Off to Bradfield College near Reading on Friday for a weekend of books, chatting about books, seeing other publisher's books and occasionally reading a book at the annual gathering of members of the FCBG.
What an unexpected surprise when I drew up with a car full of reading proofs/finished copies/post cards, posters and choccie biscuits to be met by a team of volunteers all happy and able to heave boxes to my stand.
Delighted when Jessica Dean arrived (muttering about a short cut that turned out not to be so) and we got the stand up and running in no time at all. Lots of hello's and how are you's from delegates have a wander around.
Lots of interest in Katherine Roberts' trilogy as well as the Michael Gerard Bauer books. Questions about the next titles from Stephanie Burgis and Teresa Flavin.
As ever Templar picture books drew admiring comments with one teacher - teaching philosophy to children spending ages noting down Hans and Matilda, Pirates Next Door and Silly Doggy.
A very pleasant Friday evening spent with Walker and Bounce friends at the hotel, where a 70's/80's and 90's themed evening was well under way when we checked in. Felt slightly under-dressed when a Madonna look-alike swept past.
On Saturday the always gracious and charming Jamila Gavin appeared for her double act with Sita Brahmachari (Artichoke Hearts) for two wonderful seminars on Childhood Words. Both delighted the audience with stories of their duel heritage and search for identity.
The gala evening followed with drinks and a meal (not self-service this time) and ended with a rather odd speech by Charlie Higson about his twitter account.
The conference as ever was about librarians and teacher's love of children's books and the ways in which they use them to promote reading - one teacher told me how she uses FaRTHER in her sensory room for children with learning difficulties. Amazing.
Special thanks to Annie for her great showcard - Templar was by far the most inventive with the conference theme "Worlds within Words".