While gearing up for the hot and sweaty whirlwind that typifies Perth Festival Writers Week (and February in general!) I’ve been reflecting on the benefits of networking.
We all spend months and years getting ourselves and our books in front of the ‘right people’, but sometimes it’s just the serendipitous connections you make that open the door to new possibilities. It was during her time as a guest at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival in the United Arab Emirates that Jen Banyard met award-winning filmmaker, entrepreneur and actor Chloe Gardner. A few months and a few contract revisions later, and we’ve optioned Jen’s three-book Riddle Gully series to Chloe for a possible film. Chloe is in the perfect position to turn these three mystery stories, with their memorable heroes, super-sleuth Pollo di Nozi and her sidekick Shorn Connery the sheep, into a film kids will love. In addition to producing films, she runs a film school for kids and founded the Adelaide International Youth Film Festival.
While we’re talking networking, we can’t believe the reception we’ve had to the Business of Being a Writer and the Fremantle Press Perth Festival Writers Week breakfast. This year, the breakfast is supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. This has enabled us to increase the number of seats available to both event organisers and new authors at this important annual gig. The Business of Being a Writer is brand new for us and has been made possible by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries through the Four Centres Emerging Writers Program. Tickets literally sold out overnight.
Thank you to everyone who signed up to participate in what will be a fantastic day of knowledge-sharing, elevator-pitching and all-round schmoozing. I look forward to catching up with colleagues and authors, and to making many more new writerly friends.