So much happened on Saturday, I hardly know where to begin! The North Somerset gang gathered together for a lovely, chatty breakfast filled with conversation about everything we enjoyed yesterday and everything we were looking forward to.
Having signed up for our seminars and our Gala Dinner table (yes, we needed a whole table!), we set off for the first talk of the day- Phil Earle and Curtis Jobling. They made an interesting pair, having had very different routes into becoming published authors. Both very amusing speakers, they were great to listen to and very funny- and they write great books! Phil dressed Curtis up as a superhero- great acting skills!
Having removed his costume, Curtis then told us all about Bob the Builder and werewolves!
Next were debut authors, Harriet Reuter Hapgood and Sara Barnard, chaired by Julia Bell. They discussed their novels, 'The Square Root of Summer' and 'Beautiful Broken Things', both for older children.
During the coffee break, we all had our books signed before Torie and I launched ourselves back on the poor unsuspecting publishers! We had the best time, talking about new releases and tracking down any last minute entries for our long list. You couldn't wish to meet a nicer group of people; they were all so enthusiastic and interested in what we are trying to do - it was a pleasure spending time with them! Huge thank you to all of you!
The very funny Andy Griffiths was up next and it was a great session!
Horatio Clare and Mike Revell followed him. They both read sections from their books and as we are great fans of their writing, we really enjoyed listening to them.
After lunch, we split up into groups and attended one of three seminars- Pamela Butchart, Joseph Coelho or Shane Hegarty. We all enjoyed our session and had great fun sharing what we had found out with each other!
Ali Sparkes was full of energy and enthusiasm during her talk and was very entertaining.
After tea (courtesy of Curious Fox), it was time for the FCBG group meeting where lots of the group's plans were discussed.
Sadly, Jill Murphy was too ill to join us for her session, but we send her our best wishes and hope she feels better soon. We had cocktails and toasted her, celebrating the 30th anniversary of one of my all-time favourite books, 'Five Minutes Peace.'
The evening ended with the Gala dinner which was lovely! The service at Telford Innovation Campus was excellent- the staff were so nice! The food was delicious...
Jenny Downham was our after dinner speaker. She spoke of the importance of putting 'books into children's hands; stories into their hearts.' She finished by saying that the Federation is 'growing readers like plants!'
The final excitement of the night was the raffle! There were so many lovely, generous prizes on offer, but I knew, when I bought my tickets, that there was only one prize I was interested in... Nibbles!
And I won... I never win anything, but mine was the second ticket to be drawn! Yay!
I also won a beautiful Catherine Rayner book- such a lucky girl! And I won the draw for a signed copy of Curtis Jobling's new book! Torie was not a happy bunny!
It was an amazing day and we all had a great time! Exhausting, but so worth it!