A Castle, Kids Books, Europolitan -what more can you want!

A Castle, Kids Books, Europolitan -what more can you want!

A small castle on the outskirts of Brussels set in a parkland, with authors & illustrators who speak up to 7 languages, and publishers & art directors in 3 days of amazing creativity at the Europolitan SCBWI Conference

As I shared this unique community, I felt so privileged.

So many highlights – internationally award winning author Angela Cerrito  beautiful keynote on her new book  had the audience standing and cheering. ‘The Safest Lie’ :-

Nine-year-old Anna Bauman is one of the Jewish children whom Jolanta (code name for the real-life World War II resistance spy Irena Sendler) smuggles out of the Warsaw ghetto. Anna, given a new name and false papers, must keep her true identity secret, first at a Catholic orphanage and then with a foster family.

Angela was awarded The Crystal Kite Award at the Europolitan Conference

I felt honoured to give a keynote together with Angela Cerrito,  best selling animator –  UK illustrator, author  Chris Mould – his clever illustrators are amazing – and Robin Stevens  and her inetrnationally best selling ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ – insanely popular murder myster series.

My keynote shared the stories that drive my writing – so grounded in my parents journey from Budapest to refugees finding home in Australia and about how important social justice and democracy is. It is part of everything I write and driving my new book-in-progress ‘The Glass House’.

The publishing industry were so accessible,informative and generous – Kendra Levin, Executive Director Viking Children’s Books, Stephanie Amster Creative Director Bloomsbury, Penny Holroyde Holroyd Cartey Agency, Laurent Linn Art Director Simon  Schuster USA, Natalie Doherty, Commissioninh Editor Penguin Random House UK, Gemma Cooper from Bent Agency UK.

Thankyou to Dina von Lowenkraft, RA SCBWI Belgium for organizing the Europolitan with the RAs for Europe.

I'm a writer committed to kids in particular. Adults are good too. Want to bring hope through story to my readers. Awarded an Order of Australia, Lady Cutler Award and a Lifetime International Award for Literacy for my body of work, spreading literacy is really important. I'm head of SCBWI Australia East & New Zealand, patron of Monkey Baa Theatre, Ambassador for the Premier's Reading Challenge, Writer Ambassador for Room to Read ... among other roles. I also love heritage and adapting to enhance the lives of people today, which is why I restored The Hughenden Hotel 1870s and The Residences Centennial Park - the only homes in the parklands which are open now for accommodation, events and lots of nature.

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