The SCBWI Rottnest Retreat in 2011 will be remembered for many things. The fierce winds, the fantastic company, the stimulating sessions delivered by Sarah Foster, Director and Publisher at Walker Books Australia, and Cate Sutherland, Children’s and YA Publisher at Fremantle Press. And the exciting Masterclasses by Merridith Costagain (for writers) and Coral Tulloch (for illustrators).
This year, for the first time, there was a fantastic exhibition and sale of artwork and books by West Australian illustrators and authors. This was mounted in the Salt Store and open to the general public on Saturday from 10am to 4pm and Sunday from 10am to 12 noon. The exhibition took a lot of planning and hard work to set up. But there was great support from the Rottnest Island Volunteers who could not have been more helpful with making the Salt Store available, filling in the gaps in our knowledge of the Island itself and just being there when we had to dash out for a minute or two. There was also a terrific response from the public. The Volunteers commented that they had rarely seen so many people coming and going or such a crowd in the Salt Store. And a good number of artworks and books were sold. Unfortunately some of the artwork had been taken down when a woman and her two young sons arrived on the ferry on Sunday morning. They had come over from the Mainland especially to see the exhibition!
Each author was allowed to offer only three titles for sale. Naturally I chose Straggler’s Reef because it is very much a Rottnest story, Black Jack Anderson because he was an island-based pirate and Miss Llewellyn-Jones Goes to Town because – well – she is just so much fun!