Saturday, July 23, 2022

There are No Moa, e hoa ...

 I was so excited a few days ago to see the final internals and covers for my next picture book There are No Moa e hoa/ Kua Kore he Moa, e hoa (Scholastic, Māori translation by Pānia Papa) coming out this November. Just as with BatKiwi/ Ko PekaKiwi, Isobel Joy Te Aho-White has done a wonderful job with the illustrations, and I am so happy to say she will also be illustrating my next book with Scholastic, Sun Shower, coming out in 2023. 

I am a little obsessed with the cute little Tuatara at the centre of this sequel to BatKiwi, and she is so beautifully captured in the artwork. I can't wait for you to meet her. The colours are lush and cool, and there are many extra details across the pages for all those observant wee readers, and a few laughs for the grown ups. 

Last weekend I took part in the 2022 Storylines Hui for Children's Writers and Illustrators and I came away feeling energised and uplifted. I didn't realise how much I'd been missing the opportunity to meet and chat with my tribe in person and it was marvelous. No one understands the trials and tribulations of being a children's writer better than another children's writer. I pitched some picture book manuscripts to a publisher I have never worked with before. The Pitch Slams at the Auckland Hui are always a fast and furious event - just 3 to 4 minutes to get your summary across, but that can be enough. There were lots of authors and illustrators pitching and I really hope some contracts get signed as a result. 

There were some wonderful keynote speeches, panel talks and workshops, and underlying it all a love of the transformative power of words and the importance of story and books to help, nurture and grow young people. Despite the challenges of the last few years everyone's passion for books was un-waning and after immersing myself in this all weekend I felt encouraged, supported and inspired.

August looms and its going to be a busy month. I have a poem coming out in takahē 105 which makes me very happy. I am still finding my way with poetry so an acceptance is hugely encouragingI am taking a half day workshop on writing short stories for young people on Sunday 7th August - you can check out details here. I will be away in Southland with the Storylines Tour crew in the middle of the month - Invercargill here we come!! The week before I'll be attending the NZ Children's and Young Adults Book Awards in Wellington, and towards the end of the month I will be running my Writing Picture Books full day workshop on Saturday 27th August (details here) and reading BatKiwi (and maybe There are No Moa, e hoa too!!) on Sunday 28th at the Auckland Writers Festival. Maybe I will see you there! In September I will be having a long lie in and we have a bit of a holiday planned for October. And then it will be November already and time for a book launch!!