This week I’ve been chatting to a whole bunch of teacher librarians. I spoke at the Penguin PD days at the State Library (where I’m writing this right now hehe) and got to spread some cHEwY cheers around. Judith Ridge spoke about creating a reading environment, and like she said, it’s like teaching your grandma to suck eggs (whatever that means haha) because teacher librarians already do that quite well.

Judith Ridge and Belinda Jeffrey

Teacher librarians are pretty infused with their own powers to get kids reading. I think it all comes down to choice, let a kid read whatever they want and Judith pointed this out, stop reading a book too. Because you know, life is too short for boring books.

And while fiction is important, getting kids to read anything from magazines to video game guides is okay too.

I like how Judith said that there are people who just don’t read and that’s just the plain truth, so while it’s important to get kids reading books, I think reading in general is the main aim.

Erin speaking about units of work for books like...

I love attending these PD days because you get to see so many cool teachers…and I bumped into Miss Barnett, my english teacher in Year 9 and 10. She knows Mrs Summerhayes who was my teacher in year 11 and 12 and also featured in my upcoming book, Punchlines so it was WHOA, OLD SCHOOL!

Also found time to visit Paul McDonald at the Children’s Bookshop in Beecroft, where I spoke to other teacher librarians from the western suburbs. He’s been a real champion for me and Thai-riffic! was one of his huge sellers…let’s hope Con-nerd follows suit!

I also went to a SCBWI (Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators) meeting where Chris Cheng gave us the lowdown on conferences and festivals. He’s simply flying all over the world promoting books and reading, how cool is that? I love hearing his stories and there’s some great news for SCBWI fans in NSW with critique workshops and events planned.

It’s great having him around because you always learn something valuable. He and Susanne Gervay both do a marvellous job!

SCBWI members, old and new!

Oh and congrats to Leeanne Hall, her book This is Shyness is shortlisted in the WA Premier’s Award, so cool!


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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