Poetry at Sharjah International Book Fair 2018

I am really struggling with blog posts these days. It feels there are so many things I need to write in other places – most especially in my stories (LOVE), and the submissions to accompany them (Aaargh!) and blog posts just keep getting pushed to the bottom of the pile …

I do want to share some pics from my second visit to Sharjah – this for the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) which was even bigger than the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. It was so good to go back again, and, with so many people in attendance, it was amazing to recognise people from my previous visit! It was especially lovely to have children and adults come up, eyes alight and smiles wide and thank me again for my sessions in April. One very busy day saw 50K kids pass through the doors, with a record 2.3million people in attendance over the 10 day event. (Sometimes just getting through the door felt like an achievement.😉)

All my sessions involved poetry – though sometimes it was more about creating than writing. We made jigsaws and tag poems and 3D poetry and poetry wall plaques. I especially loved the school groups that came through in the mornings. These were half-hour sessions, and I was astounded with how much we achieved in such a short space of time! The kids were awesome – so polite, and yet enthusiastic and instantly engaged with their ‘writing’ tasks. We talked and laughed lots – and they often delighted me with their witty way with words. I was also incredibly touched by the feedback from every teacher, who took activities away to use with other groups in their classrooms. And this beautiful comment from one lovely teacher, on finding out I no longer teach, but write fulltime and present at festivals, like SIBF; “It is better, you not working in one school. Now you can share your skills with the world.” 💞

Sharjah was beautiful! The people so wonderfully warm and welcoming. Sharing the adventure with lovely Aussie kidlit creators, Catherine Pelosi, Dee White and Claire Richards made the adventure even more enjoyable. As did the beautiful accommodation. This time I didn’t just see the beach from a passing car – I swam! And it was glorious! (I had planned to write heaps, in gorgeous settings … but talked heaps, instead! Networking … 😉 There truly were lots of discussions about a dreaded synopsis!!) I didn’t get out to the desert this time – or see a single camel… but I did get lovely views over the desert as I was flying out, so it was good to see it in this new perspective.

SIBF18 was another amazing event and adventure, and a delight to be involved! I could be tempted to go back… ☺️

This week I’m in for #PoetryFriday – and you can Live Your Poem and all things poetry at Irene Latham’s blog. Having just had a peep in preparation for linking this post, it would seem as if Irene has been busy in recent weeks, which included the news that her book, ‘Can I Touch Your Hair’, (in partnership with Charles Waters), was announced as a Charolotte Huck Honour Book. How exciting!

Edit: I had meant to include a link to the interview on Sharjah24 News. You can see me in hypo-bunny mode here;


  1. It is lovely to hear about your latest adventure, Kat, so, so many at that conference, wow. I too am amazed that you could accomplish anything in 30 minutes. I do love the pictures, too, love seeing that high view of the desert-wow! Happy travels are always enjoyable to hear about! Thanks for coming to PF once in a while to share what you’re doing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! That’s a book fair I’d love to see in person! I agree with the mom who says you’re making more of an impact out of the classroom. Keep up the good work! Keep bringing more poetry into the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I realised after I posted it, that it’s probably the first time a lot of #PoetryFriday peeps have seen *&* heard me, Irene – and I was running on adrenaline at the time of recording. 😆 (Actually, I usually am, when I’m talking about poetry… ☺️)


  3. What an amazing book fair and how promising it is that so many people attend! I can’t imagine how crowded it must be and the energy!!! Wow! I’m so glad you included the pictures and video and that you’re sharing your talent with so many. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Go, Kat, Go!
    You are living the life….it’s hard to fit it all in. The economy of writing is so different than other industries. The talking (networking), reflecting (swimming) and teaching in short spurts is vital to growing the community. And, I loved seeing a brief peek of you doing the work of this. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. I have a project that I have just stopped dead on because of time….today, I’m going to take the tiniest peek at it and try to get back in. Love seeing you when I do. When I don’t, I know you are growing poetry–reading–writing. That is beautiful!

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    • This was to be my year of writing, Linda. But I’ve been so busy with all the other aspects of writing, the submissions, and the author visits, that the year has flown past… and I am not ready to give it up! Too too much still to write!! I think I’ll have to test the limb, and see how far I can go out… And keep writing! Hoping you have had the tiniest peek at your project… pondered some new ideas, and maybe even put some words on the page.


    • I ran three different types of sessions, so they didn’t always get the opportunity to do all things – but still, it’s amazing how much can be achieved when kids jump straight in with a ‘can do’ attitude.


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