CBI Conference: Using The "F" Word

First of all, I have to tell you all that my camera battery died first thing yesterday. All I have (photographically speaking) are a few very poor photos from my phone and a couple that I have borrowed (and by borrowed, I mean robbed) from a couple of colleagues at the conference. There is something poignant about failure in that for me. What it gave me was the opportunity to fully listen, without the worry of getting a photo record of the day....very liberating!
Yesterday was just wonderful. The conversation between Elaina Ryan and our new childrens' laureate, Eoin Colfer was enlightening and entertaining as he reflected on his own background, family and what this new office was bringing. Eoin is (as we have had a taste of for many years now) a true story-teller; and I, for one, am counting on him to fulfill his promise to "find you and tell you a story." There are so many children out there who desperately need that in their lives.
The day was filled to the brim with failure (as it was supposed to be) and more than that, the incredible opportunity that failure brought into the lives of the author/illustrators who share their stories. It was an absolute pleasure to hear them all and to learn from their journeys through the world of literature for young people; from the very young through the books of Leslie Patricelli to young adults with Leslye Walton. As a childrens' bookseller, the brought an increased understanding of the current flow and emphasis, with all its' challenges and successes (and failures) in childrens' books. (Very important as we are the people who have to hit the ground running and bring this understanding and information to the kids, parents and teachers we meet everyday.) As an artist, would-be writer (definitely-maybe), avid reader of childrens' books and grandmother, it really fired my personal enthusiasm all over again.
Also, I have got to tell you about Inis Magazine! It's been relaunched and it really looks fantastic! Inis will now be published three times a year in February, May and November, bringing you the latest news and reviews and all the most exciting and important aspects in childrens' literature from Ireland and the world. It's available NOW and sports a completely appropriate cover from the new book by Chris Haughton, "SHH...We Have A Plan".
Now, here are a couple of the poor photos taken from my phone....can't leave you without visuals. (Also...a couple of photos I robbed from my colleagues...thanks Aisling and Karina!)
Those incredible Dubray Books kids booksellers

Eoin Colfer is already telling us stories
David Mackintosh and one of our favourite quotes

Leslie Patricelli has had her failures, too
Bob Johnson in conversation with Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, Leslye Walton and Shela Agnew
Patricia Forde on her journey through living and writing and her very creative life


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