Hey cHEwY gum gums!

Is it too late to say Happy New Year? Well, if we go by the lunar year then it’s okay haha. My school holidays were mostly spent at home where I’m currently editing my next book, What About Thao, listening to cricket and watching the tennis…hang on the tennis starts next week, oh right…

Yep, we’re still living in ‘unprecedented times.’ Any optimism of 2021 being a fresh new year has been dulled with recent outbreaks, lockdowns, border shutdowns and restrictions. I mean I get it, nobody expect things will snap back this quickly, we’re headed towards a covid-normal life. I was just hoping for a little more normal by now haha.

This week, I caught up with some authors this week and I had that giddy buzz, the kind you get on the first day of school when you haven’t seen anyone for ages. On Monday, I met other Room To Read Author-Ambassadors as we got an update about how this non-profit organisation is reaching out the kids around the world. Then on Wednesday, I joined the CBCA Northern Sydney Sub-branch committee in a planning meeting, slotting in dates for more cool events.

But the uncertainty that plagued 2020 still lingered in the air. Should we zoom our CBCA meetings? Is it too soon to have them face to face? Can we have in-person book launches? It was great to see some book launches in ACT and WA (before their lockdown), but I wonder if anyone will have one in Sydney?

Even thinking ahead to the next few months, will I be able to travel to Adelaide or Melbourne to visit schools? I haven’t booked any plane tickets yet. Will the Sydney Writers Festival be online again? How about all those teacher-librarian conferences? The CBCA AAA professional development event has shifted to online. I missed the in-person version because it was nice to talk to teacher-librarians in between sessions, and yeah I scored a few school visit gigs through it. That kind of mingling doesn’t quite work on ZOOM.

And yet, the kidslit world keeps churning. New books will still come out. I guess we’ll wait and see. We’ll go with the flow. We’ll adapt. That buzz word ‘pivoting’ will be key. When we talk about our creativity to work around things, I hope 2020 will be more of the same.


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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