News and events calendar – Children’s book industry news

Walk the Contemporary Graphic Art Fair – Supergraph!

In design forums there is a keen interest in trade shows. When you’ve never had a booth before, it’s always a good thing to hear what others do that works well. At Supergraph, Contemporary Graphic Art Fair held in the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne this month, I paid particular attention to the best decorated booths and the way illustrators showcased their wares. It made a difference having an attractive display; some artworks in and of themselves.

I interviewed the most creative booth owners on my phone and put together a short clip to share as I thought it would benefit others. It was so much fun and all were happy to oblige. I have credited those filmed. Most of us a little awkward or shy in front of the camera, but not too obvious.

Warning: I have never done this before and promise to turn my phone around next time! Take a look inside Supergraph and see some of the creative and unusual ideas there – complete with a very cute blooper. And please give me a like on Youtube if you enjoy it!

Video Art Showcase: Illustrators and designers share there display booths at Supergraph Melbourne February 2015

I was represented on the Illustrators Australia Showcase. I popped in to say hello and found myself helping out with handmade business cards as they had run out.

Illustrators Australia at Supergraph

Illustrators Australia business cards on the fly! Is that a run of 1/20 or 1/30 limited editions from me?

Me with my print, Koala Hugs (limited run soon available on my website)

My print, Koala Hugs displayed with Illustrators Australia at Supergraph

In collaboration with Yarra Trams and The City Of Melbourne, Supergraph held an Instagram competition of which I was runner up. This is my entry.

Yarra Trams, City Of Melbourne and Supergraph Competition: Trams to Supergraph

Yarra Trams, City Of Melbourne and Supergraph Competition: Trams to Supergraph

Face O Mat joined Supergraph with his quirky portrait booth.  I think it would be fair to say, participants paid a small fee for the entertainment experience rather than a portrait of any resemblance. The machine installation spat out an rather unusual but fun result.

Face-O-mat at Supergraph Design Show, Melbourne February 2015

Face-O-mat at Supergraph Design Show, Melbourne February 2015

The Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne are worth seeing; beautifully decorated and maintained.

Interior of the Royal Exhibition Buildings - Supergraph Contemporary Graphic Art Fair

Interior of the Royal Exhibition Buildings

Interior of the Royal Exhibition Buildings - Supergraph Contemporary Graphic Art Fair

Interior of the Royal Exhibition Buildings

The paper arch installation made interesting abstract photos.

Supergraph paper arch installation

Supergraph paper arch installation

Supergraph paper arch installation

Supergraph paper arch installation

Browsing the Supergraph favorite picks wall, I mistakenly thought you filled out the little scrap of paper to win one of the paintings. I picked one by Ian Mutch, titled Grow. It wasn’t until I handed my slip in at the desk, the lady asked if I wanted to pay cash or credit card. I then realised my vote didn’t count. You can take a better look here: http://www.ianmutch.com/prints/grow

Supergraph picks and my own from that wall: Ian Mutch, Grow

Supergraph picks and my own from that wall: Ian Mutch, Grow

It was Valentine’s Day. I was reading the wall of statements on Before I Kick The Bucket installation when a young man wrote Make a family with the woman of my dreams. I wondered if he hadn’t found her and was sad for him. Then I saw her melting over his dedication – so sweet!

Supergraph 2015 - Before I Kick The Bucket wall

Supergraph 2015 – Before I Kick The Bucket wall

Valentine on the Before I Kick The Bucket wall, Supergraph 2015 -

Valentine note on the Before I Kick The Bucket wall, Supergraph 2015

Redbubble had a live painting installation where a group of cousins could be scribbled on and they created an art piece once finished. I left a little random bird doodle behind with the words, Born to FLY. Their photographer took a few photos of me scribbling away. Redbubble also created the OZ Lounge Area where we had beds to lounge on.

I was impressed with the quality of their products too. I had a feel of the fabric and it was so thick! The printing was great. I am looking forward to setting up some products through them soon even more now.

Redbubble at Supergraph Design Show, Melbourne February 2015

Redbubble at Supergraph Design Show, Melbourne February 2015

Wood engraver, David Frazer was working away on very intricate wood blocks. I was fascinated. The process was kindly explained to me and part of me wanted to race off and try it! David has one-day workshops running in May 2015 in Castlemaine – very tempting!

Wood engraver, David Frazer at Supergraph 2015

Wood engraver, David Frazer at Supergraph 2015

The Drawing Olympics at Supergraph

The Drawing Olympics at Supergraph

The was lots more going on. The agencies had some gorgeous works too, some of artists I follow on Instagram. I could go on and on but you’ll have to go yourself next year and see for yourself 🙂

http://www.supergraph.com.au/

Scotch College Student cartoons from workshop.

Fun ways to make faces with students

Scotch College Student's cartoons from workshop.

Scotch College Student’s cartoons from workshop.

Teaching facial expression is one of my favourite activities. I recently work-shopped with the delightfully well-mannered students at Scotch College doing just that.

For further practice , I encouraged the boys to pull faces in a mirror to copy. Exaggerated faces help us understand how the different parts of the face alter our expression. Cartoon faces often utilize the eyebrows in particular to express emotion. In children’s books facial expression is important. You don’t want stuffed mannequin-looking characters that are all facing front when trying to illustrate an expressive story – well I don’t anyway.

Joining forces with over a dozen Ford Street Publishing authors for a special Ford Street festival we enjoyed a day of fun with staff and students. It was a whole day event. Together, myself and Victoria Lane (author of Celia and Nonna) worked with 3 groups of very enthusiastic boys. Victoria spoke to the students about herself as an author and journalist and did a small writing exercise. I stepped the students through a fast-paced practical exercise in drawing cartoon faces. There wasn’t a lot of time so I was particularly impressed with the results.

At the end of the class I asked the students, “Can you draw cartoons now?” With faces beaming, they all echoed a resounding ‘YES!”

For the teachers looking for the cheat sheets I mentioned they are here.

Well done boys!

Scotch College author visit for Ford Street Publishing Event

Scotch College author visit for Ford Street Publishing Event. Victoria Lane

Victoria Lane

 

Book Week author illustrator visit at Rye primary School. Puppets, drawing, how a picture book is created and more.

Puppets and storytelling during Book Week

My goodness, life as a children’s author and illustrator is a busy one – but incredibly fun!

Book Week author illustrator visit at Rye Primary School. Puppets, drawing, how a picture book is created and more.

We are in the throws of book week (which goes for more than a week) where I have been visiting children in different parts of the state. Storytelling and creative education has to be the best job in the world.

My reward mazimus is witnessing the excitement in the eyes of my young readers. I love it when the children rush up to me excited about what they now CAN do with all they have learned. It is so much fun to ask the question, “was that fun?” and get the response, “It was AWESOME!” I am especially enjoying the introduction of my cheeky puppet tortoise, AT (pictured above hiding in his shell) and friends. You know you’ve hit the sweet spot when all the children unanimously sigh, “ooooh!” when I have to put AT away. I have fallen in love with him also. He has come fully alive over the sessions. I didn’t realise how much fun puppetry was until now!

So far, I have the pleasure of presenting to over 1300 students and I have more to visit still. Tomorrow, I join other authors and illustrators for the Ford Street Literary Festival at Scotch College in Hawthorn. Victoria Lane (author of Celia and Nonna) and myself will lead workshops for grades 4,5 and 6 tomorrow amongst lots of fun happenings during the day.

Book Week author illustrator visit at The Grange Prep-12 College. Puppets, drawing, how a picture book is created and more.

I would LOVE to bring AT to visit your school too. You can contact me for more information via my event booking page or via my agent Creative Net

Thank you to Rye Primary teachers for their feedback this week:

Kayleen gave the teachers lots of writing ideas. I got my grade to draw pictures from squiggles and write about them coming to life.  Amanda Enright – CRT Grade 2. Rye Primary School

Interesting and students were engaged for the whole session – illustration and activity excellent, Thank you. Michelle Venturin – Class teacher. Rye Primary School

 

Without Me? book launch at the Mt Evelyn Community Reading Room on 12th December

Book Launch of Without Me And Reading Event With Bookaburra!

I am so excited to officially launch my new book Without Me?
If you are anywhere in the and please come along and bring some kiddies for the free activities. We are excited to have Bookaburra there too! He is big fan of storytelling.

Without Me? book launch at the Mt Evelyn Community Reading Room on 12th December

Without Me? book launch at the Mt Evelyn Community Reading Room (CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

Authors, publishers, editors and award winners at the Caleb Conference 2013

15 Key Publishing Tips

This month was packed with highlights including my time at the Caleb Conference in Queensland. I could write a zillion posts on the joys and advantages of gatherings such as these. I love connecting with others who are passionate about literature – it is contagious!

With a head swimming in revelation and excitement it is challenging to deliver to you briefly. Here are a tiny portion of some key notes:

Session: Things I Wish I’d Known Earlier Andrea Grigg (author) & Iola Gouton (editor)

1. To reduce your costs, keep word count down before you pay an editor.
2. After publication, you need to have a plan to market your book. Your job is not to write (or illustrate) books while the publisher takes care of everything.
3. Break your manuscript into manageable goals, chunks of word count.
4. The highs and lows of publishing can mess with your emotions. It is a challenging occupation – be prepared.
5. It is foolish to avoid editing. An editor works with you to get you in the door.

Session: Publishing today – Publishers: Rochelle Manners (Wombat Books) & (Even Before Publishing) Julie Firmstone (CEP) and George Bryant (Daystar Books)
To save me repeating what Narelle has written on her blog, there is a brief article on this particular session worth reading:  Narelle Atkins blog.

Authors, publishers, editors and award winners at the Caleb Conference 2013

Authors, publishers, editors and award winners at the Caleb Conference 2013

Session: Author Platform and Marketing Tips & Traps: Kayleen West (me) and Rochelle Manners (publisher)

1. Think socially with a heart of servitude. Today, it is not about advertising but valued connections and visibility–not selling but interacting.
2. Always check your motives.
3. Make sure your content is interesting, useful and relevant– not spammy!
4. Note what irritates you and don’t repeat it yourself.
5. Twitter, Facebook and Youtube are the top 3 platforms on social media for an author.
6. Anything you do online– be professional and be searchable by being visible.
7. Authors are the biggest offenders of poor websites. Don’t skimp here, if you are going to have one make sure it looks professional.
8. Meet lots of interesting people and enjoy the interaction.
9. Keep learning new ways to share what you love to create and marketing won’t be such a pain.
10. It is important to plan and have a list to in your time. Choose what is most appropriate and comfortable for you and step out from there.
I also listed 24 avenues to build your author platform on. If there is enough interest I can share more session tips later. Any takers?

There were many other sessions but unfortunately you need to attend these events to get the all the goodies. It would make for a very long post. I’m not sure how you feel about event like these but I find them highly valuable–must insert 3 exclamation marks here !!!!
Sorry Iola.

CLICK FOR EASY TWEET: 15 Key publishing tips for building an #authorplatform

PiBoIlMo has generated several drafts and many more picture book ideas.

PiBoIdMo Publishing Deal

PiBoIdMo Interview

My PiBoIdMo idea was a moth and my new book, Without Me? became the butterfly.

Novelists have NaNoWriMo, but thanks to author and blogger Tara Tazar, picture book writers have PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month); a 30-day challenge to come up with at least one picture book idea a day. It can be a title, a few sentences about an idea, or more. The idea is to generate ….well … ideas!

Why such enthusiasm for PiBoIdMo you ask? Well, my new book Without Me? (yes there is a question mark in the title), was created from one of my 58 ideas birthed from this challenge. I participated in this challenge in November 2011. Today I am still chewing on the fat pile of ideas created then and the from the now idea collecting habit I have as a result. I am always on the look out for good picture book ideas, and will need the lifetimes of a cat to get through them all. Check out my 2 folders below. And I have almost that much paperwork in ideas too!

PiBoIlMo has generated several drafts and many more picture book ideas.

PiBoIdMo has generated several drafts and many more picture book ideas.

For the month you get to soak up daily blog posts by picture book authors, illustrators, editors and other kidlit professionals so there is no excuse not to be excited, motivated and actively creative.

Tara had invited me to share my PiBoIdMo success story which I jumped at. I was so please to be able to thank her for the seed she planted within me, and the ideas (and success/s) that are flowing from it. I will post my story HERE now it IS LIVE!

November last year (2012) there were over 750 writers following PiBoIdMo, so who know how many will be there this year. Beginner writers – do it! Established writers and authors – do it! Go now, be brave, have some fun. Put your name down and start generating the picture book ideas that just might land you a publishing contract too. You could have the next “Without Me?” waiting around the corner.

Check out PiBoIdMo HERE and get ready to join in.

Are you going to have a go? Can you see where this challenge could help you? Do you know of any other great challenges to share?


Share the love – Tweet your followers:

“#PiBoIdMo Publishing Deal – it starts with this idea…”

“How to generate good story ideas & land a book deal… #PiBoIdMo.”

“I love #PiBoIdMo. Maybe my participation this year will result in this…”

Auto tweet your own

 

‘FLOURISH’ – the 18th Annual 9X5 Exhibition will be on again in October.

Illustrators Australia 9×5 Exhibition & Illustrators Market

Illustrators Australia’s 18th Annual 9X5 Exhibition

The theme for this year’s Illustration Australia 9×5 exhibition is  Flourish. I will be painting madly this month as I prepare my entry.

‘FLOURISH’ – the 18th Annual 9X5 Exhibition will be on again in October.

‘FLOURISH’ – Illustrators Australia’s 18th Annual 9X5 Exhibition will be on again in October.

Details of the show:

OPENING NIGHT
Friday 18th October 6pm – 9pm
includes Silent Auction for original artwork on wood, drinks and launch of new IA APP

GALLERY OPEN:
Oct 19th – Nov 3rd, Mon- Sun 8am – 4pm

ILLUSTRATORS MARKET:
includes prints, original work, jewellery, cards, fashion and more
Sun Oct 20th & Sat Oct 26 10am-4pm

ST HELIERS ST GALLERY
Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford, Vic 3067

Radio interview YVFM with Author & Illustrator Kayleen West. Mission books.

Author Interview: Have a Little Faith Yarra Valley FM 99.1

Adoptive Father on Have a Little Faith Yarra Valley FM 99.1

I was invited for an interview by Greg Carrick, Have a Little Faith  Yarra Valley FM 99.1 to talk about Adoptive Father. Listen on  Youtube. No video (just a picture of me holding the book) but most of the entire interview.

This is a good indication on what motivated me to publish Adoptive Father, and begun the amazing journey of children’s books and happy child readers.

 

Adoptive Father picture book shortlisted - Caleb Awards for faith inspired writing.

Shortlisted For The Caleb Award – Adoptive Father Picture Book

This month, my picture book Adoptive Father was shortlisted for the Caleb Awards, for faith-inspired writing. I know, I know, I am a bit slow with the news–busy girl remember? I was excited though!

Adoptive Father picture book shortlisted - Caleb Awards for faith inspired writing.

Adoptive Father picture book shortlisted – Caleb Awards for faith inspired writing.

The finalists have been announced. The Reviewers’ Choice and Booksellers’ Choice awards have not been finalised but will be announced at the gala CALEB Dinner on Friday 11 October 2013 at Riverglenn, Indooroopilly.

A BIG warm congratulations to all the finalists:

Fiction
A New Resolution, Rose Dee
Contagious Hope, Debbie Roome
Henry’s Run, Amanda Deed
The Greenfield Legacy, Deed, Vince, Resce, Dee

Non-fiction
Youth Ministry on the Front Foot, Zachary Veron (ed)
The Heart of Marriage, Michael Hill
Teen Sex by the Book, Dr Patricia Weerakoon
Hardwired to Christ, Graeme Schultz

Biography
Soul Friend, Jo-Anne Berthelsen
Adventure with a Glass Eye, Julie Anita Raymond
William Booth and his Salvation Army, David Malcolm Bennett
Down Humdrum Street, Peter Clyburn

Poetry
Taking Flight, Janette Fernando
Gestures of Love, Andrew Lansdown

Children
Wonderfully Madison, Penny Reeve
Marty’s Nut-Free Party, Katrina Roe
More than a Mouse, Penny Reeve
Attack at Shark Bay, Denis W Shuker

Boom Prize
Ellie’s Dream, Jada Rolston
Galloping Friends, Hannah Austin

Unpublished Manuscript
Adele Jones – Integrate
Elizabeth Greentree – Sally Hunt vs God
Elizabeth Klein – Ice Breath of the Earth
Janice Gillgren – It Wriggles and It Giggles
Jenny Glazebrook – Where the Heart Lies
Linda Truss – History Changers

 

Adoptive Father picture book arrives in Kenya

Bigger Dreams Are Possible With Books

Years ago when I dreamed of writing and illustrating a children’s book I never dreamed it would lead me down such a fulfilling path. I can’t profess to be rolling on a bed of freshly printed millions, but I never imagine I would have the opportunity to touch the lives of such precious little children: children who have so little and bring a smile to their faces.

This month I am celebrating new horizons for my first picture book Adoptive Father as images are beginning to enter my inbox and Facebook pages. I never dreamed that children outside my western world would be reading and pouring over the images of my hands. I really feel tremendously blessed to be used in this way and it makes me teary at times.

The books we sent to Kenya in March have finally arrived. Joshua from Heaven on Earth Ministries is happily assisting me distribute the books to various schools and homes in Kenya. In this was the book will potentially reach many, many children in Kenya. He email with a very excited thank you but I thank him for all the great humanitarian work they are doing over there.

Adoptive Father picture book arrives in Kenya. Heaven On Earth Misitries

Children supported through Heaven On Earth Misitries

Adoptive Father picture book arrives in Kenya. Heaven On Earth Misitries

We sent a few other things including pencils. Joshua and the teacher had to restrain the temptation to draw all over the books for the photos LOL

It is only early days and already we have books in Australia, Fiji, India and South Africa. There is also talks going on for more school distribution I pray will explode internationally.

Thank you to anyone who has purchased a book or donated any shipping funds-you have helped me gift many children these book already. Adoptive Father can be purchased through the following places. Please ask your bookstore to stock it and help me further this project.

Adoptive Father.Org

Koorong

Light The Dark

Christian School Suppliers

Inside title page from the children's picture book: Without Me

Celebrating the Finals

I am not talking sport of any kind; I am talking final illustrations, packaged and sent off to the publisher with a big sigh of satisfaction. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to see the final illustration finished and the book come together.

It has been really enjoyable working for the first time with Wombat Books on Without Me. I feel I gained a friend rather than a publisher. Rochelle (my publisher) gave me incredible creative freedom.

We worked united in a flexible and often comical relationship. We got a great end product as a result – something we can celebrate together! I would love my new book to succeed for her just as much as for the children that will enjoy the story.

I am not sure how you feel about working relationships, but I consider them as important as the work itself.

 

Adoptive Father at the MTC Leadership Conference

MTC Leadership Conference: Book Signing

MTC Leadership Conference

I have been invited to introduce my new children’s picture book, Adoptive Father at the (Ministry To Children) MTC Leadership Training Conference this Saturday.
Information on the kid’s leadership training day can be found here: http://mtconline.org.au/

Adoptive Father at the MTC Leadership Conference

At the heart of LOVE is adoption for one another. It’s all about the HEART!