Wednesday, April 16, 2008

NSW Premier's Literary Awards Shortlist

At Gleebooks today, the shortlists for the 2008 NSW Premier's Literary Awards were read out. And joy of joys, Town was on the Ethel Turner (young adult) shortlist! The winners will be announced on Monday, 19th of May.

In a feeble attempt to make up in some tiny way for the years of the kids'/YA lists being neglected in the press at the expense of the 'real' books, here is the Ethel Turner shortlist and the Patricia Wrightson (children's) list. The rest of the categories can be found here.

Ethel Turner Prize for young people’s literature
Lollie Barr - The Mag Hags - Random House Australia Pty Ltd
David Metzenthen - Black Water - Penguin Group (Australia)
Robert Newton - The Black Dog Gang - Penguin Group (Australia)
James Roy - Town - University of Queensland Press
David Spillman & Lisa Wilyuka - Us Mob Walawurru - Magabala Books Aboriginal Corporation
Lizzie Wilcock - GriEVE - Scholastic Australia Pty Ltd

Patricia Wrightson Prize
Aaron Blabey - Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley - Penguin Group (Australia)
Martin Chatterton - The Brain Finds a Leg - Little Hare Books
Li Cunxin & Anne Spudvilas (illus) - The Peasant Prince - Penguin Group (Australia)
Liz Lofthouse & Robert Ingpen (illus) - Ziba Came on a Boat - Penguin Group (Australia)
Emily Rodda - The Key to Rondo - Omnibus Books
Carole Wilkinson - Dragon Moon - Black Dog Books

Friday, April 11, 2008

Woolshed Press off and running

On Wednesday evening (April 9) a sizable crowd hit the offices of Random House Australia in North Sydney to celebrate the launch of Australia's newest publishing imprint, Woolshed Press. The publisher is my dear friend Leonie Tyle, formerly of UQP.

First off the press will be books by Bill Condon and Catherine Bateson, followed by Anthony Eaton and a new writer by the name of Victoria Bowen, with Brian Caswell and yours truly publishing our titles later in the year. Other names on the author list are Anne Spudvilas and Celeste Walters.

It was a great night, attended by a huge number of kid-lit personalities, such as Maurice Saxby, Judith Ridge, Margaret Hamilton, Mark Macleod, Rae Turton, Bronwen Bennett, Marj Kirkland, Chris Cheng, Paul MacDonald, Alyssa Brugman, Deb Abela, Laurine Croasdale, Tony Davis, Ernie Tucker, Kate Colley, Kris and Catherine from Lateral Learning, and of course the afore-mentioned Bill Condon, Catherine Bateson and Brian Caswell. And the list goes on - sorry if I've missed someone important...

Woolshed was launched by the Random House Australia children's publisher, Linsay Knight.
Keep your eyes peeled for some great titles coming soon!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

CBCA Shortlists announced

Well, last Tuesday the Children's Book Council of Australia shortlists were announced. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't disappointed that my book Town wasn't on the older readers' list, especially after it was chosen on at least two Claytons lists. I was quite hopeful, and while I'm really happy to be on the 20-strong list of Notable Books, it would have been nice to see it go one step further. Still, I'm in good company - some of the other books that I thought might be on there but aren't are Cold Skin by Steven Herrick, Solo by Alyssa Brugman, and Daredevils by Bill Condon.

I was also hopeful that Problem Child might at least find its way onto the Younger Readers' notable list, but again, no cigar.

In case you've missed the news, here are the Older Reader and Younger Reader categories. Full lists can be found on the CBCA website.

FRENCH, Jackie PHARAOH: THE BOY WHO CONQUERED THE NILE Angus&Robertson (HarperCollins Australia)
HARTNETT, Sonya THE GHOST’S CHILD Viking (Penguin Group Australia)
HEFFERNAN, John MARTY’S SHADOW Omnibus Books (Scholastic Australia)
METZENTHEN, David BLACK WATER Penguin Books (Penguin Group Australia)
NORRINGTON, Leonie LEAVING BARRUMBI Omnibus Books (Scholastic Australia)

CLARK, Sherryl
Illustrated by Elissa CHRISTIAN
SIXTH GRADE STYLE QUEEN (NOT!) Puffin Books (Penguin Group Australia)
FRENCH, Jackie
Illustrated by Bruce WHATLEY
(HarperCollinsPublishers Australia)
Illustrated by Stephen AXELSEN
WINNING THE WORLD CUP Puffin Books (Penguin Group Australia)
RODDA, Emily THE KEY TO RONDO Omnibus Books (Scholastic Australia)

Wee Jasper

I just want to thank the lovely kids from Wee Jasper, Bongongo, Reids Flat, Rye Park and Rugby Public Schools for having me at their adventure camp, held at Cooradigbee. These schools are so small that when they have a school camp, they combine several schools, and everyone comes along - every student, every teacher, even (in one case) the teacher's dog.

We had so much fun. Whenever the kids weren't caving, stalking nocturnal critters, having professional tennis coaching, star-gazing or toasting marshmallows, they were having writing workshops with me.

For the record (and for the benefit of the students who were there), here are my five things:

1. Weirdest thing: the two Yr 6 boys who seemed incapable of saying anything but "Why?"
2. Funniest thing: The reaction when Mason pulled out the snake/legless lizard.
3. Scariest/worst thing: Hearing it rain all night and worrying that I might have to run workshops for 40 Kindy-Yr 6 students for an entire day. Also, having the telescope guys out there on a night of heavy cloud, but not having them there the following night, when the skies were perfectly clear.
4. Best thing: Hearing Ben read. That was pretty brave, Ben. Also, the huge batch of scones the ladies whipped up in the kitchen of the shearers' quarters.
5. The most interesting thing I learnt: Adding a cup of lemonade to your scone mix makes them FANTASTIC!

'Trust Me!'

Ford Street Publishing has just released Trust Me!, a 'sampler' of stories, poems and pictures by 46 of Australia’s best known children’s authors, poets and illustrators. Original stories, poems and art cross all genres: mystery, romance, crime, fantasy, SF, humour and more.

I haven't read every contribution just yet, but the ones that really caught my attention were those by Doug Macleod, Lili Wilkinson and Catherine Bateson. There's also a fantastic Twilight Zoney story in there by Scot Gardner, called Answers.

Paula Kelly of the CYL will be launching 'Trust Me!' at the State Library of Victoria on April 10 at 4pm. Many of the contributers will be there to sign your copy, so get along!

So for anyone thinking that they'd like to give a different genre a bit of a bash, this is a pretty easy way to do it. $22.95 rrp, wherever good books are sold...