Rocking Rolling Riding - Sydney Conference Kicks Off

2019 Sydney Conference Superstar, Susanne Gervay described it as a BUZZ. Sydney Trains might remember it as something more chaotic but one thing is for certain, cram a bunch of excited children’s authors, illustrators, and publishers on a train bound for Beecroft and you’ve got a recipe for LOUD!

120 people: kids lit industry personnel, families and creators were drawn to Beecroft for this event

120 people: kids lit industry personnel, families and creators were drawn to Beecroft for this event

The Event: Celebrating Books with Paul McDonald at The Children’s Bookshop, Beecroft

The Creators:

  • Christina Booth

  • Amelia McInerney

  • Meredith Costain

  • Shelly Unwin

  • Aura Parker

  • Kelly Hibbert

  • Aleesha Darlinson

  • Caz Goodwin

  • Dimity Powell

The Brief:

A speed launch of their latest work of art, aka children’s book. The variety and scope of topics was incredible, illustrating to the crowd of 120 just how diverse and awesome picture books and junior novels really are.

The hilarious, moving and insightful presentations were delivered with humility and humor and from a personal point of view, were a tremendous way of sharing the love of story with so many in such a brief but brilliant time. I found this experience immensely fulfilling, and enjoyed every second of it. What a privilege to be in the same room with so much talent.

Here are some of the highlights from the raucous trip in; the presenters; and the crowd!

We could have stayed in that bookshop all afternoon but of course, there was a Conference to attend.

Come back soon for the next exciting installment of Sydney 2019!

Rove ya later!

Dimity (Head Rover)



Images courtesy of RRer, Maria Parenti-Baldey and various kid lit sharers.

Behind the Scenes: Meet the Faculty Dimity Powell

So far, being head gardener, aka Conference Blogging Coordinator, has been a breezy time of cultivating new expectations and enjoying a bouquet of happy memories. I can’t wait to make more with you all very soon. Meantime if you not sure who I am - for shame! - here’s a wee overview of the infamous?, exceedingly talented??, Dim but nice, Dimity Powell.

Briefly state your conference role and conference responsibilities:

I’m the mad nutter who’ll be shoving a camera and notebook into everyone’s faces under the umbrella of National Blogger Coordinator. This will be the third conference I’ve assumed a Roving Reporter role. Overseeing the RRers is one of the highlights for me. They are a fabulous team, willing and able to go to any extreme to cover every image, syllable and story the conference uncovers. My role is to ensure we report on each of the sessions, including the master classes and all the fun bits and publish them on the Conference Blog. See Write Share.

I’m also one of the authors at The Children’s Bookshop Celebration of Stories event Sunday afternoon before the Conference. Plus, I’m on the panel for one of the PD sessions as part of the awesome Creating Creative Writers auxiliary Conference, Tuesday 26 February.

Celebrate these authors and illustrators’ stories at The Children’s Bookshop, Beecroft

Celebrate these authors and illustrators’ stories at The Children’s Bookshop, Beecroft

Describe your most notable achievement or proudest moment in Kids’ Lit to date:

It came as a genuine surprise to be shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards for, The Chapel of Unlove, the digital narrative commissioned for the incredible Story City app. I had an absolute hoot writing this multi ending, interactive, locative fiction and am so proud and pleased to see it recognised in this way.

I actually think any word of mine that makes it onto any public publishing forum is a huge step forward.

What is the most memorable (SCBWI) Conference experience you’ve had to date, or hope to have?

The overall vibe of these conferences is stupendous but one of my glowing memories was being in the same room for the first time with Holyrood Lane’s illustrator, Nicky Johnston and EK Books publisher, Anouska Jones. It was the first time I laid eyes on Nicky’s roughs for Holyrood Lane, too. When she showed Anouska and me, it felt like receiving a book of magic.

Name one thing you can’t live without:

I tend to spiral into a spin if I forget my hairbrush and I know for sure I’d seize up like a rusty gate if I didn’t have yoga in my life but for me, ice cream is my Band-Aid; it makes EVERYTHING better and therefore is a life essential.

Provide at least one Fun Fact from a SCBWI Conference you’ve attended or organised (anywhere in the world)

A few months before the 2016 Sydney Conference, I met this girl in a bookshop in Brisbane. When I say met, I mean she accosted me in a non-threatening but completely unexpected ‘BOO!’ kind of way. She seemed to know me but stupidly, I didn’t know her. When my heartbeat returned to normal, I acknowledged I was happy to make her acquaintance.

Turns out, that girl was the incredibly gifted, supremely funny, Queensland illustrator, Sophie Beer who was later awarded for being incredibly gifted at the official 2016 Conference Dinner Dance. When I heard her name read out, I leaped from my chair and screamed like a banshee in delight. It felt like being at the Logies, even though I’ve never been to the Logies! I may have cried a bit too, sook that I am.

Well folks, it’s not long now till we all find our respective ways to Sydney. Join me later this week for a pre-conference, last-minute, wrap-up of Who’s Who and Doing What. Till then,

Rove ya’ later!

Dimity (aka Head Gardener)