WA Branch Newsletter
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April Issue 2020
President's Piece
Dear Members,

Unprecedented times call for creative measures since traditional methods are no longer an option so I hope you enjoyed viewing the CBCA 2020 Book of the Year Shortlist announcement on YouTube on 31 March and am sure you will join me in congratulating all the authors, illustrators and publishers featured there. If you missed it or wish to revisit the wonderful Shortlist announcement, the video will remain on the CBCA webpage and YouTube at this link:

We are particularly proud of our WA creators on the Shortlist – Meg McKinlay for Catch a Falling Star in the Younger Readers category and Karen Blair for When Billy was a Dog (written by Kristy Murray) in the Early Childhood category. We also applaud Magabala Books for their strong showing especially in the CBCA Award for New Illustrator. I gather that Bren MacDibble has recently settled in WA so, whilst it may be too soon to claim her as one of our own, we welcome her and certainly celebrate her place on the Shortlist; indeed, we congratulate everyone listed there and in the Notables 2020.

Given the increasing restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 situation the CBCA Board has taken the tough but necessary decision to suspend business as usual:

CBCA Book of the Year Awards and CBCA Book Week 2020: The date for both these events - the Awards announcement and CBCA Book Week 2020 - will be postponed until term 4 at a date to be decided. 
This will apply in 2020 only, recognising the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic.
The decision was made on the basis that:
  • These two events go hand-in-hand;
  • CBCA Book Week relies for its success on students and families gathering together in classrooms, libraries and other community spaces;
  • Creators, some of whom rely for much of their income on speaking, can be supported in their speaking tours during CBCA Book Week;
As the return to school will be marked with financial and social disruption, the CBCA can work proactively to support branches, schools and libraries to deliver CBCA Book Week as a very bright and exciting feature of the term.

CBCA Book Week Merchandise: The merchandise season will be postponed until a date aligning with the new CBCA Book Week. The eStore will not open and merchandise distribution will be held off until then.
CBCA CONFERENCE 2021: Given that the projected financial impact of the pandemic could extend until late 2021, the conference will be postponed.

With the majority of us now in social isolation I applaud the many creators who are being extra kind and generous in sharing their work, reading aloud on YouTube, posting ideas on social media and offering online workshops and tutorials. Many creators have already had their livelihoods threatened by the cancellation of public appearances such as school and festival visits so please be aware of the copyright implications if you were planning anything similar and read the guidelines from publishers later in this newsletter.

Briony Stewart has started an initiative called #BookCharactersUnite, Jen Jackson is running a Paper Bird Books Home Club with authors/illustrators live streaming via YouTube and many bookstores are offering home delivery so you need never run out of reading material. SLWA and the public libraries are closed temporarily but they still offer many services online. Check their websites and Facebook pages regularly for updates.

This is a Muriel Barwell Award year and what a perfect antidote to the current gloom and doom it would be to acknowledge someone who has made a significant contribution to Children’s Literature.  Please consider nominating a worthy friend or colleague for this award. Applications close on 30 June. More details further in this newsletter.

A Night with our Stars, our 17th event, was a huge success and we were so fortunate that it was able to go ahead as planned. It was a massive team effort by the WA Branch committee assisted by some special friends and family members and the atmosphere was warm, friendly and celebratory. It was such a shame to have to cancel our inaugural Afternoon Tea with our Stars as Jan Pocock and Beth Herbert had put heart and soul into planning it and we were so looking forward to a southwest event.

As you would be aware, we have cancelled the WA Branch AGM which was scheduled for 23 April and are looking into alternatives including the possibility of holding the meeting as a Zoom teleconference. In line with our Constitution members will be notified at least 21 days ahead of the proposed new AGM date. The Judges' Talks scheduled for 23/24 May have also been postponed and no future dates will be set at this stage. You can access the Judges’ Critiques in the members only section of the national CBCA website. Please respect the fact that this information is for CBCA Members only and do not share the login details.
Username: mycbca
Password: &cbca2020

Many of our official supporting WA Branch bookstores are offering home delivery as well as their usual excellent service so please continue to support them by purchasing your books there. You can phone or contact them online.

I look forward to being able to see you all at a CBCA WA Branch event once the COVID-19 crisis is over and wish you and your families good health and good reading at this challenging time.

Very best wishes

Jan Nicholls
CBCA WA Branch President
CBCA Book Week Grants Funding and EOIs – an update in light of COVID-19
As you are aware, the National Board has announced that CBCA Book Week will be postponed until Term 4 at a date still to be determined. CBCA WA has confirmed funding from Healthway, and is awaiting confirmation of funding from the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries (DLGSCI) for CBCA Book Week 2020.
Healthway is giving a 6-month extension on funded planned events, which should enable us to provide small grants to libraries to conduct their CBCA Book Week events in Term 4. 

Thank you to those libraries that have submitted their EOIs.  In light of the current circumstances we are still taking EOIs and have extended the deadline to Friday 8 May 2020.  
As soon as DLGCCI confirm funding arrangements we shall notify libraries accordingly. Thank you for your patience and understanding in these unprecedented circumstances.
If you have any questions please send an email marked ATT: CBCA BOOK WEEK 2020 GRANTS in the subject line to
Keep well and safe, 

Nola Allen and Mary Gimondo
Grants and Regional Centres Subcommittee
Important Advice from publishers about read-aloud permissions during COVID-19
In these changing times publishers and their creators are keen to help but we must remain mindful of the copyright, intellectual property rights and legal implications of reading books aloud via social media. We have gathered some helpful links for you here but please make sure that you always check with the relevant publisher before going ahead as things change rapidly at the moment.
From Jane Fraser CEO Fremantle Press
We’re really keen to help. As you may know there are commercial organisations such as Story Box Library and Kinderling Kids Radio that provide a read aloud service to subscribers. Royalties go to our authors which is really important. Also important is that the material is secure and safe from illegal downloading. Story Box Library is keen to work closely with schools and libraries and right now they are offering free access to their library of read-aloud books during COVID-19 to schools and libraries.
Many of our books are there ready and available  and read by some really fun people who will be easily recognised (eg. Pandamonia read by Steve Backshall from Deadly 60) – see how to get on board with them at
All Fremantle Press books have teachers’ support material so please go on to our website to find out how our resources can help.
and check out our full catalogue and dig into each book for more information:
Walker Books
Scholastic Australia
Penguin Random House
Allen & Unwin
"We are delighted for teachers to read from Allen & Unwin books for children at home. You are welcome to create readings at no charge for school classroom use within a closed platform, for non-commercial use only. Readings may be live streamed or recorded, provided that the recording is non-downloadable to the public. Please acknowledge the book's title, author and illustrator, and Allen & Unwin at the beginning of your recording."
2020 A Night With Our Stars
Photo Gallery
This was our 17th event and we were delighted that it was able to go ahead as planned. Here is some lovely feedback from a first-time attendee followed by some of the ANWOS stars:

To the Children`s Book Council WA Branch.  I want to thank you for organising a very interesting and enjoyable evening on the 13th March.  The chance to listen to and watch children’s and young adult authors and illustrators talk about the process of creating a new work of fiction to entertain and educate children and young people and indeed see their skills and personalities  on display was a wonderful and new experience for me.  I certainly hope to be able to attend again next year.
Jan Connor

Getting to meet teachers and librarians who were planning to share I Would Dangle the Moon with their students was the highlight of my first ANWOS - thanks to CBCA WA for giving authors and illustrators the opportunity to connect with these amazing advocates for reading! 
Amber Moffat

I had a wonderful time speaking at my first ANWOS! It was like going to an ice cream shop and getting to sample all the yummy author and illustrator flavours WA has to offer. I also got to meet so many wonderful book lovers, librarians and teachers who support the local author community. A great event - thank you!  
Gavin Aung Than

Thanks so much for Friday night. I've been before, in the audience, but it still didn't prepare me for the level of support shown to me as a debut author. The room was filled with goodwill and a love of books, and that was perfect!
HM Waugh

Biggest thanks for having me, Jan, and congrats on such a successful night! 
Holden Sheppard
For first-timer
Katie Stewart who was quite nervous ANWOS was ‘the intersection of dreams and nightmares!’ When asked if we could quote her she replied “Haha, that has to be the first time I've ever said anything anyone thought worth quoting! I really did enjoy the night, by the way, in between panic attacks!”
It was so nice to be invited to ANWOS, Jan even though I was as nervous as hell:) Thanks to you and everyone else for all of your work. I really appreciate that we are all in this industry to help the kids become well informed, creative and imaginative human beings.

Mike Speechley
Fremantle Press PWF Breakfast 2020
Photo Gallery
We are so fortunate in WA to have our independent publishing house Fremantle Press, who constantly discover, nurture and support local talent.

Six of their authors presented at A Night with our Stars and three were listed in the CBCA 2020 Notables.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Fremantle Press breakfast function in February as part of Perth Writers Festival for a sneak peek of the many and varied titles coming out in 2020 from established and emerging creators including City of Fremantle Hungerford Award winner, Holden Sheppard and Fogarty Literary Award winner, Rebecca Higgie. The range is extensive, there is something for everyone and much to look forward to. We congratulate Fre
mantle Press on their vision and their ongoing championing of WA literary talent.
Author Title Release Date
Burrows Fiona Violet & Nothing Available now
Canby Kelly Littlelight July
Court Moira At the Dog Park November
Doust Jon Return Ticket Available now
Foley James Chickensaurus October
Forrestal Elaine Goldfields Girl May
Gibbs Tracey Let’s Count Wildflowers September
Higgie Rebecca The History of Mischief September
Jorgensen Norman The Wrecker’s Revenge Available now
Lawrinson Julia Maddie in the Middle Available now
Marr Shirley Little Jiang October
Milroy Helen Backyard Birds Available now
Morgan Sally My Place (for younger readers) August
Owen Chris & Court Moira My Superhero  (Board Book) August
Parker Dany & De Vos Ruth Shine July
Sheppard Holden Invisible Boys Available now
Stewart Katie What Colour is the Sea? Available now
Waugh HM The Lost Stone of SkyCity Available now
Jan Nicholls
2020 CBCA Book Week
Opening and Dinner
Curious Creatures, Wild Minds
As soon as the new date of CBCA Book Week is announced we will plan an event to celebrate and hope that you can all join us.

Make Your Own Story Book Competition 2020
Closing Friday June 5th.
This is a call to all our budding authors from Pre-primary to Year 8! Bring some fun and entertainment into the lives of others by creating a book and entering the 2020 MYOSB competition.

It’s a wonderful project to complete while you are at working at home and our judges are eagerly looking forward to reading your books.
Please go to the CBCA WA website for the entry form, tips pages, and other information.
Sean E Avery, WA author and illustrator has created some fabulous videos to support your story writing. The links are found on the
MYOSB information page and more will be added as they become available.
For further enquiries: please email Denise Robins on
Shaun Tan has been shortlisted for the 2020 Kate Greenaway Medal for his book Tales from the Inner City. The winners will be announced 17 June. Please read more information here.
Meg McKinlay's coming-of-age story, Catch a Falling Star has been shortlisted for the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature. Please read more information here.
Book Discussion Group
Due to the COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, the Book Discussion Group meetings have been suspended until further notice. The CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist discussion on 22 April has been cancelled.

However, this does not prevent us from reading as many of the shortlisted books as possible, continuing to read the set titles below and sharing our opinions via email.
How it Feels to Float
by Helena Fox

Dial Books

Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Writing for Young Adults
'Every now and then you pick up a novel and you know you've found something wonderful - a glorious voice, a character you adore. Helena Fox's novel delivers. It is exquisite. Read it.' Cath Crowley
Deep Water
by Sarah Epstein

Allen & Unwin

Sarah Epstein’s first book, Small Spaces, was a CBCA 2019 Book of the Year: Older Readers Honour Book.
The Muriel Barwell Award
for Distinguished Service to Children's Literature
Muriel Barwell OAM - This photo was taken at the 1999 Children’s Book Week Dinner.
The Muriel Barwell Award for Distinguished Service to Children’s Literature
Nominations are now open for this prestigious award. If you know someone who has demonstrated significant service to children’s literature beyond his or her professional commitments over a period of time in Western Australia then please submit a nomination to Gail Spiers at by 30 June.
Past award winners: Peter Williams (2006), Mary Gimondo (2008), Frané Lessac (2010), Elaine Forrestal (2012), Jenni Woodroffe (2014), Celia Cole (2016) and Jan Nicholls (2018).
For more information about eligibility and nominations please click here.
Welcome to Typeface Books
The CBCA WA Branch welcomes Typeface Books as our newest supporting bookstore. Typeface Books is an independent bookstore located in Applecross and we thank them for their support. Don't forget to claim your 10% CBCA WA member discount next time you visit!

Typeface Books
Shop 4, 37 Ardross Street
T: 9316 9822
VALE Tomie dePaola
Photo credit Laurent Linn
Sadly, picture-book author Tomie dePaola passed away at 85 on 30 March due to complications with surgery.

Please read an obituary
Christobel Mattingley Appeal
In previous issues, the CBCA WA has included information about the Christobel Mattingley appeal. The CBCA aims to raise $5000 so her name can be listed as a Major Donor, in memoriam, to the CBCA Awards Foundation. This campaign is still active and receiving donations. If you would like to support this campaign, please click here for further information and access to a donation form.
Perform! Education
2020 AAA Professional Development Conference Update
Please note this event has been moved to 2 NOVEMBER 2020.
Book Here
Perth Festival - Literature and Ideas
In the Curated by Kids programme at the Patricia Crawford Courtyard, ten young book lovers hosted sessions with their favourite authors over four hours. I was fortunate to happen upon a session with Barry Jonsberg, author of My Life as an Alphabet (Honour Book: CBCA Book of the Year, Younger Readers, 2014) which has been made into the film H is for Happiness (Winner of the 2019 CinefestOZ Film Prize and the 2019 Audience Prize in the Melbourne International Film Festival). Barry’s responses to children’s thoughtful questions were perfectly pitched resulting in enthralled looks on the faces of both children and adult audience members. What a star!
DID YOU KNOW? Heather Rose, author of Museum of Modern Love and Bruny, writes books for children with her friend Danielle Wood under the pen name Anjelica Banks. There are three books in the Tuesday McGillycuddy Adventure series by Anjelica Banks for younger readers: Finding Serendipity, A Week Without Tuesday and Blueberry Pancakes Forever.

Gail Spiers
Gay Tierney on volunteer duty at the Literature and Ideas Festival at UWA
Tony Birch Q&A Session
Tony is a renowned Australian author, academic, activist and radio presenter who speaks regularly at writer’s festivals. He has received many accolades for his authorship. His book Ghost River won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, Blood was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and in 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. He presented at UWA as a guest for Literature & Ideas, part of the Festival of Perth. In a Q&A session his powerful novel The White Girl, published in 2019 through University of Queensland Press was discussed. Set in 1960’s rural Australia in a fictional town called Deane it is the story of those who lived on the fringes and were subjected to government regulations of removal of Aboriginal children from their families.
Odette Brown is the memorable matriarch, who for some time avoids the authorities and protects her granddaughter Sissy. However, when a new overzealous policeman arrives in the town, Odette has to make life changing decisions, take huge risks and fight to keep Sissy.

Tony spoke with empathy for and understanding of his characters. His strong background in the humanities was evident. He explained that his mixed heritage of Aboriginal, Irish, West Indian and Indian has assisted in giving him deep cultural understandings. Growing up around Fitzroy in working class Melbourne in the 1960’s – 1970’s also contributed to what he terms “real life”. Tony is politically active in the areas of Climate Change and Native Title.

It was a great pleasure to meet Tony after his presentation to plan sessions on behalf of the school where I teach. He will be working online with Year 12 English students at the School of Isolated and Distance Education who are studying The White Girl in term 2. This is part of the school’s Author Online program.

Liz Allen
We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Inspired by the classic book We’re going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, children and families in Australia and around the world have placed toy bears in street-facing windows to help alleviate COVID-19 boredom.

Sadly, according to press reports Former UK Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen is unwell, having spent time in intensive care recently.

If you wish to participate in the bear hunt please share your photos to our Facebook page
Recent Book Launches from WA Authors and Illustrators
Claire Malone Changes the World
by Nadia L. King and Alisa Knatko
Published by Dixi Books
Nadia L King, WA author of Jenna’s Truth and short stories for adults has published her first picture book. It was launched at the recently renovated Subiaco Library on 24 February. A range of ages were in attendance from 3 years up with families, teachers, librarians and many of Nadia’s SCBWI WA colleagues present. CBCA WA President Jan Nicholls, resplendent in her cape, shared some insights into . . .changing the world . . . with the younger of the audience participants on the floor at the front of the gathering. Jan launched the book with great aplomb and Nadia read the story accompanied by a power point.
In a rather quirky anecdote, Nadia explained the author/illustrator connection. Nadia, who is originally from Ireland and now lives in Perth actually wrote the text whilst in New Zealand and illustrator Alisa Knatko, who is Russian was in St Petersburg when she did the illustrations and is now back living in Moscow. Nadia has yet to meet her. Claire Malone is a little girl with big ideas who plans to and eventually succeeds in making a difference in her local community. She will be a great role model for our girls and boys.
The launch included drinks and nibbles with lots of pizza varieties, fruit juices and to finish the evening special Claire Malone cupcakes. Nadia signed many copies and we wish her well with Claire Malone, who wakes up at 4.30am every day, reads 20 online newspapers and magazines before breakfast and knows everything that goes on in the world!

Liz Allen

What Colour is the Sea?
by Katie Stewart
Published by
Fremantle Press
As a member of the Avon Valley Writers Group which meets weekly at the Northam Library, I was treated to a wonderful event, generously arranged by the library and opened by Kim Colbourne, Library Manager and Cate Sutherland, Children’s Editor at Fremantle Press.
There was no doubt that the one thing everyone was waiting for was the arrival of the special guest – Kiera the Koala. Kiera, a resident at the WestOz Wildlife Centre had slept all the way from Perth and was full of energy – as much energy as a Koala can muster – to entertain the crowd. As she sat in her ‘tree’ chomping happily on the provided gum leaves, many took the opportunity to have a photo with her, while her keeper answered questions. All in all, a great afternoon!

Katie Stewart

Katie Stewart’s debut picture book What Colour is the Sea? is a delightful story about a koala asking a question and receiving a variety of different answers from the other animals in the bush.

Katie first came up with the story as a child and it has stuck in her mind ever since. A library full of friends helped her celebrate finally bringing it into colourful, stylish reality at an afternoon tea function. The cutest koala biscuits were served and to the delight of everyone, a live koala was an extra special guest complete with its own afternoon tea snack of fresh gum leaves. The kids who arrived for koala craft activities after the speeches were almost as enthralled as the smitten adults.   
Anyone considering a book launch can now forget the old adage about never working with children or animals.  Having a cute Australian animal in attendance is now a great recipe for a successful launch!

Norman Jorgensen
Little Book Bites
If you have a picture of a child, pet or any other interesting-bookish moment you'd like to share with our community to feature in our electronic newsletter, we'd love to see it! Please email it to
Dates for Your Diary
Events may be postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19 protocols. Always check with the organisers closer to the event.
Bedtime Daddy
Book Launch
by Sharon Giltrow and
Katrin Dreiling

21 June
Paper Bird
42 Henry Street
New Releases from WA Authors, Illustrators and Publishers
Libby Hathorn and Lisa Hathorn-Jarman
Illustrated by Mel Pearce

No! Never!
April 2020
Maureen Jipyiliya Nampijinpa O'Keefe and Christina Booth
Mum's Elephant
Magabala Books
April 2020
Helen Milroy
Willy-willy Wagtail
Magabala Books
April 2020
Helen Milroy
Backyard Birds
Fremantle Press
April 2020
Kamsani Bin Salleh
What do you call a baby...?
Magabala Books
May 2020
Sharon Giltrow and Katrin Dreiling
Bedtime Daddy
EK Books
May 2020
Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson
Illustrated by Lisa Kennedy

Magabala Books
May 2020
Elaine Forrestal
Goldfields Girl
Fremantle Press
May 2020
WA Branch Supporting Bookstores
Buy your books from the experts at these stores and receive the discount offered to all CBCA members. 
Beaufort Street Books
567 Beaufort Street Mt Lawley WA 6050
T: (08) 6142 7996
Child Education Services
96 Royal Street, East Perth WA 6004
T: (08) 9225 6516 
Dymocks Busselton
48 Prince Street, Busselton WA 6280
T: (08) 9754 4410
Millpoint Caffe Bookshop
254 Mill Point Road South Perth WA 6151
T: (08) 6117 5603 
Paper Bird, Children’s Books & Arts
42 Henry St Fremantle WA 6160
T: (08) 9430 7038
Rabble Books & Games
2/46 Eighth Avenue
T: (08) 6244 1841
Typeface Books
37 Ardross Street, Applecross WA 6153
T: (08) 9316 9822
152 Burswood Road, Burswood WA 6100
T: (08) 9361 4211
CBCA Awards Foundation
CBCA WA Branch Information
CBCA WA Branch Committee Members
President - Jan Nicholls, Vice President - Denise Robins,
Liz Allen, Nola Allen, Beck Borona, Sharon Coppin, Mary Gimondo,
Felicia Harris, Lorraine Horsley, Tania Longman, Sheena Matthews,
Chloe Mauger, Trish Montgomery, Aniek Ragan, Gail Spiers, Jane Stanton,
Sue Stopher, Sally Woffenden
National Board Director: Angela Briant
Newsletter Editor: Beck Borona
Website Manager: Aniek Ragan
WA Book of the Year Judges: Sandi Parsons, Jan Pocock
Copyright © 2020 Children's Book Council of Australia, All rights reserved.

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