I was lucky to be invited to present writing workshops for kids at the 2018 Sharjah International Book Fair, the third largest in the world after Frankfurt and London.
It was huge … and amazing.
I presented 12 writing workshops over 6 days to children aged 4 to 14.
On Kid’s Day, 50,000 young book and writing enthusiasts swarmed through the doors. It was so wonderful to see so many kids inspired by books.
The 2018 Sharjah International Book Fair had well over 2 million visitors ( just under 1/12 of Australia’s entire population).
The kids in my workshops were so beautiful and enthusiastic, and although there were some language barriers, puppets and rainbows seemed able to traverse them.
It was such a great experience for me as a writer … and also as a workshop presenter … improvising to meet needs I had not previously encountered.
I was fortunate, to have two amazing helpers, my husband, Michael and my collaborator, Heba.
She made sure we had everything we needed for the workshops. She adores children, and you could see that the feeling was mutual.
The kids loved Reena’s Rainbow and were so creative, writing about and drawing rainbows. There were amazing stories, poems and even an acrostic rainbow song by the very talented Ishana.
She wrote this song in our one hour workshop and then performed it. I’m sure we will see her books on the shelves one day … or hear her on the air waves.
There were so many other inspiring and talented young writers at the book fair.
Sharjah was a beautiful place, and we received a very warm welcome.