Cambridge Central Library was a buzz of bookish activity on Saturday - even more than is usual for a
busy library, that is.
An entire chapter of authors and illustrators gathered for the SCBWI* Local Author event to meet readers, read stories, and run craft activities and workshops. There was a great quiz and a raffle too, and a chance to buy books and have them signed by their creators.
*SCBWI=Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (a.k.a. an all-round good thing).
I had a very lovely afternoon catching up with author/illustrator friends, meeting young readers and their families and running an action-packed creative writing workshop in conjunction with Camilla Chester (fantastic author of Jarred Dreams, Eats and Thirteenth Wish).
To tie in with the Space Race theme of this year's Summer Reading Challenge, the workshop was all about writing stories that are out of this world . . . using a snakes and ladders board template to come up with characters goals and obstacles for a space quest story. The super-imaginative group of kids and adults came up with some brilliant ideas - including the main character - Embers Marshmallow, a girl with fiery superpowers.
It was lovely to see a little girl called Maya win copies of Time Dogs (complete with a fluffy collie puppy) in the raffle, and to be able to sign the books for her. I hope she will enjoy them.
Thank you to everyone who was involved in organizing this brilliant event, which is fast becoming a favourite fixture in the Cambridge children's literature calendar! Special mentions to organiser-extraordinaire, librarian and SCBWI member, Anita Lehmann, SCBWI regional network organiser, Debbie Edwards, all the library staff who helped, and to Heffers, Cambridge (in the person of Clair!) who ran the book stall.