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I've just got back from the Federation of Children's Book Groups (FCBG) 2010 Conference in Reading and am feeling knackered.

It was the first time I've attended the conference (having been tipped off by Jackie Marchant on the SCBWI Yahoo Group - thank you Jackie) and I had a really good time. The FCBG is an umbrella organisation that brings together different children's book groups around the UK and which is dedicated to and very passionate about children's literature - from picture books up to YA fiction - and encouraging children to read. And when I say "passionate", I mean "passionate" - seriously, it's great to meet people so into other books.

This year's conference had an all-star line up of guest writers and illustrators, including:

- John Burningham;

- Judith Kerr;

- Anthony Horowitz (who opened the conference with the sad news that he's finishing the Alex Rider series next year and will be giving up writing children's fiction once he's finished his 3rd contracted book);

- William Nicholson

- Jenny Valentine;

- Jeanne Willis;

- Marcus Sedgwick;

- Graham Marks;

- Mark Walden;

- Andy Briggs;

- Kate Cann; and

- Sarah Singleton,

among others.

The seminars were interesting and the speakers entertaining and Saturday night was crowned with a gala dinner to celebrate the 70th birthday of Puffin books, topped off by cake and a quiz. Actually - there was a lot of cake dispensed during the conference as there were a number of other anniversaries as well. But I for one am not about to turn down cake. Unless it's fruit cake. I can't stand fruit cake.

Best of all (for a book tart like me, anyway) there were loads of publishers there all displaying the titles due out for this year and (squee of squee) giving away free books!!!


I haven't yet gotten around to cataloguing my swag but I do know that I came home with 22 advance review copies (ARCs) of books and if it wasn't for the fact that my parents gave me a lift to and from the conference, I don't know how I'd have got them all back. The titles include:

- Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (aka watchmebe), which I've already started reading and is fab;

- The Returners by Gemma Malley; and

- Alien Storm by A. G. Taylor (which isn't out until November so it's double squee-worthy).

I've also put my name down for an ARC of 'A Most Improper Magick' by Stephanie Burgis (aka stephanieburgis), so should hopefully be getting my mitts on that too.

The plan is obviously for me to read all of the ARCs (because they're mine, mine, mine), but I was also thinking about doing a bit of an ARC give-away over the next few months to help promote some excellent titles.

The first one I'll be giving away is 'Web of Air' by Philip Reeve, because I actually bought the book when it came out earlier this month. I'm still working out the logistics for the competition (e.g. what type of competition it will be, who it will be open to, when it needs to close etc), but will put up details once I've worked it all out.

I managed to get a little bit of writing done during the weekend, which was something and so slow progress is being made on KYBS.

Right ho, back to the unpacking.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 11th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
Oh yay! I really hope you get that AMIM ARC! (And make sure to look in the acknowledgements pages when you do! :) )

I will definitely be checking out that conference next year - it sounds great!
Apr. 12th, 2010 11:59 am (UTC)
It's definitely worth checking out the conference and there were quite a few authors attending this year in a personal capacity rather than because they were speaking.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 12th, 2010 11:58 am (UTC)
Oh yes - she's still going strong. She read out a kind of statement about her childhood and how her family life inspired her to write WHEN HITLER STOLE THE PINK RABBIT but afterwards she took questions from the audience.

Particularly interesting was her response to someone who asked what she thought about THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS and the criticism of that book that Bruno would have known what was going on in the camp. (The question came about because Judith said that when she was a child, she wasn't really aware of what was going on with the Nazis or what they were doing).

Judith said that there was no way the boy would not have known what was really going on and she added her concern that a lot of the books being written about the Holocaust at the moment are little more plot devices and detract from the fact that there are still survivors of the Holocaust who have stories to tell. She was concerned that once all the survivors have died, people's perceptions of the Holocaust will be shaped by what is set out in the fiction, rather than what actually happened to the people who were there.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Caroline Hooton

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