Our chapter began one sunny day in 2002 when a handful of children's book creators gathered for a picnic on the grass at the Fremantle Arts Centre. Today, we have over 100 members across Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Our membership is diverse and far-flung, reflecting the geographical area our region covers, which takes in some 4 million km2. We have members in the Northern Territory's "Top End", the goldfields of Kalgoorlie, and the rugged southwest of WA. Some members drive over 400km to attend meetings.
We hold regular gatherings, including our famous annual Rottnest Island Retreat, and our activities offer a balance of the social and the professional, ranging from informal exchanges and networking to formal professional development opportunities with publishers and editors flown in from the eastern states. We also meet regularly at other industry events such as members' book launches, and stay in touch via our monthly newsletter. Be sure to check the events page to find out what's on.
Our membership ranges from newcomers just starting out and still chasing that elusive first contract, to highly regarded authors and illustrators with many books and years of experience under their belt. We're a lively, supportive community who enjoys nothing more than seeing members grow and develop their creative and professional practice.
At that first gathering back in 2002, the discussion topic was Transmitting from the New Frontier (besides sending your manuscript on a Voyager Spacecraft). Over ten years later, the rise of our talented authors and illustrators suggests that we have well and truly learned how to transmit from this western frontier.