Last night I trained into the city for the ASA panel discussion about digital rights, that murky evolving section of our industry (and many others). After a snack and a wee glass of wine, we and the panelists try to define just what digital rights will mean for creators of books and those other things we just call ‘works’.

I can’t say I’m a lot clearer about those rights after the discussion, but it was heartening to share that lack of clarity with many colleagues. And what was heartening was the diversity of views, the notion that there may not be one answer to the question of how to manage those rights. But the discussion will continue.

What’s also heartening, for this and other reasons, is that the Sydney-based-but-national body ASA will be establishing a larger Melbourne presence.

This morning, I trained back into the city for another ASA gig. I nearly ended up in the south eastern suburbs (that’s what reading can do for you) but managed to jump off the almost-leaving train just in time. I missed the AGM…not quite sure how…but was in time for the Colin Simpson lecture given by Arnold Zable. Arnold talked about what story means to him, and how he came to story. Along the way we were treated to many other stories, some sad, some tragic, others heartening. I’m glad I didn’t miss it. Also good to catch up with other familiar faces.


In other news, my picture book ‘There Was an Old Sailor’ has been shortlisted in the SCBWI Crystal Kite awards. Yay! I’ve also received copies of my new book, ‘Freaky Fact or Fiction: Human Body’, a non fiction book for 7-10 yos.

I’m looking forward to being ‘in conversation’ with Alison Lester as part of the Williamstown Literary Festival on 30 April, talking about ‘The Art of the Picture Book’. The Williamstown Literary Festival program features many great sessions. I’ve got my pencil out ready to select sessions. They are really cheap and you can easily spend the whole weekend immersed in words, words, words. My friend, Jackie Kerin is co-chairing the People’s Choice Awards with Mike Reynolds on the preceding Thursday. I’m trying to decide whether I’m game enough to perform or not. Check here for details