The balmy days and calm fresh nights of the Rottnest Retreat 2017 are fading into memory and we have picked up our mainland lives again. We are always sad to leave the island, but the inspiration and enthusiasm generated by our annual visit does stay with us in the form of new ideas to be developed and old works to be retrieved from the bottom drawer. The stimulation of networking with our colleagues and the encouragement of the visiting publishers is something rare and precious.
Every year the sessions and activities, which are part of the annual Retreat, generate new inspirations. The chosen publishers come and spend time passing with us, revealing their wish lists and passing on information about the industry we work in. They prompt us to think about what we can write or illustrate that just might work for them. They are open and honest about current trends and publication figures. And they give advice and encouragement that always sends me back to my desk with my head full of ideas about how to rework old stories and develop new ones.
The input of fellow SCBWI members is equally important and life affirming. Given the chance to network and socialise we find that we all face similar problems and that perseverance and hard work is what brings success.
So three cheers for our wonderful, hard-working organisers and for all the willing helpers who make the annual Rottnest Retreat happen for us. Hip, hip, hooray!!!