels I was chairing for the Melbourne Writers' Festival schools' program. I do believe my head may have imploded before that occurred.

 MWF 2012 was my second year chairing and the number of sessions I was a part of doubled. It was a month of preparation. Yes, it is enormous fun sitting on stage and interviewing amazingly gifted and articulate authors BUT there is work involved. Fortunately I have a wonderful team at work (Centre for Youth Literature) and we were able to support one another and get the job done.

The awesome Danielle at Alpha Reader posted detailed summaries of a few of the panels I chaired, and those chaired by my colleague Jordi....cue links.

  • Emily Rodda, Penni Russon and John Larkin (Jordi)
  • Hard Lines: Vikki Wakefield & Julia Lawrinson - I CANNOT conceive of having MORE fun in a panel scenario.  We had a rip roaring time with plenty of laughs and a honest conversation about the depiction of teen girls, sex, virginity and peer pressure in YA.  I hope to goodness MWF releases the audio from this session.  You'll both laugh uproariously and nod frequently. (Adele).  I also interviewed both of these ladies separately in the same day so I was floating by 3pm.
  • Meet Melina Marchetta (Jordi) - I was so disappointed not to see this panel but I was chairing in another venue.  Considering the sheer buzz radiating off Jordi, Danielle and others in that room the discussion was fantastic and covered the On the Jellicoe Road movie adaptation in detail with a glimpse at MM's script!  Jealous?  I was.
I also chaired sessions with Newbery winner Linda Sue Park who is quite possible the most generous and kind person I've met in a while.  Her presentation on A Long Walk to Water and the lost boys of Sudan was touching and real.

I introduced Oliver Phommavahn which is always a blast as he's such a lively and interactive presenter. The students' love him and it is easy to see why.  MWF published a picture of me (right) introducing Oliver and I swear this was a concerned look.  The past two times I've introduced Oliver he's hurt himself both times in scooter-related mishaps and I was just glad to see the scooter was not there :)

Lastly I was able to speak to Fiona Scott-Norman about her anthology of teen stories from Australian celebrities called Don't Peak in High School.  She gave a wonderful opening presentation about her motivation behind the book drawing upon her own experiences.  She was raw, heartfelt and funny and the audience took it all in.

Additionally we at CYL organised an in conversation between Vikki Wakefield (Friday Brown, coming to US and UK SOON) and Fiona Wood (Six Impossible Things, Wildlife in 2013).  Danielle wrote up a wonderfully thorough post on their conversation.


Lately I've been asked to write pieces for different organisations and people and so I thought I would post the links.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

And you did *such* a good job at MWF! Worth all the head-sploding :)