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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Celebrate Reading YA Conference Recap

Last month, I attended the Celebrate Reading YA Conference held at The Literature Centre in Fremantle, Western Australia.

The Literature Centre supports local and interstate authors and provides writing workshops for students across Western Australia. For more information about what they do, visit their website.

Authors in attendance and speaking on panels were: John Marsden, Melina Marchetta, Vikki Wakefield, AJ Betts, Lucy Christopher, Michael Gerard Bauer, JC Burke, Anthony Eaton, Kirsty Murray and Matt Ottley. As expected, many of us fan-girled over meeting John.

Class Photo! Authors and Lit Centre staff. 
A better photo can be found on their website.

If anyone is interested, click here for a look at the panel sessions.

Anna, from the Centre For Youth Literature in Melbourne, was prolific at tweeting. Me, not so much. Here are some of my favourite quotes and comments from the conference.

Trying not to fan-girl too much in front of John

One of the conference highlights was a screening of Home and Away by John Marsden and Matt Ottley. Matt has composed music to go along with a reading of the picture book with his illustrations complimented effectively by a symphony orchestra and seventeen-year-old opera singer, Nina Baumer, as well as narration by sixteen-year-old Kyle Green. 

Created as part of The Literature Centre's The Sound of Picture Books, the video is a remarkable and emotive experience that shares the story of an Australian family placed in the position of refugees. While the book was already an important piece of work, the music and narration adds another dimension and left the audience speechless. Hopefully Matt will eventually make it available on YouTube because it is something everyone should watch, but for the time being it is only available at The Literature Centre's bookshop or via Matt's website under Store > DVDs. I highly recommend it.

I got the chance to speak with Melina about the progress of the On the Jellicoe Road film. She's written the script, which was a struggle, but she is now very happy with it. Melina recently wrote a blog post about it here. Currently searching for funding, Melina will share any news as soon as she can. Follow her blog to be the first to know. Melina also let slip that she would love to film it in the southwest of WA. I can only hope this happens so my friends and I can road trip down south (from Perth) and check out the filming!

And Melina is also writing her first adult novel, which sounds intriguing...

"a thriller set in London revolving around two bombings, thirteen years apart, and the impact it has on the family of the accused." - from Melina's blog

Catching some Fremantle sun with Vikki

We also got a little snippet from Vikki's new book. Get excited!!!

I think I have about four or five pics with Amanda from different events :)

I got to meet Lucy! Have you read Stolen? You should.

Thank you to all the authors who shared their stories, knowledge and inspiration over the weekend and a massive thank you to all the staff at The Literature Centre and the volunteers who helped make the Celebrate Reading Conference a wonderful two days.

PS. Stay tuned for post-Christmas signed giveaways from the conference :)

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