Topic: Bookrapt Seminar 2011: Publishing with Passion

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On Saturday 6 August 2011, the Bay of Plenty Children's Literature Association Incorporated, otherwise known as 'Bookrapt' held their annual seminar at Tauranga Intermediate. Report by Debbie McCauley.

With over 50 attendees, the seminar featured the speakers Susan Brocker, Kate Stone & Barbara Else.

Susan Brocker – Author

Susan Brocker has led a very interesting life which comes through in her writing as does her passion for animals. She studied history at university, wrote travel stories for magazines whilst travelling around the world and along with her husband has fostered several children. It was fascinating to hear the story behind some of her titles. As I have only read ‘Brave Bess’ by her I was inspired to put holds on some of her other titles.

Kate Stone – The Publishing Process

Kate Stone works for HarperCollins in the children’s book publishing area. It was of interest to hear the long and often complicated journey of a manuscript once it has been accepted for publishing and the reduction in the amount of children’s books being published inNew Zealand. The print runs inNew Zealandare smaller (I asked her and think she said about 30,000) but the price of the finished product still has to be competitive with overseas publishers who have massive print runs. Kate told a story about a book that was about to be sent off to the publishers featuring a female protagonist with cornflower blue eyes. At the very last minute Kate realized that the cover featured a girl with brown eyes which would have been picked up immediately by clever young readers!

Barbara Else – Author, Publisher & Manuscript Assessor

Having recently read Barbara Else’s latest book for children, ‘The Travelling Restaurant: Jasper's voyage in three parts’ which I enjoyed immensely, I looked forward to hearing her talk about the journey the book had taken to reach completion. Barbara also spoke about how she assesses manuscripts and works with her husband as an agent liaising between authors and publishers. She was very well spoken and it was a pleasure to listen to her.

Overall, a very successful and enjoyable seminar.

by Debbie McCauley (15 August 2011).

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