Author talks in Canberra

I’ve just returned from Canberra after a week in our capital. It’s a long time since I’ve been there and the first time I wasn’t just a tourist. I had Author talks in several schools. Most were primary school, but I also did one session with Year 12’s…a new experience for me.

I had a great time. Rachael, from the ACT CBCA had everything organised, from the jug of water, the transport from school to school, and even food. The children were great, full of questions, curious and bright. The CBCA also included me (and other visiting authors and illustrators) in a Lu Rees Archives event, a panel session with Margaret Wild and Ann James, and a Children’s Seminar which was a bit like a literary version of speed-dating.

It was great to spend time with other creators too. The only down-side is that we don’t get to hear each other present. I’d love to have sat in on some of the other speaker’s sessions. Not sure how that could happen, but I reckon it would be great. Great to hear what they’re doing and how they do it, but also as a way of improving my own skills in presentation.

Canberra is reputed to be a cold place, but for the most part the weather during the day was great, with the nights and early mornings quite cool. But staying in hotels, being transported by car and working in heated schools, we were mostly immune to the weather. Except for that one morning I decided to have a pre-breakfast stroll wearing my long-sleeved tshirt…on the coldest winter morning for some years (-6C). Then I really knew I was alive. And man did I walk fast!