Flying the nest!

Alice Ahearn

As one new owl arrives, another one leaves: at the end of December we said goodbye to our assistant Alice Ahearn.

The end of another year is fast approaching, and many things are coming to a close. After nearly a year spent as a part of the wonderful Tiny Owl team, the close of 2017 also concludes my time here.

It’s always sad to move on, leaving behind the people you’ve come to know so well. The Tiny Owl team is a close-knit nest, and everything is shared: from the excitement and hard graft of bringing a new book to life, all the way down to laughs, knitted owls, and (many, many) snacks. It’s strange to know that all of that will continue after I’ve departed, just as it had before I arrived.

But it’s also wonderful to look back on the Tiny Owl achievements that I’ve been a part of: from the huge, like overturning a visa refusal, to the everyday, like giving the final proofread and finishing touches to an upcoming book. The great thing about being a part of such a small team is that everyone’s contributions genuinely do count towards the success of the whole; we have our own job titles and our separate roles, but taking one away would be like removing a wheel. So I can reflect on everything Tiny Owl has done this year and know that we, together, created that.

Contemplating the future now feels a little like standing on the edge of the nest, wings outspread, unsure of how far there is to fall before taking flight. Before beginning my double existence in publishing and bookselling, my first love was always writing, and that’s where I’m returning now. Whether or not it’ll work remains to be seen, but the part of me that has always thrived on the written word won’t be satisfied until I’ve seen for myself.

Whatever else the future holds, and however uncertain the times ahead, I know – just as surely as I know I’ll keep writing, reading and knitting – that Tiny Owl will continue to soar with their inspirational, bridge-building, boundary-breaking books. Picture books alone aren’t going to solve all our problems, but if one thing is clear from the turbulent events of recent months and years, it’s that it will be harder to change anything without them.

This isn’t goodbye; without doubt I’ll be back to visit the Tiny Owl nest before long. And in the meantime, I look forward to finding out what new adventures 2018 holds for both of us.

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