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?