I had a lovely evening at independent bookshop Tales on Moon Lane last month* in Herne Hill, south east London, venue and host of the first SCBWI Industry Insider event of the year.
Tamara Macfarlane set up Tales on Moon Lane thirteen years ago and joined the evening’s panel alongside author Mo O’Hara (My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish), publishing director Bella Pearson (David Fickling Books) and author Clare Stanhope (Brenda’s Bottom and her Birds). We were welcomed by Mandy and Jess, SCBWI Industry Insider organisers, who led the panel. Here are the highlights.
It’s ok to be in the dark
I went to Letters Live in March, an annual event series to celebrate remarkable letters that deserve to be heard. Benedict Cumberbatch and friends lent their voices. I was aware of the basic concept of the event but nonetheless found myself feeling unnerved without an order of events. At ten minutes in during the first piece of music, yes music, I reprimanded myself at being so boring in always wanting a heads up on proceedings. I relaxed my shoulders and let the show unfold in whatever way it wanted to. By the end I was convinced it was one of the best things I’d been to in a long time. I’d actually relished the unknown and how it made me feel: alive. (more…)
What business does a writer have at the London Book Fair? None. A better question might be how relevant are writers at the London Book Fair? Very. This goes for illustrators too.
As one of the authors of the day Tracy Chevalier put it, “it’s nice to have that layer of fairy dust, that is the novelists, sprinkled all over the book fair.” She’s talking about the big names, but I think this encompasses all creatives. We’re not expected to do anything, other than keep creating.