Here I am with Miriam Halahmy, YA fiction writer. Nice plug on the book there, Miriam! #pro
Bali Rai, Sarah McIntyre (holding Allan Ahlberg’s bear – don’t tell him), me, Nicola Smee (all CWIG committee members as well as jolly nice people
Panel for ‘Glittering Prizes and Literary Festivals’ L-R: Robert McCrum (The Observer) Tamsin Ace (Imagine Festival) Jane Churchill (Cheltenham Festival) and John McLay (Bath Festival) Sarah McIntyre’s hat chairing. They were all charming and, more importantly, honest, about why festivals tend to book the big names, even if the big names aren’t necessarily writers. The big names bring in the crowds – simples. However, as John McLay pointed out, if you are invited to appear at a festival a little lower down the bill, it’s still an accolade. Your name is still in the programme – there will be after-sales you are out there. ‘Books festivals are word-of-mouth factories,’ as Robert McCrum succinctly put it.
Writers drinking wine? Surely not! Tanya Landman and Sue Purkiss; awesome children’s writers both. Tanya’s YA book Apache is one of my all-time favourites and Sue Pukiss’s Willow Man is my nephew Michael’s favourite and he wins prizes for English so that tells you something.
John Dougherty signing one of his books for Ysgol Esgob Morgan, my Patron of Reading school. He kindly bought his daughter, Cara, some of my Girls FC books, even though she’s borrowed most of them from the library and read them already. If you read book 12, Here We Go, you’ll find I used Cara’s first name as one of the characters.
The star of the conference! Not me, Mark Taylor, the Uni technician. He saved my life when I discovered the digistick I’d saved my PowerPoint presentation on was blank. The mics might have been on the blink but he managed to magic my PPP through cyberworld in time for my talk. I owe him my sanity!
The legend who is Marilyn Brocklehurst, packing away her conference bookshop. Marilyn runs the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre. If you live nearby (and even if you don’t) you should visit. She’s running a conference ‘Reading for Pleasure’ on Nov 28th. Get to it – Michael Rosen & Tom Palmer’s appearing!
Illustrator, cartoonist, feminist and damn fine woman Ros Asquith
Tomorrow: Burglar Bill himself, Allan Ahlberg