I was ten flavours of lucky to be invited to Bookfeast yesterday, a book-lovin' extravaganza with a horde of amazing young book enthusiasts, budding writers and nascent illustrators from schools all over Sydney. It's a fabulous idea which originated at Fairfield High School and is in it's (I think) 14th year now. Schools book their students seats at the banquet tables, and students, authors and illustrators all sit down together to enjoy lunch, and talk about books and what goes into making them. I sat at a table with William Kostakis who is criminally young, talented and funny. He's 19 and has just had his first novel published... "Loathing Lola". I bought it from him (he gave me a table-buddy discount) and it kept me highly entertained on the looong train ride home - it's a great read, with one of the most delightfully irritating characters since Mrs Bennett.
We were sitting with Bankstown Girls High, who had sent along their very charming debating team, and Fairfield Primary School. The students were great, very articulate and funy, and all really enthusiastic about books, writing and reading.
After lunch the kids brought their programs round to be signed, and I made the mistake of drawing a puppy on the first one, so the next thing I knew I had a huge queue of kids all wanting pictures on their programs. I must have drawn enough puppies to fill a few petshops, as well as a fine assortment of birds, fish, monsters, and T-Rexs-devouring-unfortunate-individuals. Now I can do a puppy in under 5 seconds! It did mean that I only got to eat 2 cold chips from the fine lunch we were served, but I figure I can eat lunch any day.
There were lots of great writers there , and a smattering of great illustrators. Here are a few of those I recognised - Susanne Gervay, Chris Cheng, Sue Whiting, Sandy Fussell, Kate Forsyth, Jeni Mawter, Sue Murray, Gus Gordon, and Trisha Bernard. I've missed heaps of people, though...
Most of the photos I took of people were so awful that I think they'd send the boyz around to kneecap me if I posted them. I'm definitely no photographer. So, if there's no photo of you here, you should probably thank me! But here are the few I took that weren't too munted to air in public..