I remember Book Week fondly. It was the time when the book characters that I knew and loved jumped off the page and became alive in an entirely new way. I got so excited for the dress-up day at school, which allowed me to step into the persona of any book character I chose.
I had dressed up as Snugglepot (or Cuddlepie?), and Mum took photos of me standing next to the sunflowers that grew along our driveway. They towered over me, and I blended right in. I remember walking around the basketball court with my classmates, as the rest of the school watched. The wind picked up and ruffled my green crepe paper skirt, but my ever-sensible Mum had insisted on long sleeves, and my little green gumnut cap kept me nice and warm.
As I grew up, I imitated my favourite characters in new ways. I got Mum to make me a writing hat, in pursuit of my dream of becoming Jo March. I insisted on wearing that hat to do anything creative. At that point, I think I felt like wearing a special hat was enough to make me a writer. Now, I realise that Jo March showed up every day to write her epic dramas, and the cap was just part of her writing routine. Securely settled in a routine that works for me right now, I'm imitating Jo March differently, but I'm still trying to be her.
This month on the blog we're getting back into the spirit of that magical time that is Book Week. We're hearing from people who work with and love reading children's books - we've got a publisher, a writer, and a YA-lover lined up for the next three Mondays.
We're also encouraging you to get on board by sharing your book character dress-ups - both old and new. Tweet or Instagram your pictures to us (we're @writers_bloc on both!), and include the #bookweek hashtag! At the end of August we'll be sending a bookish care package out to reward the best picture that we receive.
Sam van Zweden was Writers Bloc’s Online Editor from 2013 - 2015. A Melbourne-based writer and blogger, her work has appeared in The Big Issue, Voiceworks, Tincture Journal, Page seventeen, and others. She’s passionate about creative nonfiction and cross stitch. She tweets @samvanzweden.