Wednesday 17 March 2010

Off to SCBWI's Bologna Symposium 2010

Well it's Bologna time again! Here are some photos from my very first trip to Bologna back in 2006 to attend the SCBWI conference, which has now been renamed as a 'symposium' (visit the SCBWI Bologna website if you feel like signing up at the last minute).

If you're on Facebook and can't view the slideshow, you can view it here

I must confess I had to look up the meaning of symposium to find out what makes it different from a conference:·ums, or -si·a (-zē-ə).
  1. A meeting or conference for discussion of a topic, especially one in which the participants form an audience and make presentations.
  2. A collection of writings on a particular topic, as in a magazine.
  3. A convivial meeting for drinking, music, and intellectual discussion among the ancient Greeks.
Ancient SCBWI symposium 475BC 

So ... well, I'm not going to try to explain.

Anyway ... two great things happened on that first SCBWI conference in Bologna.

1. I met a shy Italian named Paolo who loved fantasy and wrote in English. He has remained a close writing buddy ever since - I love his cinematic plot lines! Here's the terrific website he built for his wip The Vespertine Hour.

2. I discovered Scott Westerfeld . I was so impressed by Scott's keynote about teenage slang that I have since read everything he's written and continue to recommend them to all my friends. I still give away sets of Scott's trilogies to teenagers on special occasions ... oh wait one of the trilogies has turned into a quartet. And so it goes.

The second time I went to Bologna was in 2008. Guess who I ran into outside the SCBWI party?

Unashamedly thrilled to meet Scott Westerfeld

SCBWI Bologna 2008 had evolved significantly - I was proud to see the British Isles logo on the banner display of SCBWI regional logos.

And I was proud to help man the showcase for SCBWI British Isles at the fair itself:

Margaret Carey, Natascha Beibow, Anne-Marie Perks, 
Sarah McIntyre, me, Catriona Hoy, Trish Phillips

This year, with all the travelling I've been doing, I'm on austerity measures. So courtesy of a cheapy ticket from Ryanair (I never thought I'd see the day when I'd say I'm so glad I booked with Ryanair), I am attending the conference but not the fair itself!

I am doing my part though, because in my luggage I shall be carrying the SCBWI British Isles Showcase - cards, books, posters of our SCBWI authors. SCBWI's got its own stall at the fair, and each region has a slot to display its wares.

Now we all know it's going to a great year for SCBWI British Isles at Bologna, with a bumper crop of authors - this pre-Bologna report in The Bookseller is riddled with SCBWI names!

And here's a small selection from my suitcase. 
Took this shot hurriedly, sorry if I didn't manage to fit yours in.

And I'm taking it all in my carry-on luggage to avoid Ryanair fees! The secret? Pack no clothes! It's a well known fact that to fly Ryanair happily and successfuly one must take as little as possible. All one needs is a change of bikinis.


  1. Er, Candy, the weather in Bologna is currently colder than here. I hope those are (fake) fur bikinis!

    Rhi and I are coming to the dinner dance on Monday - will you be there?

  2. i'll be there! you do know that it's beach wear only ...

  3. Boy to I feel proud to be a part of SCBWI - what a case full of goodies HAVE FUN! xx

  4. Good thing you advertise Scott Westerfeld, seeing as his publishers don't want to.

  5. bookwitch, i advertise anyone who keeps me up late at night, reading!

  6. Have a great Bologna 2010, Candy and all the others going with you. So sorry not to be there myself but I'm very grateful to SCBWI that my latest edition of SELKIE, with its new look, will be on the stand.

  7. Thanks for reminding me to send you my book - and for carrying so many in your suitcase. Enjoy the whole experience! Odette

  8. Ohhh, hadn't realised I was going to Bologna (at least, in UV book form!). How exciting! =)

    Enjoy, Candy.

  9. odette, i hope you don't mind but i read your book and i love it! i'm going to review it on amazon.

  10. Some comments from Facebook:

    Ellen Renner Good luck and enjoy, Candy. Just don't get too cold in that bikini!

    Ebony McKenna I read in The Bookseller that Ryanair has since put its flights up to £350 to Bologna for the book fair, and BA is on strike! Yikes!

    Carmel Waldron Well, that's free market capitalism for you!

    Amanda Craig Great post - and I love Scott Westerfeld too. Good luck, hope all goes well for you Candy.

    Candy ebony, i paid 20 quid for my tickets (that's because i'm leaving on the morning of the fair) ... my editor tells me she has had to divert to Milan and take the train from there.

    Jonathan Mayhew One day... sigh...

    Frankie hahahahaha.... looking forward to the photos of you in your ryanair bikini

    Julie Day Have fun there Candy.

    Candy thank you!

    Sue Eves Have a great time - are you taking your new book too - the proof, I mean- or is it too soon?

    Tracy Ann Baines Have fun :)

    Candy i know that my agent is taking it, and so is my publisher ... but alas, i will not be able to check up on them as i'll be gone when the fair begins

  11. Candy, I hope you've had an amazing time. Sounds brilliant, and I hope your back didn't break from all those lovely SCBWI books,
    love Clare.


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