August is always a very special month and what better way to officially open CBCA Book Week 2019 in WA than with recognition of Honour Book status for Mark Greenwood and Mike Speechley in the CBCA Book of the Year awards. It was so exciting to be able to celebrate with them both in person at the WA Branch Dinner with Mark as our guest speaker and Mike accompanied by lots of fellow SCBWI members. The Ambrose Room was full of their admirers from every corner of the children’s literature community and we all take great pride in their success. In his address Mark alluded to the official theme by maintaining that reading is our collective power and demonstrated his exceptional storytelling skills by giving us a glimpse into how his writing career has developed, sharing some of his favourite books and outlining some of the inspirational people he has met along the way. Gail Spiers gave a moving and informative presentation on the history of The Penny Hutchens Memorial Fund, our biennial award which was presented to The Spiers Foundation in 2019.
Festivities continued with the Make Your Own Story Book awards presentation ceremony on Sunday 18 August where Aśka captivated the young audience and their families with a sensitive explanation of the problems associated with dyslexia before enlisting their help to create a story in a mere five minutes. Her energy and enthusiasm were contagious and the atmosphere was so positive and celebratory I only wish we could bottle the smiles and sense of family pride!
Neither of these events would run so successfully without the dynamic Denise Robins so, although they were team efforts with invaluable assistance from various committee members, she really deserves high praise for organising and coordinating them with such calm efficiency and aplomb. Well done, Denise!
For many of our authors and illustrators CBCA Book Week is extending well into next month with visits to country areas and remote communities made possible thanks to the dedicated work of Nola Allen and Mary Gimondo, our Grants Officers, and the generous funding from our sponsors - Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Lotterywest and Healthway Go for 2&5.
Check our WA Branch Facebook page for reports from CBCA Book Week activities around the state and thank you to those who have already shared photos of your displays inspired by the Reading is my SECRET POWER theme and art work by Bob Graham.
It has been a busy and exciting time and this is an action-packed issue so may I suggest you make yourself a cuppa, get comfortable and settle down for an interesting, informative read and a browse through the many photo galleries.
CBCA WA Branch President
CBCA Book of the Year Awards
Congratulations to the winners and honour books of this year's CBCA Book of the Year Awards. Please see the full winners list here.
The 2019 CBCA Book of the Year Judges Report has been loaded under the Membership tab on the CBCA national website.
Members may access this by using the username and password below:
Once logged in, hover over the Membership tab (to the left of mycbca) to get a drop down menu ‘member content'. Click there for the Judges Report 2019 plus an archive of previous resources.
Notables or Longlist? A reminder to have your sayon this important decision.
Members have already been sent information about this with two documents; one presenting the case FOR the name change and one presenting the case AGAINST.
Please read both documents and respond with your opinion by email to email@example.com by Friday 27 September. Please reply with NOTABLES in the subject line of your email if you wish to retain the current name or LONGLIST if you support the change of name.
Congratulations James Moloney
As announced in Melbourne on August 16, the Nan Chauncy Award for 2019 was presented to James Moloney.
The announcement of the 2019 Book of the Year winners and the opening of CBCA Book Week was enjoyed by a cast of costumed guests keen to display (or hide) their secret powers. Cloaked and masked individuals, BOTY judges, Clark Kent look alikes and Moonwalkers enjoyed the sit down meal as they viewed a presentation featuring CBCA WA events from the 2018 Dinner to the present.
We were extraordinarily thrilled to have Mark Greenwood, much-feted author and 2019 Honour Book Award winner as our guest speaker. His presentation was a delight as he described his life and writing experiences and revealed that his unofficial office is the beach. There were wide smiles as Mark drew and presented many door, table and raffle prizes donated by local businesses, CBCA WA Committee members and other supporters. Mark finally left the podium with his own prize, a shiny gold superboy statue!
Other highlights included presentation of the Penny Hutchens Award to The Spiers Centre and the unveiling of the successful bidder for our silent auction, Angela Briant, who was thrilled to receive the Banjo artwork from its creator, Karen Blair. Scattered in the audience were many WA renowned authors and illustrators, including our other 2019 Honour Book Award winner Michael Speechley.
It was a fabulous evening, as evidenced by these quotes:
Just wanted to drop you a quick line before I head off to Sydney - to say thank you for the compliment of inviting me to speak at the CBCA WA dinner.
Little technical hitch with the computer but - hey - the evening is always a fun night full of energy and excitement. It was an honour to be invited and it worked out pretty well having an Honour Book! I look forward to next year’s dinner and sitting back and listening to the mystery 2020 speaker. Mark Greenwood
It was my first time and a great opportunity to network over a lovely meal. We are intending to come back next year! Jenny Johnson
What a privilege and an honour it was to sit amongst literature lovers at the CBCA dinner. As this was my very first event, I was unsure what to expect, but was quickly made to feel welcome and valued. Mark Greenwood spoke eloquently to a captivated audience, showing interesting and thought-provoking photos of his literary journey. It was my first but not my last visit to one of these events. What a fantastic way to kick off CBCA Book Week this year. Jenny Leach
Such a well-organised event with great food, great company and so many great costumes. Louise Moore
The venue and food were wonderful as was the speech. Thank you, Denise and the rest of the committee, for all of your hard work getting it together and making such a wonderful night. Jessica Donald
This was the first CBCA WA dinner I had attended. The enthusiasm for children’s writing, the costumes and friendships made for an excellent evening. Kris Williams
My first time attending… great fun seeing all of the costumes and meeting fellow library lovers! The speakers were very engaging and interesting. Michaela Shepherdson
Had a great evening at the CBCA WA Dinner. Everyone looked great in their ‘Secret Power’ costumes. Awesome to hear what inspires Mark Greenwood who was our guest speaker for the evening. Met some great authors and some of the lovely ladies from WAYRBA who were at our LIFT group table. Raffles to be won and a table prize alongside a great display of new books to view. Excellent night and looking forward to next year’s dinner. Robyn Mackintosh
This event has topped our ‘must attend’ list. City of Armadale library staff made up a table and enjoyed the night immensely. We got in touch with our secret hero personas and dressed up for the occasion. A highlight of the night was being the first to learn about the winners of the CBCA Book of the Year awards for 2019. I’ve always admired the talents of author Mark Greenwood and it was great to learn more about his life and love of writing. The CBCA WA committee does a fabulous job bringing the event together and making it the success it is each year. We had a fabulous night and already look forward to putting another table together for 2020. Jenny Ramshaw
Thanks CBCA WA committee. Once again an enjoyable night showcasing and celebrating our West Australian authors. Great venue, food and company surrounded by themed costumes to support Reading is my SECRET POWER. Fitting recognition of the depth of talent in our state. Jenny Robertson
What a great night!. Thank you so much for looking after us. The company at our table was just what I was hoping for and as for the vegetarian risotto… absolutely delicious!!! Heather Cooper
The last word goes to Glenn Swift, author and word sorcerer: As ever, I enjoyed the CBCA WA Book Week Dinner. I found the entrée of Mark Greenwood crisp and tasty, the main course of friendly librarians, teachers and other creatives perfectly satisfying, and the dessert of illustrators with an Aśka sauce just right for my other stomach. Altogether, it set me up nicely for an elegant sufficiency of performances in CBCA Book Week, ranging from 15 PP in Fremantle to 200 Y7 at Forrestfield. By then I was quite sated. Same time next year?
CBCA Book Week is over for another year, and as usual we loved seeing the amazing and inspired ideas on the official theme. Please view this Photo Gallery to see some of the fantastic displays across WA.
CBCA Book of the Year Judges
A small presentation was made to Felicia Harris and Anne-Marie Strother at the CBCA Book Week Dinner as a token of appreciation from the WA Branch for the work they have done as Book of the Year Judges. We invited them to share their reflections on the experience.
What did you enjoy most about being a BOTY judge?
Felicia Harris: The part I enjoyed the most was reading the wide variety of books submitted from different publishers including some which were self-published or from smaller publishing houses. I also loved talking to my students about the books and recommending those I thought they would enjoy.
Anne-Marie Strother: That is a hard question to answer. The excitement of the reading, the promise of what there is to discover, finding that gem (or lots of them really). The intellectual stimulation that it gives me, both individually and professionally with the other judges. The robust discussion and the possibility of seeing a book differently as a result. I literally enjoy everything about it, even the tortuous job of deciding the winner.
What was the hardest thing about being a BOTY Judge?
FH: The judging! It was an enjoyable opportunity to read the best of Australian children’s literature, but then the hard part came when we had to select only 20 books for the Notables List. It was also difficult selecting the Short List books. There were lengthy emails, discussions via teleconference and in person at the Judges Conference in Brisbane about the six books which made the final cut.
AS: Fitting in the reading, especially when parcels arrive late and the final bundles have over a third of your reading in them. The hardest part is the process of deciding a winner. It means riveting discussion but sometimes letting go of personal biases. It is a contradiction in terms, it is hard but so rewarding.
What was your personal favourite of all the books you read over your judging term?
FH: I can’t say what my favourite was. There were quite a few books that I really liked.
AS: I have been judging over 5 years, so I have many favourites. To use a cliché it is like asking me to choose my favourite child. Barry Jonsberg's My Life As An Alphabet is delightful and his A Song Only I Can Hear is poignant beautiful and brilliantly constructed, Matt Ottley's Parachute is inspirational and this year's winner Between Us by Claire Atkins is one of the most harrowing, but compulsive books I have read. It is also a winner with my year nine class. You know a book has hit home when the cool boy in the front row gasps while he is reading it. Justine Larbelestier's daring novel Razorhurst, Katrina Nannestad's The Girl Who Brought Mischief, Lisa Shanahan's The Grand, Genuis Summer of Henry Hoobler and Peter Carnavas' The Elephant all make me cry, for different reasons. I haven't even mentioned Claire Zorn, Fiona Wood and Freya Blackwood. I could go on. So hard to stop at one.
Where do you like to read – do you have a favourite reading spot?
FH: My favourite place to read is in my gorgeous garden, weather permitting, and if it isn’t, I’ll be reading in bed.
AS: Possibly the corner of my couch, near the fireplace. That is generally my spot for anything. I am sure the cushion is moulded to my body shape. But when reading as a judge, anywhere and everywhere. Boxes of books were the first things packed when going on holiday.
What advice would you give to anyone considering applying to be a Judge?
FH: Do it! It is a great experience, and as an added bonus you get to keep the books.I would especially like to see some men involved. It would be good for a few different voices to be heard.
AS: To borrow a famous slogan; just do it! Enjoy and savour the experience but be warned, judging gets in your blood.
Felicia and Anne-Marie have now passed the judging baton on to Sandi Parsons and Jan Pocock who were presented with their official badges at the Dinner and are already immersed in their reading.
2020 CBCA Book Week
The CBCA Book Week theme for 2020 is:
Curious Creatures, Wild Minds
The artwork will be illustrated by Gwyn Perkins, Winner, 2018 CBCA Picture Book of the Year forA Walk in the Bush. We are already excited about the images Gwyn will create for us to celebrate CBCA Book Week 2020.
The CBCA National Board is requesting feedback about the CBCA Book Week Merchandise used this year. The CBCA would appreciate your thoughts and comments about what worked and what needed improvement
Please find a link below to a short survey regarding the CBCA Book Week merchandise for 2019. The survey will be open until Friday September 20.
The Spiers Centre in Heathridge was the recipient of the Penny Hutchens Memorial Fund for 2019.
The Spiers Centre works to develop strong, caring and resilient communities through the provision of Financial and Personal Counselling, Community Support and Play Groups, a Creche Service and Emergency Relief. One of the Emergency Relief services is the provision of Bedtime Bundles for children from families in crisis. A Bedtime Bundle contains a pair of pyjamas, toothpaste, a toothbrush, a hairbrush and a book.
The Spiers Centre chief executive Gaelle Gouillou and community support officer Leanne Durie with Children’s Book Council of Australia WA member Gail Spiers. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au
The Spiers Centre’s staff was delighted to receive 173 books by Australian authors and illustrators through the Penny Hutchens Memorial Fund and through donations from WA Branch members. It was anticipated that between 100 and 200 families will receive Bedtime Bundles this year.
Books bought through the Penny Hutchens Memorial Fund.
This gift of books honours two women who were valued in their communities: Penny Hutchens who worked passionately to bring books and children together in the 1970s and Frances Sophia Boughton Spiers, after whom the Spiers Centre is named, for her kind-hearted generosity in the early 1900s in the Wanneroo area.
Frances Sophia Boughton Spiers and Penny Hutchens.
About the Penny Hutchens Memorial Fund
In 1980 the WA Branch of the CBCA initiated a trust fund to perpetuate the memory of Penny Walton (nee Hutchens) who died of cancer, aged 30, at the end of 1979.
Those who knew and loved Penny remember her as a person who gave much of her time and energy to children and books. She had an encyclopaedic knowledge of books and was always ready to help anyone who needed assistance. Her passion for children's literature was contagious and it was a pleasure to hear her speak with such authority and joy.
Penny was evangelical in her efforts to improve the quality of children's literature in Australia. She constantly strove to promote children's books amongst children of all ages. Penny had a knack of pitching the right book at the right child or situation. She used picture books with high school students many years before it became accepted practice. Penny was a member of the Children's Book Council for many years serving on the West Australian Committee. She was also the W.A. Judge for the CBC's Children's Book of the Year Awards during 1978/1979.
Towards the end of her life, Penny worked at the Education Department’s Curriculum Materials Information Service (CMIS) reading, reviewing and recommending books for school libraries.
In her memory, the Penny Hutchens Memorial Fund was established for the purpose of donating books to an organisation that cares for children.
Make Your Own Story Book
The Make Your Own Story Book Competition winners were celebrated in style at The Literature Centre in Fremantle on Sunday 18th August. Illustrator Aśka was an entertaining and energetic presenter and soon had the audience eating out of her hands (or her pickle jar!).Please enjoy these snippets from judges, winners and their guests, which will give you an idea of the fabulous atmosphere generated by the competition.
This year I was involved in the initial sort of MYOSB entries for the first time. What an amazingly efficient and organised event! The task of sorting entries into their appropriate sections, separating and saving their return postage envelopes, and bagging up the entries for judging was carried out without a hitch in an amazing assembly line of volunteers efficiently controlled by Denise Robins. I’ll definitely be back next year. Elaine Forrestal (MYOSB judge and author)
I really enjoy judging the MYOSB Competition. There is the joy of discovering some writing and/or illustrating that makes one sit up and take notice. It could be, among other things, the assured writing style, the individuality of the idea, the quirkiness or the honesty. We have some very clever young people who, I hope, will keep writing into the future.
Kate Marshall (MYOSB judge)
Benjamin was thrilled to win the competition. He was in hospital at the time and it really lifted his spirits. Our family was so happy to see his hard work and passion rewarded. Ben chose to use his speech as a platform to advocate for the endangered black cockatoo whose habitat is under threat. He also encouraged young people to leave their devices at home and to use pen and paper to make observations and be inspired from the natural world around them and advocated for persistence.
The award ceremony and presentation and morning tea was so lovely. Aśka was so much fun and so inspiring that Ben came straight home and wrote a comic book! Thank you to all the organisers. This would have taken many, many hours of behind the scenes work. And a special thank you to Crow Books, what an amazing bookstore! Emma and Ben Hicks (parent and winner)
When my book was finished, I felt relieved to finally finish the work and yet so pleased with myself because to me it was perfect. But when I won that was a different story, my mum was running down the hallway and screaming my name “Ellis you have won second prize!’’
When I arrived at the ceremony I felt like I had accomplished something really special. Ellis Freeman (winner)
Within the prison wall, two of my students sat proudly amongst the other young winners. It was wonderful to see the diversity and creativity of each winning entry. The presentation by illustrator, Aśka was very entertaining, educational and clearly demonstrated her love of this profession. It was also clear, from where I was sitting, that the audience members and speakers were beyond delighted to attend this event and recognised the achievements of this year's winners. Jen Leach (Carey Baptist College)
Aśka's presentation was energetic and kept both adults and students engaged. A wonderful experience for all. Julie Adamson (MYOSB judge)
I have had the privilege of attending the ceremony twice now as a very proud teacher and both times have been impressed at how much the event focuses on the young authors and illustrators and their achievements. Tanya Hutchinson (Carey Baptist College)
You all have made it a day that will be cherished for the rest of Marco's life. He already has a theme in mind for next year! Hester Bongers (parent)
Sophia redeemed her book voucher yesterday. I've attached a photo of her when she was about to select the books. The big smile says it all!
Once again, thanks to CBCA for organising this competition for the children. Rose Berdin (parent)
Such a wonderful day- we really appreciate being treated so well. Debbie-Jo Marando (parent)
Thanks for a wonderful day on Sunday. Mia was delighted to be involved in such a great event. Jo Merrifield (parent)
Thank you to Denise and CBCA WA for providing Liesl with the opportunity to create a book and use her creativity and imagination. Thank you for helping our children explore the world of books and having the opportunity to write! Melanie Wong (parent)
Thanks so much for everything and your hard work. Rebecca Palmer (teacher Palmyra Primary School)
High distinctions. I had parents say to me how well organised the event was and how much it meant to their kids. Sheena Matthews (CBCA WA Committee member)
As a Teacher Librarian, it is a shining light moment when students who feel they are no good at anything, discover via MYOSB competition, that they have a gift. They suddenly realize that they might have a future at something; that writing is not just a love, but it could become part of their future - who they were meant to be. MYOSB affirms that some of our students really are talented. They think their teachers and parents are just telling them that because we love them and so when someone who doesn’t know them from a bar of soap says “you are really good at this!”, it means the world to them. Thank you so much for continuing to run this fabulous event. Marie Grech (Scotch College)
This fabulous competition is sponsored by Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Lotterywest and Healthway Go for 2&5 program. Many thanks to our committee members, MYOSB judges, The Literature Centre and our supporting book stores Beaufort Street Books, Child Education Services, Crow Books, The Lane Bookshop, Millpoint Caffe Bookshop, Paper Bird Children’s Books & Arts and Westbooks.
The stars behind the scenes make this competition a success!
Royal Perth Yacht Club was the ideal venue for a Sundowner to meet Australian Children’s Laureate Morris Gleitzman on Thursday 5 September. CBCA WA partnered with AISWA to organise this event where over 60 guests enjoyed drinks and canapes and the opportunity to chat informally with Morris before his official address. Jess Judd and Madeleine Galbraith were the lucky winners of packs of his books which Morris happily signed for them.
Congratulations Anna Fienberg
Congratulations to Anna Fienberg who was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours in recognition of her 'significant service to literature as an author'.
CBCA National Patron
His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley have jointly accepted the CBCA's invitation to be our national patron.
Book Discussion Group
September 25 Shauna's Great Expectations
by Kathleen Loughnan
UWA University Club
7.00pm - 8.00pm
October 23 Rogue
by Special Guest, A.J. Betts
37 Hampden Road
7.00pm - 9.00pm
This is a ticketed event with limited seating, please click on the link below to book.
by A.J. Betts
Published by Pan Macmillan Australia
It was a packed house at the Moore's Gallery in Fremantle on Sunday 14 July. Julia Lawrinson opened the evening amidst an ocean of lifesized Amanda Betts face masks courtesy of the mischievous Meg McKinlay. Behind those beaming paper faces were a crowd of CBCA WA committee members, SCBWI friends, cycling buddies, teaching colleagues and students. Some had travelled from various parts of the state just to attend. Not only did Paper Bird sell out of Hive but the queue for Rogue also appeared never-ending as everyone eagerly snapped up this long-awaited final book in the duology.
The Monster Who Wasn't
by T.C. Shelley
Published by Bloomsbury
On Saturday 3 August, it was standing room only as I climbed the stairs to Paper Bird's upstairs studio space where T.C. Shelley was having her book launch for The Monster who Wasn't. The floor space was filled with excited children eagerly awaiting T.C. to begin the story so they could read along. During the reading, there were laughs, giggles, and enthralled silence; we were left hungry for more. After a few tears of happiness from T.C. during the heartfelt speeches, we were enticed to try the family catering, which was enjoyed by all. The cathedral cookies were a nice touch keeping in theme with the book. Everyone was in good spirits as we made our way to meet T.C. Shelley herself and have our books signed. How lovely she was taking the time to ask questions. T.C. was very personable and friendly; indeed a fantastic book launch.
When the Moon is a Smile
by Teena Raffa-Mulligan
Published by Daisy Lane Publishing
An enthusiastic crowd of children and their adults turned on the smiles for the launch of When the Moon is a Smile, written by Teena Raffa-Mulligan and illustrated by Amy Calautti. Held at the Warnbro Community Library on August 4, the launch included children's activities, a drawing workshop and the smashing of a pinata shaped like a crescent moon. Librarian Kate Stanford said she was proud to launch her long-time friend Teena's book, and praised the skills of up-and-coming illustrator Amy.
Little Book Bites
If you have a picture of a child, pet or any other interesting-bookish moment you'd like to share with our community to feature in our electronic newsletter, we'd love to see it! Please email it to Beck Borona.
Dates for Your Diary
The Sound of Picture Books
Super Sidekicks #2 Ocean's Revenge Book Launch by Gavin Aung Than
Published by Penguin Books Thursday 12 September
3.30pm - 4.30pm
Beaufort Street Books
567 Beaufort Street
and the Great School Fete
by Davina Bell and Karen Blair
Published by Allen & Unwin Saturday 14 September
Kyilla Community Farmers Market
Leslie Rees Fremantle Lecture: Honouring our Past - Shaping our Future 20 November - save the date!
The Literature Centre
Corner Knutsford Street and Hampton Road
More details to be announced soon.
New Releases From WA Authors Illustrators and Publishers
S. B. Tholen Totally Lucid
Debbie Coombes Going to the Footy
Tim Harris and James Foley Toffle Towers: Fully Booked
Jannali Jones My Father's Shadow
Michael Torres and Fern Martins The Butterfly Garden
Gabriel Evans Ollie and Augustus
Michael Speechley The Gift
Cori Brookes and Fiona Burrows Twelve Days of Kindness
Stephanie Owen-Reeder and Briony Stewart Trouble in the Surf
National Library of Australia
H M Waugh The Lost Stone of Sky City
Holden Sheppard Invisible Boys
WA Branch Supporting Book Stores
Buy your books from the experts at these stores
and receive the discount offered to all CBCA members.