Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts, London

Image 5The Festival runs over the weekend of May 30/31st 2015 with an amazing collection of authors and illustrators from ‘down under’.

As publishers and booksellers, with strong project links to Australia, the range, diversity and quality of the Festival programme makes the event hugely attractive.

We are so excited about going along to the Festival and soaking up the engaging work of such talented authors such as; Kate Grenville, Tim Winton and Howard Jacobson.

The Secret River is a favourite book, as it paints such an amazing picture of life in Australia in early1800’s.

image4-14.jpgKate Grenville is in discussion about her new memoir One Life: My Mother’s Story. The book pays tribute to a woman whose life spanned a century of tumult and change; for whom the spectacular shifts of the 20th century offered new freedoms and choices in an era when women had been expected to have no ambitions beyond the domestic. It is a deeply moving homage by one of Australia’s finest writers.

With the publication of nine novels, a collection of short stories and four books about the writing process, Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s best-known contemporary authors. Her work includes Lilian’s Story (1985), Dreamhouse (1986), Dark Places (1994) and The Secret River (2005).

Follow us on Twitter at the Fest! @booksgowalk

Sue Martin, Books Go Walkabout – our literacy and tech project, joining authors and illustrators together with children across the globe…

William Tyndale School, UK
& Aleesah Darlison, Australia

BGW logoJSBooks Go Walkabout Projects 2013

One of our partnership literacy projects has been working in schools and letting children and young people talk to authors across the globe.

Students from Year 6 at William Tyndale Primary School in London, were Skyping with Aleesah Darlison, Australian author from Sydney on Thursday March 13th.

We have been reading two books from Aleesah’s Unicorn Riders series, Quinn’s Riddles and Willow’s Challenge, a fantasy genre for children from 8 – 11 years.

The students were speaking with Aleesah in Sydney and using our project technology, engaged with Aleesah on the interactive white board in their own classroom.

Aleesah bought her books to life, using character props, answering questions and talking about life in Australia.An image of life 'down under'...

Books Go Walkabout project – a SmithMartin LLP project providing real time conversations, speaking with authors in different countries, creating inspiration, reading more books, illustrating a world of diversity.

Visit and subscribe for free to Book Monitor  , the Books go Walkabout project blog.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sydney Opera House

A visit to Sydney Opera House

On a recent visit to Sydney Opera House we had a tour of the inside, listened to stories about the building and how it all works.

It was a great example of work and leisure coming together.

It’s always good to have a balance between work and leisure and sometimes the boundaries are pretty blurred. As a partnership we like to work to be enjoyed. Sydney Opera House is a good example.

This iconic building, known the world over, started with a project from Sydney for a new building on a partially derelict site on the peninsula near Circular Quay.

From the vast numbers of people applying, Jorn Utzon  was chosen because the Finnish judge saw the potential of this dreamy vision of the shell type structure. To plan and design this revolutionary building needed a decision maker and a brave personality.

Jorn Utzon liked to work on the ‘edge of the possible’.

The cost of the building was estimated way below the eventual cost of over £120 million dollars in the 1960’s . Sydney Council raised all of the money through a lottery and the building was paid for in 18 months.

The structure proved hard to produce initially. One night Utzon phoned his colleague with the answer. The solution was a spherical model, of which all the shells would be a part.

Sadly for Utzon a change of government meant that he was asked to work with a committee. He was not prepared to do this and so left the finishing of the building to another team.

Interior, looking out picture - Sydney Opera House

The inside spaces of the building, the foyers and the concert halls are stunning, the organisation is entrepreneurial too and involves the artists and performers in their own organisation and marketing.

Performers can buy a certain length of time and number of performances, for which they operate the costs themselves or sell merchandise and promote as they wish.The price of tickets is arranged by the performer.

In effect Sydney Opera House offers the venue and leaves the rest to the enterprise of the artist.

They also charge rents to other organisations who operate the utilites and retail outlets. As yet they cover 80% of their costs,with 20% coming from state funding.

A good model of enterprise and sustainablity!

An iconic building for a beautiful city, Australian enterprise for a world audience,work and leisure hand in hand.

As they say so often down under, ‘ No worries!’

Roof structures at Sydney Opera House

Sue Martin – SmithMartin Partnership LLP – Enterprise and creativity