The arrival of winter weather in Western Australia means it’s time for SCBWI Australia West authors and illustrators to pack their beanies and board the ferry for the annual Rottnest Island Retreat.
Since the first retreat in 2009, which began with a tentative, “Maybe we could go to Rotto?”, the June event has become a hit with members and guests. Spaces fill quickly once bookings are opened and the program has expanded in recent years from 3 days to 4.
The area covered by the SCBWI Australia West region is diverse and vast and this popular retreat attracts members from as far afield as Kalgoorlie, Albany and Singapore. It is a fantastic opportunity for SCBWI West-ers to come together and share their passion for children's literature. Firm friendships have been forged on the island, along with fruitful creative collaborations.
The program varies from year to year but always includes firm favourites such as The Pitch Award, Sketch (& Scribble) Crawl, and Readings By (Almost) Candlelight. Some of the time is structured and the rest is left open for retreaters to write, paint, stroll along an isolated stretch of beach, and enjoy a glass of red and network with fellow writers and illustrators.
We also endeavour to host a publisher or agent who can conduct professional development sessions as well as manuscript and portfolio critiques. For those who cannot attend the full retreat, a “Daytripper” program runs on one day of the weekend, and a more recent development is the organisation of associated “Landlubber” events on the mainland in advance of the retreat for members unable to join us on Rottnest itself.
No matter our personal motivation for going to Rottnest, we always leave with creative energies renewed and a fresh enthusiasm for the work we return to on the mainland.
Why not join us at Rotto in this year?