These works were created in a two hour workshop with June Perkins and Helene Magisson for the Summer of Reading Program with the Brisbane libraries, held January 2018. The host libraries were Chermside and Toowong.
The above photographs of the art are shared with consent of artist/writers and taken by Helene Magisson.
A big thank you to the staff at both libraries who assisted with the set up of the room and other practicalities as well as giving us warm introductions.
Thanks also to the wonderful children.
The following two photographs of the workshop in action are courtesy of the Brisbane libraries.
We are absolutely delighted to be collaborating to work on a couple of special library workshops sharing the process of creating the Magic Fish Dreaming book as well as encouraging children to imagine, create, draw and write.
It was so much fun planning the workshop! What a great chat!
Time passed so quickly.
We now have a plan but will also respond to the wonderful input of the children and make sure they have lots of fun and opportunities to create.
The lovely Helene signed some more books for me, so on the24th of June when I do my next book signing at Mary Ryans Milton, you can pick up a book signed by both of us!
Helene had a beautiful surprise for me. She gave me a special print of ‘Beyond Caterpillar Days.’ I have now framed it and am choosing a place in the house to hang it up. What a great day. I am still smiling!
Nearly one year since our successful kickstarter and there are now many copies of Magic Fish Dreaming ready to find homes for. I picked up our full print run Tuesday this week!
Since our launch last October, nearly 300 books have headed out to the public and are now doing their magic; this has been from: kickstarter preorders, library supplier sales, the launch, individual direct orders, and one bookshop appearance.
We have had a review in Reading Time with CBCA (children’s book council), and have sent the book for review to several others and so we should see those in coming months, and I continue to search out more places for reviews. Sometimes these take a while to hear back from.
In the meantime the truly hard work begins; we strive to reach more schools and libraries, bookshops, and obtain even more reviews, and locate conferences, festivals, potential sellers, and events that will help put the word out about Magic Fish Dreaming.
Last week I received the exciting news about participating in a festival in April(I sent out a query straight after the kickstarter and it took a while to hear back) and in March, I am chatting with libraries and environment centres to see how I might work on something to share the book in their spaces.This is so exciting and can’t wait to share with you the outcomes of these discussions.
I am about to put in some proposals to other places but am on the eagle eye look out for opportunities to share a product our team are very proud of.
Whilst distributing this book, I am polishing up a number of picture book manuscripts with my invaluable writing mentors, a new poetry collection (sequel to Magic Fish Dreaming), writing a novel, and continuing to work as a tutor in the Keystones program for Indigenous students at QUT. I am not sure if these new works will be self published, or if I can find traditional publishers for them.
I have been totally inspired by the feedback we are receiving from our kickstarter sponsors about the journey of the book. We have readers from Philippines, Canada, New Zealand, France, Papua New Guinea, and the United States. We don’t yet regularly distribute in these countries but feel blessed by the response our kickstarter supporters there have given Magic Fish Dreaming and would love for it to continue to reach a global audience when we work out the best way to do this.
We know the book has made it into Australian libraries and schools in two countries through our kickstarter buddies and we thank them so, so much for the love! Presently I am doing some final edits on our educational materials and notes relating to the book especially for teachers and parents.
An unexpected blessing, was Helene having an artist card with AVANT CARD and it mentioning the poem that inspired it and title of the book and featuring one art work from on it. This is all over their stands now, and if you find ‘River Song’ do let us know. We’d love to know where the card appeared.
As a self publisher I have a few more things to work out in this learning by doing especially in the distribution journey, but thank you for following and supporting.
In Australia you can order the book directly from me as well as presently obtain it from bookshops in Brisbane, Townsville, Kuranda, and the Gold Coast. If you live in the area of one of the shops best to buy it there as this will save you postage. Libraries can obtain it from Peter Pal.
You should know bookshops will often only stock any book for a limited time, 3-6 months, and the sales of the book determine if they purchase more stock and keep it on their shelves longer.
All queries regarding Magic Fish Dreaming can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a magical day of discovering and hunting for poems at Riverbend bookshop.
Vicky from Riverbend books gave a warm introduction, and shared that our book was crowd funded, beautifully done, and well supported by the local community.
I let our audience know where the book was set, but think maybe next time I might need a compass for this.
I found out that nearly all our audience loved fishing! Which is great as we have two poems on fishing in the book. I read ‘Wishing for a Fish’.
It was lovely to hear some laughter when ‘Discovering Magic’ was read! To have the jokes of this poem appreciated was awesome.
When I asked them what they would wish from a fairy’s tooth, one child said she would love to fly.
The perfect opportunity to read a poem about birds next. I chose ‘Tawny.’
The audience loved nature, and knew a lot about cassowaries and Tawny Frogmouths, and maybe some learnt about the Tasmanian Tiger, or Thylacine and quolls for the first time.
Some had Tawnys in their back yard and others had been on nocturnal walks to see them. We could have talked all day about Tawny, but just one more poem – on ‘Hunting for Poems’ and time to go hunt for some of our own. Time to use the imagination we use when playing games of deciding what a cloud might be when it forms a shape in the sky.
Thanks so much to Vicky at Riverbend for preparing the workshop space for us and for photocopying the education materials that I had developed. And thanks to all our enthusiastic participants.
It was lovely to have a bit of a chat with children, parents and grandparents and to sign books for some of our lovely guests. It means a lot when people buy your book!
The children loved Helene’s illustrations and I told them I would pass this message on to Helene Magisson, who would have just loved this adorable audience.
Well done to all our young poets!
(Thanks for the kind permission of our participants to share photographs of our first event for the year. Thanks to my daughter Sheridan and Vicky from Riverbend for the photography and helping us pack up afterwards)