Halloween Reading Party with Maine Governor Janet Mills

What an honour to be invited to attend the Halloween Reading Party at Blaine House, Augusta - home of the Governor of Maine, Janet Mills (the first female Gov in this state!) The Governor dressed as a fabulous Mary Poppins and read from Dr. Suess.
Wonderful costumes donned by all the families who attended and a delicious table full of goodies tempted everyone.
Chris Van Dusen read his book ‘Circus Ship’ and author Liza Gardner Walsh and I
entertained with readings and drawings from our book ‘Where Do Fairies Go When It Snows?’.

ALA San Francisco 2015 - friends and books and a lot of walking.

I always enjoy the American Library Association Summer Conference! It's a chance to catch up with what's new, meet publishers and friends old and new. This year, though, was made even more fantabulous by the chance to meet up with some of my Nevada SCBWI Mentor Alumni buddies from 2010/2011. Five us us shared a sweet apartment near the Moscone Centre in San Francisco and you can bet there was laughter, gossip and deep conversations into the early hours ... So often in the book world the friends you make are spread far and wide, only social media keeps you in touch. Even more special was the fact that all of us are now published or agented and several of us had author events at the conference. It was also a lot of fun to go to each other signings! Back in 2010 we were all newbies, mostly unpublished and the raw material. As you can imagine, we celebrated fully! I cannot speak highly enough about the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Programme, I'm proud to be going back as a mentor myself for the coming session (click here to find out more  http://nevada.scbwi.org/nevada-scbwi-mentor-program/)

ALA highlights for me this year included the Caldecott/Newbery/Wilder Awards ... Dan Santat, Kwame Alexander and Donald Crews gave outstanding speeches that had the audience alternately in floods of tears or gales of laughter. (See links below to read the speeches).

Dan Santat 

Kwame Alexander

Donald Crews

I leave you with some photos from around the conference. (Click on each for details!)

(Oh and so much walking, SO MUCH!)