I loved reading the November competition entries where you reflected on the best parts of 2016. It was fantastic to see so many of you had achieved goals at school from wanting to improve in an area of your work to undertaking leadership positions. I was thrilled to read about many longed for baby brothers, sisters and cousins who have come into your lives or are on the way and many of you were able to travel far and wide, from road trips to jet-setting international adventures. I really enjoyed reading about the importance of friends and family and quite a number of you talked about the simple pleasures of spending time with the people you love each day.
For me, 2016 has been a great year, with four new books out, hundreds of events where I’ve met so many fabulous people and lots of travelling. It’s now four years since I became a full-time writer and I don’t take one second of this amazing journey for granted. One of my absolute favourite parts of the job is meeting the readers and this year there have been a number of times, I’ve been brought completely unstuck by some of you. Things like parents driving six hours (one way!) to bring their daughter to an event in Melbourne – well that just made me cry on the spot. Being involved in Roald Dahl Day in Federation Square then just a month later, visiting the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden were two particular highlights of my year. Working on a new series has been really exciting too and there will be lots more to tell in 2017. And best of all was spending time with my family and friends far and wide!
I am so humbled by the many letters and emails I get from readers – and your support means the world to me. It was really hard choosing the winners of the November Newsletter Competition – there were so many fabulous reflections but in the end I had to choose and here they are:
Flora’s highlight of 2016: ‘I’m awful at sports, but I decided to try out for football. I practised hard and at the end of the year, I received an award!’
Congratulations Flora – well done for trying something new and working hard at it.
Kenya’s highlight of 2016: ‘We had a huge family reunion. I feel like family are the most important people in your life, so this memory was really special.’
What a great experience – memories like that are priceless.
Jennifer’s highlight of 2016: ‘When my twin sister won a drawing competition ( I also entered and lost) and she let me celebrate with her.’
You are a truly lovely sister – your parents must have been very proud of both of you!
Mandy’s highlight of 2016: ‘Meeting my best friend Rachel was the best thing that happened to me. We help each other a lot and make each other laugh every day.’
Good friends are like gold – sounds like you both know the value of friendship.
Last but certainly not least was Emma and her mother, Christel’s highlights of 2016 (which brought me to tears).
‘Shaving my Mummies head before her treatment and celebrating at the end of her treatment for breast cancer.’
‘Having my amazing daughter by my side as a cheerleader, nurse and holding my hand to get me through the toughest journey of my life.’
What an incredible mother and daughter – I wish you both the very best of health and good times ahead.
I have many things to be thankful for in 2016 – my wonderful family and friends, the people I work with and of course all of the readers. I wish you all the very best for 2017 – may it be a healthy and happy year.
With warmest wishes,