22 March 2008

Oxford CBG

To Oxford on Thursday night with Leonie and Rebecca, for an event with the Oxford Children's Book Group (part of the FCBG). Wasn't a huge turn-out, partly perhaps because it was the eve of the long weekend and it was a very, very cold (VERY COLD!) night, but it was a really good group of people. In some respects close to the perfect size for a proper discussion, actually - with twenty or so there it meant that everyone felt they could chip in and ask questions and challenge us on things right the way through, which would have been quite different in a bigger group, I think; so it was informal and fun. We were meant to be talking about the UFBG mainly, though drifted quite a lot onto Darren Shan and horror, onto age ranging, onto the lemming-like qualities of publishers (always a favourite), on how important it is to promote reading as a pleasurable thing and how frustrating that the government and those who draw up curricula seem not to have grasped this...

Anyway, the hour and a half flew by (at least, it did for me and Leonie, and we hope it did for the others). Thanks to Rebecca for sorting it out at our end and to the Oxford group for inviting us and looking after us there; and to the Botley Children's Centre and Nursery School (really nice!) for hosting it. Always hugely heartening to see people excited and passionate about the same things we are, working hard to promote the same things we're trying to promote, and the room was quite clearly full of people like that on Thursday night.


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