'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 9 August 2013

CBCA South Coast-Illawarra Literary Lunch

The CBCA South Coast-Illawarra team certainly know how to throw a shindig. This is my second time at their Literary Lunch in Wollongong, and what a sensational day out it is.

This year, fifteen schools from the south coast region attended a three-hour event at the Fraternity Club, along with fifteen authors from as far as The Blue Mountains. Each author is seated with a group of kids {I had the great pleasure of sitting with a gaggle of literary girls from Austinmer Primary School} where we chat and mingle and talk books, over lunch.

The presenter of this year's event was the fabulously funny Nathan Luff {above}, who taught the kids how to write humour. I simply loved his self-portrait in the presentation--Superman, in full kit. Naturally.

Riley the Little Aviator also joined us at our table {photo below} along with his red tin plane.

All authors get to chat for three minutes about their work, then it's back to the tables for more chatting and lots and lots and LOTS of signings--books, bookmarks, lunch programmes, pieces of paper, notebooks--anything that will take a pen! So cute.

While the best part of these lunches is chatting with kids, answering their questions and sharing our love of books and writing {I love hearing what kids are reading}, another fun part is either catching up with or finally getting to meet authors you've liaised with for some time. Here I am with the multi-talented James Roy ...

And super-lovelies Frances Watts and Wai Chim.

Excuse me for shamelessly sneaking one of my latest books into this shot. We're shameless, us authors.

It was also a delight to catch up with and/or meet some other friends and authors including:

Di Bates, Sharon MacGuinness, Wendy Blaxland, Stephen Measday, Louise Park, Dianne Ellis, Pamela Freeman, Wendy Fitzgerald, Patricia Bernard, David Mulligan and Lesley Vamos.

This is such a great day for children to meet and mingle with the people who create the books they read. The kids receive goodie bags and a stack of new books to take home, and they also have the opportunity to buy books by the resident authors and illustrators, to have signed, either for themselves or their school.

Thank you to the wonderful committee who put together such a sensational day. My mouth was hurting from smiling by the time I headed home!

- Tania McCartney