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

Saturday 8 June 2019

Event: CBCA Conference 2019

Celebrating 40 years of Grug (Photo: Julie Long)
The 13th Children's Book Council of Australia conference was held in Canberra last weekend, with more than 300 people in attendance, and around 50 fantastic speakers from across Australia.

The theme for the conference was 'And Now They're Laughing', with many of the sessions springboarding from this, and others complementing it.

It made for a hilarious and insightful time, or as Morris Gleitzman described it, 'a whole glorious weekend of uncertainty and confusion.'

Some memorable quotes from the conference are shared here so you can experience a little of the conference, too.

If you follow the links you'll also be able to discover more about the creators.

Happy reading!

Morris Gleitzman: '[The purpose of literature is] to open up possibilities, rather than close possibilities down....Humour can only exist in a context....[It] is capable of being the worst of its own capabilities and the best....Humour feeds and suports optimism and capacity for empathy.'

Morris Gleitzman (Photo: Julie Long)
Leigh Hobbs shared his experience as the previous Australian Children's Laureate and gave a sneak peek at his upcoming book, Mr Chicken All Over Australia (Photo: Sarah Steed)

Matt Stanton: 'When you're really trying to be funny, you're really exposed.'

Bruce Pascoe: 'There's an enormous amount of goodwill of Australians to get this right....We have to do it together....If there's an absence of this sort of literature...there's going to be an absence of connection....I don't mind being argued against. What I don't like is silence.'

Jol Temple: 'Sympathy is a response. Empathy is a viewpoint.'

Kate Temple: 'Humour can help you into serious issues. Playfulness is a form of humour.'

One-of-a-kind illustrated bears were auctioned to raise money for the CBCA Awards Foundation (Photo: Sarah Steed)
Part of the busy conference book store (Photo: Sarah Steed)
Jeannie Baker: 'It's about a feeling. Feeling that something looks right to you....When you work in abstract, it allows you to be far more creative and free...you don't need many tools....I define collage as an artwork made from a number of different parts that are stuck together....If I find something really special I will keep it, but otherwise I only collect for the project I'm working on at the time.'

Danny Katz: 'Tragedy and comedy are so tied together.'

Andrew Hansen, Jessica Roberts, Danny Katz, Mitch Vane (Photo: Sarah Steed)
Oliver Phommavanh, Matt Cosgrove and Peter Carnavas really took the conference theme to heart (Photo: Sarah Steed)

Robert Newton: 'Life's complicated and messy at times, and I think humour can have a really big impact on a story that's confronting big issues. A respite if you like....Well placed humour can make those darker moments more powerful.'

Vikki Wakefield: 'Literature can be an escape, but it can also be a mirror....My greatest responsibility is to tell the truth, even if that's uncomfortable for some people.'

Mark McLeod: 'Don't underestimate the willingness and ability of children to engage with the quiet book.'

Emily Rodda: 'Naturally the things that you value are in your stories.'

Allen & Unwin publisher stall at the trade exhibition (Photo: Sarah Steed)
Affirm Press publisher stall at the trade exhibition (Photo: Sarah Steed)
Walker Books publisher stall at the trade exhibition (Photo: Sarah Steed)