Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Yep, time for a change. Recently I resigned from my job after nearly nine years. I have been unemployed in the past - and I don't much like it. So volunteering for the cause wasn't something that I was planning for.

The State Library of Victoria and the Centre for Youth Literature are wonderful places to work, but last month I reached a point when I filed notice. I am working up until Christmas, will have a holiday, and re-load in the new year. Nine years is personal best by some margin, so on that score I'm satisfied, but also know that I need new challenges.

Youth literature is a fantastic field to work in. There are a lot of smart, passionate, creative people: writers, editors, publishing people, booksellers... YA fiction remains wide open to innovation and change, the boundaries are ever being tested. (Just like it is with teenagers.) And I liked the sense that we were working for teenagers, to support and to challenge them.

More recently I have been working on exhibition of recent Australian picture book illustration, which opens on 3 December, my wife's birthday. I am enjoying working with the exhibition team at the State Library of Victoria; they are like watchmakers, every fine tooth of every cog in its perfect place. There is some wonderful artwork in the show and I hope that people young and once young will get a lot out of the show.

When I was offered the job at the Centre for Youth Literature I remember being a bit speechless. I honestly did not expect to be offered it. All things considered it has been a wonderful experience for me. But I don't believe in hanging on for the sake of it.

Whatever comes next I hope that it won't be far from the world of books and young people.

But, who knows?

1 comment:

Beth said...

Hi Mike,

Long time no see. Stumbled across you by a circuitous route. Congratulations on a big and brave step, the kind of which usually ends up in a much better place (even if you have no idea at present where that place might be). And thanks for Whispering Pines. At the risk of sounding morbid, it's high on my Ultimate Funeral Playlist (which doesn't preclude me enjoying it at other times as well...). Beth D