Writing, munching, chatting, driving, instagramming - it's all been happening!

Christina Booth, Susanne Gervay & Dawn Meredith
I just returned recently from a conference in Hobart for children's writers and illustrators. The world wide organisation, SCBWI, held a conference in Tasmania for a change so I decided I had to capitalise on it! Seeing as I must fly to 'The Big Island' for most things.

It was fabulous to catch up with friends and acquaintances and also make new friends. I was delighted to  meet a small group of writers who actually live in my local area! Probably wouldn't have found them otherwise, so that was awesome.

My beautiful mentor, Susanne Gervay, SCBWI Australian and NZ president, officiated the event. It was great to see her again,as well as my illustrator/author friend Christina Booth, who lives in Launceston. Tasmanian illustrator Tony Flowers was also among the attendees. It was quite fascinating to hear him interviewed about how he works.

I offered to help the organisers out and so because I drove to Hobart, (4 hours, mind you), I had a car... Came in very handy when guests of honour wanted to get to venues and dinner.

farewell dinner at the fabulous Hadley's Hotel in Hobart

As part of the conference we were able to book a session with a publisher or agent and have them assess a manuscript. I booked in with Maryann Ballantyne, of Black Dog Books. It's funny, but the novel I pitched to her was not what we ended up talking about! Funny how these things go. That's why it's so important to put forward as much of your published work as possible when doing these things. The other publisher was Claire Halifax and the agent Alex Adsett.

What do you do when its all over? Play table tennis of course!

The drive down was LOVELY, if long. I stopped at a popular halfway point, Campbelltown. What a beautiful place!

I find these events inspire me and I can't wait to get working on something, or several things, as soon as I get home! When I feel a bit jaded, or overwhelmed, a pick-me-up always helps. :-)