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What else has happened...

AUTILLUS at ABRAXAS Children's Book Festival in Zug

Our members' work

You will have noticed that there was no blog post on 10 November. I was allowed to spend that Sunday with Alice Gabathuler at our stall at ABRAXAS children's book festival in Zug, Central Switzerland. "Allowed" is definitely the right expression,n as every day in the company of power-woman Alice is sheer pleasure.
The AUTILLUS committee had already considered what to offer the passing audiences in addition to    the book table with the publications of our members at the summer meeting. We decided on two courses of action. There was to be a competition and we wanted to ask our members if they'd be prepared to run live writing and live drawing sessions. At this place a BIG THANK YOU to our members. With their help, we were not only able to
fill all the live session time slots but also to offer four packets with five books each on both festival days (on Saturday at 17.17h and on Sunday at 16.16h) for the competition winners.
The reason of the competition was to raise awareness of AUTILLUS, the association of Swiss children's book writers and illustrators, and to convey the meaning of our name. Therefore the competition question was "Which two professions form the word AUTILLUS?".  Of course we helped participants, who had difficulty finding the answer.

Alice Gabathuler getting ready for the draw
We didn't want to impose any rules on our members who were willing to participate in the live sessions. That was why the Saturday happenings were almost exclusively run by illustrators and the Sunday ones solely by authors. During the regular festival events, there were hardly any passersby. So some of our members wrote "into the void". However, the people who did pass (and there were dozens in the event breaks) did stop to watch. As a result we chanced upon some interesting encounters and eagerly seized the opportunity to network.
Our live authors and illustrators on Saturday were:
"Sagerin" (folktale specialist) Christine Rothenbühler
Angela Stadelmann
Kalea Book
Barbara Zwahlen
and on Sunday:
Alice Gabathuler
Bettina Bellmont
Claudia Donno
and me. You can find more ample information about our members on

Raven Abraxas and one of the helpers
Because it was the fifth of the biannual ABRAXAS festival, the mascot Abraxas (Ottfried Preussler's "Little Witch's" raven) celebrated his tenth birthday. That was done in style with a huge chocolate birthday cake that was shared among everybody present. Of course we also sang "Happy Birthday dear Abraxas".
There was also a "Scene Reading" from "The Best of Tarantino", the winning story of the first Raven of the City of Baar. For this new prize for children's literature sponsored by the city of Baar, I was proud to be one of the jury members. See blog post 06.07.2013 and Writers' News, Members' News, December 2013. The school children from Baar that performed the mix between reading and a theatre play did a fantastic job and reaped laughter and well earned applause for their effort. "The Best of Tarantino" will be published by SJW-Verlag, Zurich in 2014.
After the festival, we all agreed that ABRAXAS – despite the small numbers of passing audiences – was a success for AUTILLUS. The next ABRAXAS festival will take place in two year's time. That's when you'll find us there again.
By the way – you can also meet AUTILLUS (@AUTILLUS) and ABRAXAS festival (@abraxasfestival) on Twitter