Paratalk or torque?

My new column, with a title that somehow makes sense. From now on until I stop I will be examining a paragraph in whatever detail I choose. This is also a good time for guests to pop in and do their own paragraph.

Today’s paragraph is coming from a location that I’ll reveal in my thoughts.

Angela Namoi has worked at Allen & Unwin for 33 years and is currently the rights and international sales director for A&U’s children’s and young adult list. She has been a regular visitor at all the major bookfairs over many years, as well as visiting New York, Chicago, London, Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong regularly. In 2014 Angela was awarded the Pixie O’Harris Award and in 2016 the George Robertson Award for services to Australian Literature. Earlier this year she was granted four-year funding for an Australian collective stand at Bologna. @allenandunwin

Things I learned in typing back in the year dot. We were taught that the numbers one through to nine should be typed in words while anything after that we should type in numerals. In Editing last year we were taught all numbers should be written in words. I’d suggest neither of these are wrong as it depends on context and space. This is printed in a programme where space is at a premium and when I go through and check the rest of the pages I note the typesetter has been very careful about completing the last line in exactly the correct place and that if ’33’ had been written in letters then it would have put everything out. To insert even one extra line would have meant adding four more pages. Dates work by different rules, I might discuss that another time.

Namoi’s achievements make me both exhausted looking at them and very excited at the same time. She’s achieved just so, so much. As you’ll know if you’ve been a regular reader over the years I’m always excited by book fairs. The idea of being in a place where the bulk of the conversations are about books just makes me feel at home. And 33 years! Kudos!

I love her awards. Not just the fact that she’s worked so hard and achieved so much that she’s been given the George Robertson Award for services to Australian literature (although I think the word ‘literature’ should be capitalised as I think it’s such an important word) but the other award always causes me much amusement.

Pixie O’Harris was born Rhona Olive Harris in 1903. A printer’s error in the Sydney Morning Herald changed her name to Pixie O’Harris. Why Pixie? She never liked Rhona, people referred to her as Pixie on the boat coming to Australia so she adopted Pixie instead. After the printer’s error she kept the name Pixie O’Harris as her pen name. I’ve not been able to confirm the rumour that she’s also Rolf Harris’ aunt but I did run yet another search.

The last thing that excites me is the last statement. Namoi has been granted a four-year funding to create a stand at the Bologna Book Fair. That means she will be going to Bologna for their Book Fair every year for four years to promote Australian literature! So very exciting!

As for the name of this publication? It’s the programme for the Independent Publishing Conference 2017 as run by the Small Press Network. I did wonder why I kept it on my desk since November last year when I volunteered with them. Now I understand.

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