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Magabala author and illustrator, Gregg Dreise recently travelled to Sydney to attend the CBCA Conference and ABIA Awards with Magabala Publisher, Rachel Bin Salleh. He shared his experience with us below.
On the 4th of May, I found out the exciting news that Kookoo Kookaburra was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Picture Book of the Year for Small Publishers. The decision was made to fly to Sydney and join up with Rachel Bin Saleh to enjoy the accomplishment. Wow! Top four books in Australia.
On the 18th of May, the news got more exciting to find out that Kookoo Kookaburra was honoured as the Reader’s Choice Award. It is so exciting to know that the readers out there love my work – obviously together with the dedicated team at Magabala.
On the 19th of May, this Murri fella from the Kamilaroi Nation arrived in Sydney (big city of lights). The awards night was held within the New South Wales Art Gallery. It was a great night, filled with the 'who’s who' of our wonderful industry. My book didn’t take out the big prize, although Rachel and I were very proud to be within the company of such great books, authors, illustrators and publishers. The quality of Magabala’s great productions was recognised on such a big stage.
On the 20th of May, I was lucky enough for my trip to tie in with the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Conference. I was excited to finally meet Rachael Christensen – my editor. She has been cutting the dribble out of my work for years (she is probably reading this and thinking about the parts I didn’t need). We saw lots of wonderful presentations from very accomplished authors and illustrators.
On the 21st of May, I flew home proud of myself and the great team at Magabala Books.