Our EBBY panel explained the vision of EBBY and its next steps as it boldly sets forth on its mission. To summarize, in 30 seconds or less: During this past year, we’ve put ourselves back on the map, after lingering for a few years in cryogenic stasis post-revolution. We got our new lease on life thanks to the patronage of Shoura Foundation for Development and an energetic new board compiled of qualified children's literature academics, professionals, publishers, and more, all completely dedicated to the cause … or tricked into doing so. We’re gearing up to host seminars and workshops for writers and illustrators, and anyone else with a vested interest in the field—keep your ears pealed for Dr. Motawy’s upcoming seminar on how to win the Hans Christian Andersen Award (she was a juror in the last ceremony, so girl is legit). We are attending conferences, such as the IRSCL 2015 Worcester, UK, and IBBY 2016 Auckland, New Zealand; so those frequent flyer miles are getting a good workout. Furthermore, we’ve coordinated with Shoura to launch a writing competition called Ardena, on the racy topic of agriculture, but more on that later.
All of the above was instantly forgotten when the buffet doors opened. There was a vicious stampede to get to the food and the cake was decimated in seconds. I’m happy to report that I managed to salvage a crumb. It was very tasty.