Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spinning Gold - Lineup Announced

International children’s writing sensation Martin Baynton launches the Spinning Gold Conference of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators in Wellington in September.

The writer/illustrator of Jane and the Dragon, is one of four star speakers at the conference, which includes creative guru L
aurence Green, writers’ agent Fiona Inglis from Curtis Brown Australia, and New Zealand children’s/young adults writer and commentator Kate De Goldi.

Spinning Gold, organised by the Wellington Children’s Book Association, is the first such national children’s writing conference in 16 years. The programme includes more than ten worksho
ps and a Pitch Slam – giving writers and illustrators the opportunity to pitch their work, for an intensive five minutes, to publishers and agents. There are also panel discussions, an Illustrators’ gallery, networking opportunities and mystery trips. Spinning Gold is a not to be missed event for the New Zealand Children’s Literature community, happening over three days on 18-20 September at Capital House, Melrose, Wellington.

Programme Highlights

Martin Baynton is opening keynote speaker on Friday night. Martin has been writing and illustrating for more than 25 years, and collaborated with Weta workshop to bring Jane and the Dragon to the screen in a hit TV Series. He is currently working with Weta on new pre-school progamme WotWots.

Saturday morning speaker Lawrence Green is a widely regarded business mentor and coach. He specialises in working with people in the creative industries helping them to market and develop their business successfully.

Fiona Inglis from the Curtis Brown agency in Australia will be talking about publishing now! Fiona has been with Curtis Brown for over 15 years becoming Managing Director in 2002. Curtis Brown represents both writers and illustrators. Hear first hand about the opportunities available for New Zealand children’s writers and illustrators.

Speed date the publishers: Saturday afternoon is turned over to the publishers and is filled with panel discussions and - in a first for New Zealand’s children’s writers - a Pitch Slam. You have a five minute speed date to sell your new idea or synopsis to an agent or editor.

Kate de Goldi on Sunday will collect us all together and launch us into the future with more workshops and panel discussions. Kate brings her in-depth knowledge of children’s publishing to the conference. She
is well known for her award winning books and her national appearances as a children’s book reviewer on radio and television.

The Workshops reflect the four main strands of the conference: ne
w technology, business, professional development and marketing. A wide range of expertise from the New Zealand children’s literature community is leading the workshops, which offer great hands-on learning opportunities for every attendee. Dialogue, print making, web sites, and illustration trends are just a small taste of what is on offer in these intensive sessions.
All major publishers will be represented, along with booksellers and marketing specialists.

Nuts & Bolts

The conference opens at 2pm on Friday 18th September. The
cost of $300 covers all lunches, breaks and dinners for the two and a half days. Optional master classes - one for writers, one for illustrators - are aimed at experienced published practitioners, and limited to 15 participants per class at $50 a head.

For those requiring onsite accommodation, Capital House has a bed and breakfast option: single $90 +gst, or share twin $55 + gst per night. You will be able to book accommodation on the registration form.