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

Thursday 3 October 2013

Genevieve Jacobs in conversation with Garth Nix and Morris Gleitzman

Emeritus Professor of Children's Literature, Belle Alderman, speaks

What a joy it was last night to attend the commencement of the Showcase Festival of Australian Children's Literature at the University of Canberra, with two leading Australian authors taking the helm of a panel discussion on what writers want to say--and what readers want to hear.

Led by the wonderful Genevieve Jacobs of 666 ABC Radio Canberra, Morris Gleitzman and Garth Nix chatted along with four local students, about their writing processes, book genre, reader needs and the importance of great storytelling.

The audience (a sell-out and many hundred strong) sat in rapture as these established authors imparted priceless literary wisdom--and made us laugh. A lot.

Morris Gleitzman speaks

Highlights and quotes included:

Garth Nix: 'Multiple layers of genre and character and meaning are what become book classics.'

Morris Gleitzman: 'I actually wanted to be a professional soccer player but found out I wasn't very good at soccer.'

Garth Nix: Where does the seed of an idea begin? 'Sometimes a character, sometimes a single story frame, sometimes a book title.'

Morris Gleitzman's first published article was for Dolly Magazine!

Garth Nix decided he wanted to be a writer at 19. In England, he immersed himself in classic kids literature which influenced his work.

Morris Gleitzman: How different is author reality to perceived reality as a 16-year-old wannabe author? 'No servants, no Bentley.'

Garth Nix studied so he could get a better day job, as he knew authors need day jobs.

Morris Gleitzman: 'The most important thing for my books is what's going on inside my characters--what they're thinking.'

Garth Nix: 'Writers need to fill the reservoirs of their minds with a variety of book genre.'

Morris Gleitzman: 'Those of us lucky enough to have imagination as their work place are privileged.'

Garth Nix speaks

Attended by the crème de la crème of local children's book industry people, the evening was also a wonderful chance to network, catch up with friends, and meet the illustrious panel line-up.

A brilliant start to a truly spectacular Showcase Festival, which, if you're anywhere near Canberra these next two weeks, you won't want to miss. Click below for more.