Showcasing Children’s Author, bookseller and friend, Claire Saxby
Claire and I met in the downstairs café at Dymocks in Collins Street, Melbourne in 2006. I’d put my hand up to be the Assistant Regional Adviser for Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania for SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators organisation in Australia. SCBWI was much smaller back in 2006 and Claire had offered to be my ‘wing man.’ Over lunch we worked out a plan on what we wanted to achieve and how we would tackle it. Even after that first meeting, I knew Claire was someone I could depend and rely on.
So in between the paths of both our (mainly) picture book careers, we ran Melbourne and Regional gatherings, reaching out to country creatives. With SCBWI we travelled around the state, to Launceston and Adelaide and joined creative friends from all around Australia at the SCBWI Conferences held in Sydney every two years. We both re-established friendships and made new ones, working hard and having fun along the way.
Following the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, because we each held precious memories of Marysville, we began a world-wide drive for books from SCBWI creators to be donated to Marysville Primary School.
Marysville Primary School
Extending from this, Mark Wilson formed a group of author/illustrators who have travelled to a different bushfire-affected area every year since, except for last year. Claire and I have been privileged to be part of this group.
Flowerdale Primary School 2014 Claire & I 2015 – Mark Wilson, Me, Diana Lawrenson, Marjory Gardner and Claire.
Over the years we’ve always tried to attend each other’s book launches and special occasions, celebrated as well as supported each other when that special story kept boomeranging back in the email box or when we didn’t quite make ‘that’ list. We’ve sat together on panels and shared school visits.
Claire’s short-listings and awards are many. Treat yourself and have a look at her website: https://clairesaxby.wordpress.com/
Her latest releases are, Treasure, Illustrated by Tull Suwannakit, Iceberg, Illustrated by Jess Racklyeft, with Great White Shark, Illustrated by Cindy Lane coming in August.