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5 October 2010 ·

I’m just back from Brisbane and the International Association of School Librarianship Conference, hosted by the School Librarians Association of Queensland.  What a fabulous conference!
I started off with the Author Breakfast on Wednesday morning. Have to admit a teeny bit of grumbling about the 6:45 am start, but meeting so many book people, including a wonderful bunch of Brisbane authors, was much more energizing than another hour’s sleep! So many books to look out for; so many conversations started… I love that when authors get together we seem to skip the chitchat and head straight into deep conversations.

Friday was my panel session: Page to Screen with John Marsden, still glowing from seeing Tomorrow when the War Began, and David McRobbie, whom I’ve admired for years without realizing that he also wrote for television, and had adapted his own work for TV. Chris Bongers, author of Dust, chaired the session brilliantly, turning it more into a conversation – and a fun one at that. (How could it not be fun, to interact with people of this caliber?) At least that’s how it felt from my side of the table, so I hope the audience felt the same way.Here we are, courtesy of Chris Bongers, who kindly sent me her photos: 

 John Marsden, Chris Bongers,me, David McRobbie

 Chris Bongers, author Michael Bauer, me

Michael Bauer, me, and Chris Kahl, President of the School Library Assoc of Qld.
And since we were the plenary session, we got to hear the summing up of the conference, the thank you from the librarian whose school of mostly refugee children received the parcel of books from the other attendees, and the lovely invitation from the Jamaican contingent for the next conference. So many dedicated people, determined to bring children and books together… I ended up a bit teary. 

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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio