Thursday, August 8, 2013

Whitsunday Voices: I am grateful

  
Fab cast of Whitsunday Voices!

This is a blog of absolute, from the bottom-of-my-heart, unconditional gratitude to all the team who recently looked after me at the Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival in Mackay. With 5000 students filing through venues over two days, and a group of writers from all around the country with various needs and dietary requirements, it can’t be easy coordinating something now celebrating ten years of success.

As festivals go, and from my humble-authorly-opinion, Whitsunday Voices was incredibly well organised. And truly, I have never been fed so many fabulous baked-goods; biscuits, fudge and scones delivered to the green room at the drop of a chef’s hat. I am still working of the calories!

Today, while I have many, my five gratefuls are:

 Shannon Alexander and Madeleine Bowater come armed with chocolate!

STUDENT MINDERS: Over the two days of the festival, I was blessed to have four minders who escorted me to and from venues, delivered me lunch, offered to get coffee, and in fact, two even showed up with massive amounts of chocolate in the arms. [Note to self: remove references to your love of chocolate from your website Anita!]  I want to thank these young ladies – pictured above and below – for their hospitality and professionalism, but most significantly, their capacity to laugh with me, especially when no one was in my signing queue. 

Awesome minders Jessica Fleming and Amy Lawless

YOUNG IT GIRLS: These beautiful Year 7 students (below) were brimming with the enthusiasm that many of us only have after a double-shot of coffee. Their smiling faces, interest in reading and IT skills made my day run smoothly. I felt like I had a new group of younger sisters. Lucky me!


WILLIAM McINNES: Anyone who has heard this actor / writer speak will understand why he’s one of my gratefuls. One of the best dinner addresses I have ever experienced. Also got myself a signed copy of Worse Things Happen at Sea: Tales of Life, Love, Family illustrated by the late Sarah Watt.


 

NEW WRITERLY FRIENDS: The best thing about festivals is meeting others in ‘your world’. Those who are obsessed with stories, writing and sometimes illustrating too. This festival I got to hang out with someone who likes food as much as me; children’s author Felice Arena  was a barrel of laughs (that’s him above with my dear friend Boori Pryor). Also go to hit the dance-floor with one Anna Fienberg who boogies as deadly as she writes! 


THE TEAM: Now, last but not least, a huge cyber-hug of gratitude to Sonia Anderson and her amazing team pulling the festival together. All the volunteers, parents, drivers, bakers, everyone! Collectively, you made the experience of visiting Mackay for the first time a most memorable one. You also reminded me why I do what I do. Thank you!

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