It’s 2 days after the end of Reading Matters 2013 and I still can’t stop thinking about it. It was unbelievably awesome and the best conference I’ve been to by far. I’ve never had so much fun at a conference or come away so excited and motivated. The Centre for Youth Literature team put together a great programme, with a lineup of some of the best young adult authors from Australia and overseas. You could tell how much time, effort and passion that the team put into making the conference so engaging, thought provoking, and entertaining. I already thought they were pretty damn awesome beforehand but I’ll be singing their praises to anyone who wants to listen.
At every other book conference I’ve been to I’ve bunked a couple of the sessions, but the Reading Matters sessions were so good that I didn’t want to miss a minute of them. The authors, volunteers and the Centre for Youth Literature team kept the energy up the whole time and I was constantly buzzing with excitement. They all must have been pretty worn out by the last session, but it never showed. They were all incredibly interesting sessions and we all learnt a lot more about the authors than we had bargained for. I had no idea that some of them had such dirty mouths, but they had us almost falling off our seats with laughter.
I love Australian young adult literature and some of my favourite authors were there, including Vikki Wakefield (All I Ever Wanted, Friday Brown), Gabrielle Williams (Beatle Meets Destiny, The Reluctant Hallelujah), Morris Gleitzman (the Once quartet), and Myke Bartlett (Fire in the Sea). I also enjoyed meeting and listening to the international authors, especially Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Drama), Keith Gray (Ostrich Boys) and Libba Bray (Beauty Queens, The Diviners). I have to admit I hadn’t read anything by the international authors prior to the conference but I certainly will be now. They were all really wonderful people who wrote some lovely dedications in my books. I’ll be writing some more posts throughout the week about some of the sessions.
I also got the chance to meet some of my awesome fellow bloggers/Tweeters in person. I was so glad I got to meet Danielle (alphareader.blogspot.co.nz and
@danielle_binks ) and Jess (www.thetalescompendium.com and @TalesCompendium ) whose blogs and Tweets I follow, and I could have chatted to them for ages. Danielle is a super speedy Tweeter so she kept up with everything the authors were saying. I, on the other hand, was very slow and decided to just retweet Danielle’s. Between all of the Tweeters there and those who couldn’t be, we even managed to get the official hashtag, #yamatters, trending WORLDWIDE!
To all the authors and the organisers, especially Adele, Nicole, Anna and Jordi from the Centre for Youth Literature, thanks for making Reading Matters an event that I’ll never forget. The next Reading Matters conference is in Melbourne in 2015 so make sure you get there (I know I’ll be there come hell or high water!).
If you want to catch up on all the #yamatters tweets, check out the hashtag on Twitter.