Sunday, June 8, 2014

Picture Book Review Master Class with Leonard Marcus and Marjorie Coughlan and Dinner with Andrea and Helen

So the festival was officially over but I had registered to attend the picture book review masterclass by Leonard Marcus and Marjorie Coughlan. I was so sleepy, extremely sleepy but I managed to drag myself out of bed in order to join Kenneth, Andrea and Naomi for breakfast as their hotel before the day-long workshop began.

I chose the picture book review masterclass because:

1.) It was being conducted by Leonard and Marjorie
2.) I'm a picture book author
3.) It would give me tips of what reviewers are looking for in a good picture book.

The class started at 10am promptly and I was late because there was a long line at the registration desk and I wanted to pay for the course before I actually attended it.

By the time I got to the room, everyone was introducing themselves. It's one part of any course that I feel least comfortable with and I just said, "Hi I'm David. I write books. I blog. That's it." 

I feel uncomfortable and awkward in a roomful of adults, especially when the attention is on me. I'm a writer. A loner. I feel most comfortable in front audiences who still require afternoon naps or diaper changes. In other words, the very young or the very old.

Anyway, shortly after my short, concise introduction, I got a text message and I wondered who could possibly be texting me so early in the morning. Could it be an editor or publisher who I had deluded into thinking I was the next big author with multi-million dollar sales potential? Could it be a transmedia exec offering me worldwide distribution for my stories? Perhaps it was MENSA calling to apologise for not recognizing my literary genius, or my plain genius, and asking if I would like to sign up as a member?  No to all of the above. So who was it from? Well, it was from Kenneth, giving me his critique of my introduction! And let's just say  I've had better reviews.

With that done, the class got underway a reading of Sendak's 'Where the Wild Things Are'. I was surprised that some people had never even read it. Though some did watch the highly questionable movie adaptation of it.

We discussed wordless picture books and translated picture books and all sorts of picture books. At the end of the day, Emma and I paired up to write a review of Susie Lee's wordless book 'Wave'.

Then it was time to pack up. Marjorie had one last drink and a curry puff with us before Kenneth and I had to head on over to Helen Mangham's house for a get-together with Andrea and Helen. They always host a wonderful party with fantastic food and drink during the AFCC and it's a wonderful way to bring the week to a close.

Emma, Simon, Emily, Pauline Loh were already there when we got there. Kenneth and I hit the buffet table and piled our plates high before settling down on her really comfy sofas and chatting with the other guests there.

Helen, Emma and I discussed a big huge upcoming meeting that we'll be having. Hopefully, I don't mess things up. Emily, Ken and Pauline discussed the high points of AFCC and then when it was time to go we thanked Helen and Andrea for a wonderful evening. Andrea was heading back to Manila the next morning and I'm supposed to get her my manuscript soon. Note to self: Start writing!

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