AFTS Conference – reflections

This weekend past was the Australian Fairy Tale Society conference, on the theme of “Magic Mirrors”.

It was a lovely online weekend, meeting new friends and old. The AFTS is a small group (with a small and heroic committee!), but the conference attendees were a mix of afficionados, academics, oral storytellers, writers, illustrators, romance reviewers, programmers, publishers, illustrators, a magician — even an archaeologist!

Keynote

Much of the conference was a little bit of a blur for me, as I was preparing for, giving, and then recovering from the keynote presentation. You can get to be as comfortable as you like with off-the-cuff speaking (I’m still all nerves), but art-centric presentations require so much front-end preparation getting the slides in order.

There were, of course, more slides than minutes — I was concentrating on my process around addressing the imagery of fairy tales, as that could be applied to drawing, writing, reading, and academia: finding an aesthetic, the process of “reading” imagery, identifying and recombining elements, and then dealing with that in an Australian context (with examples from Flyaway).

Usually I’d have more of a small-group workshop focus in something like this, but I spaced it out with short individual exercises (agnostic as to medium), and it seemed to work. At least, after the break some people came back having done drawings!

There will be a recording up later in the year for AFTS members.

(I’ve already posted on the speaker’s gift by Spike Deane).

A few other highlights (I wish this were more complete — I had a crushing screen headache most of the weekend, but you can see the program on the AFTS website here or a PDF here).

  • I was also on an artist panel with Spike Deane and Monika Diak, which could have been infinitely longer as far as we were concerned (clearly attributable to excellent moderation) and probably would have progressed to a cafe indefinitely had we been at a physical conference. We have such different processes — Spike with her glass, and Monika with her work in Hungary, and both of them with a fine art background, but all loving the shared language of fairy tales. They each gave separate presentations on their work — light and luminous.
  • Renée Dahlia and Philippa Borland gave an entertaining and appealing (and informative!) presentation on a diverse range of romance takes on fairy-tale patterns — lots of new books to read.
  • Kate Forsyth, in the wake of Snow White and Rose Red, and other tales of kind young women (illustrated by Lorena Carrington), gave a lovely talk on the traditions and dichotomy of kind and unkind girls in fairy tales.
  • Leonora Carrington received the 2020 AFTS Award.
  • Kathryn Gossow and Patsy Poppenbeek, the editors of the forthcoming AFTS Anthology South of the Sun, gave a breakdown of the process of putting together the anthology and underlying considerations — I always enjoy this sort of consideration of a book, going through briefly touching on each story and the patterns between them.

It was my first fully online conference this year (so far!), and the AFTS conference committee (and overall wrangler of the society, Jo Henwood) did a wonderful job bringing the weekend — and some wonderful — people together, and it was an honour to be invited.

(Apologies to all the people and for all the details left out!).

Avid Reader event for Flyaway

I’ll be doing an online event with Avid Reader (Brisbane) at 6:30pm AEST on 18 August 2020!

The booking page is here: https://avidreader.com.au/events/kathleen-jennings-flyaway

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Australian Fairy Tale Society Conference

Bookings are now open for the 2020 virtual conference of the Australian Fairy Tale Society — Magic Mirrors: The Seen and Unseen (at which I am the keynote!).

The new format means they can have 6 sessions over the 3 days of the June Long Weekend: 9.30-11.30am AEST and 2-4pm AEST on Saturday 6, Sunday 7, and Monday 8 June. The rate is $30.

Signup information is here: AustralianFairyTaleSocietyConference2020

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AFTS Conference — keynote speaker

 

In exciting news, I’ve been invited to be the keynote speaker at the Australian Fairy Tale Society conference in Sydney on 8 June 2020.

The topic is “Magic Mirrors”, and I’ll be speaking mostly from the perspective of a fairy tale artist, although the writing side will definitely get in there. But then, it’s all stories, isn’t it?

If the conference sounds like your sort of thing (it skews a bit towards storytelling/storytellers, especially as it follows on from the weekend’s biennial International Storytelling Conference), the call for entries is here:

Call for Presentations – 2020 Australian Fairy Tale Society Conference 

 

Sketching! (Surprise…)

Sketching

(Edit: This was Friday 22 November)

As part of Cottage Street, Easthampton’s Grrl’s Night Out event, I will be doing some sketching at Book Moon Books. There will also be some original art for sale, for a variety of projects including (but not limited to) ornaments and illustrations for books by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare…

Map Makers Workshop!

I’m giving a map workshop at Where the Wild Things Are bookstore in Brisbane on 3 October.  This is an illustration workshop (I am not a cartographer!) about making maps of and for stories. Details and tickets are available from the bookstore’s website: Mapmakers Workshop with Kathleen Jennings.

It’s a school holiday workshop for ages 10+, but adults are welcome!

(If you’re a little bit further north, I’m giving Marvellous Bird and Narrative Imagery workshops in Hervey Bay and Maryborough on 22 & 23 September).

Illustration and Narrative workshops!

On 22 and 23 September 2018, I am giving two sets of workshops in Hervey Bay for the Fraser Coast Regional Council (a council initiative supported by a RADF grant).

The Narrative Art Masterclasses (22 September or 23 September,1-2:30pm, $15) are for illustrations and/or writers with some experience in their field.

Join Kathleen as she demonstrates how stories can be broken down and recombined to strengthen old narratives and generate new ones, whether in writing or illustration. Participants will use writing and/or art to identify the powerful elements of great myths and play with the possibilities as they build up a story idea or illustration.

The Book of Marvellous Birds workshops (22 September or 23 September, 9-11:30am, free) are for ages 8+.

Kids and adults alike will work with professional artist Kathleen Jennings to learn how an illustrator plays with pictures and ideas to create stories. In this workshop you will learn technique, style and application of ideas, all while filling your own accordion-fold book with strange and marvellous birds.

Registration is through the links above. I’m very excited about these workshops!

(These events are proudly supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund).