Clayton’s Night – The Children’s Book Council of Australia – Vic Branch

As I usually try to do, last night I attended the 2018 Clayton’s Night at Trinity Grammar School.

For those who would like an explanation of what the Clayton’s Night is, I’ve cut and pasted from the recent CBCA Vic newsletter:

Back in the 1970s, a non-alcoholic beverage was packaged to resemble bottle whiskey and was branded a Claytons. The marketing went like this, “the drink you have when you’re not having a drink”. So, like the original advertisement for Claytons, CBCA Vic’s Clayton’s Night was “the announcement night you had, when you didn’t have an announcement night”. 

Originally CBCA Vic’s Clayton’s Night was held a month before the official CBCA Shortlist was announced, giving our guest speakers ample time to judge their favourite titles. However, times have changed and the shortlisted books are now unveiled only one month after the Notable Books List is published. Our guest judges are asked to look at the entries from one of the five national categories: the three age-based categories – Older Readers, Younger Readers and Early Childhood – and the two general categories – Picture Book and Eve Pownall.

Their task is to pick their personal favourites and tell us why! They don’t have any correspondence with the official judges and their selections are strictly their own.

Each year, our guest judges are chosen from a variety of library and book-related occupations. This year’s event will be held on Tuesday 20th March at Trinity Grammar School in Kew. 

Our guest judges include:

  • Marrisa Caluzzi, speaking about Picture Books
  • Kirsty Murray, speaking about Non Fiction
  • Sarah & Alex from The YA Room
  • and a surprise judge on Younger Readers

So last night was a celebration for Geraldine Woolnough, long-term and much admired CBCA Victoria Committee Member who has been an enormous support to the CBC over many years. President Christine Oughtred named Geraldine as the winner of the Leila St. John Award, a very-well deserved recipient. At the same time, Christine announced that Geraldine Woolnough and Virginia Lowe would become Life Members, once again for support and services to the CBCA Victoria.

The Clayton’s judges, above, gave a wonderful insight into their choices of favourites in their nominated sections and I was delighted that Kirsty Murray had chosen My Friend Tertius as one of her six favourites in the non-fiction section. In fact Tertius has been named a Notable Book in the Picture Book section but not the non-fiction so it was fascinating to hear Kirsty’s reasons for choosing it.

There were raffle tickets to buy for 20 parcels of books donated by publishers and an original Little Dog which was one of four that stood in the creator’s windows of the Myer Christsmas Windows when my story Little Dog and the Christmas Wish was the windows theme in 2015. And there was lots of catching up and chatting.

A wonderful night.

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