Where are the writers for children?
Adelaide Writers’ Week 2010
Last week I attended three days of the week long Adelaide Writers Week. This biennial event is an integral part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts here in South Australia, one of the leading such festivals of its kind in the world. The list of guest speakers is often a who’s who of the writing world. This time was no exception and the impressive parade of talented writers throughout the week was very inspiring. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
But where were the writers for children?
They were conspicuous by their almost total absence.
Only Markus Zusak could be said to be a writer for children – a debatable point as his audience is best described as Young Adult.
Australia has an impressive number of world class writers for children. They lead the world in their chosen field. They are acknowledged around the globe for their talent and many outsell their adult counterparts. Why, then are they totally ignored festival after festival?
Is this a case of literary snobbery on the part of the organising committee? Or ignorance?