Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2014 Program

Conf-logo320pxWelcome to the Sydney Conference 2014—
The 5th International SCBWI Biennial Conference! 

Running from July 13th to 15th (with optional Master Classes on Wednesday July 16th), the Conference is a mix of industry information including inside grant applications, publisher acquisitions, the impact of the Australian national curriculum and the US core curriculum on publishing. There will be book launches, pitching ideas, critiques, master classes, networking across Australia and New Zealand and the fabulous conference dance party. The Conference focuses on the industry, seeking to foster professional relationships and friendships within the community of authors and illustrators. 


Sunday—13th July, 2014

9.00am to 2.30pm—Pre-Conference Manuscript & Portfolio Critiques

There will be optional Manuscript Critiques with Connie Hsu, Senior Commissioning Editor of Roaring Brook USA; Shirin Bridges, publisher of Goosebottom USA, and Australian editors and publishers. As a special option for Illustrators, Bruce Whatley and Stephen Axelsen are providing an opportunity for delegates to have a top professional critique of their work in a limited number of Portfolio Critiques.


Noon to 2.30pm—Registration Opens 

3.00pm—Conference Opening

Susanne Gervay, Regional Advisor (RA) Australia East & New Zealand welcomes delegates and speakers, icebreakers and introduces regions:

Frané Lessac, RA Australia West
Deborah Abela, ARA New South Wales
Sheryl Gwyther, ARA Queensland
Caz Goodwin, ARA Victoria
Frances Plumpton, ARA New Zealand
Katrina Germein, Coordinator South Australia
Tracey Hawkins, Coordinator ACT
Kerri Lane, Coordinator Central Coast/Newcastle

Illustrator Coordinators:
Sarah Davis, IC Australia East & New Zealand
James Foley, IC Australia West
Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, Assistant Coordinator

Christopher Cheng, co chair of the International Board; Crystal Kite Coordinator

3.50pm to 4.00pm—Room to Read
Educating the children of the developing world with Wendy Rapee from Room to Read and board member of Children’s Book Council Australia.

4.00pm to 5.00pm—Q&A in conversation with publishers and editors
Niki Horin, Lisa Berryman, Shirin Bridges, Maryann Ballantyne, Karen Tayleur
Moderator: Susanne Gervay

5.00pm to 6.00pm—Book Launches
MC: Deborah Abela

Meredith Costain—The Cuddliest Hug (Koala Books / Scholastic) launched by Cathie Tasker
Gabrielle Wang—Pearlie the Spy (Penguin) launched by Frane Lessac
Victoria Lane—Celia and Nonna (Ford Street) launched by Corinne Fenton
Pamela Rushby—The Ratcatcher’s Daughter (HarperCollins) launched by Lisa Berryman

The SCBWI proudly announces the Sydney Conference bookseller is The Children's Bookshop, Beecroft
Books will be on sale with the authors and illustrators autographing at the events.

6.00pm to 6.30pm—Buying Young Adult Digital Romance with ESCAPE Publishing (an imprint of Harlequin)
An informal chat with Managing Director Kate Cuthbert. 

In the Lounge—Optional but Numbers are Limited. Sign up sheet in the foyer. Maximum 25.
MC: Kerri Lane/Kaz Delaney

From 6.30pm head down to The Woollahra Hotel—116 Queen Street, Woollahra—for dinner, networking and good times at the local at your own cost.


Monday—14th July, 2014

9.00am to 11.00am—Illustrator Showcase (for publishers and industry only)
Coordinated by Sarah Davis and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall


9.00am to 9.55am—Inside USA Publishing
with Connie Hsu, Commissioning Editor of Roaring Brook USA.
MC: Susanne Gervay

10.00am to 10.55am—Getting into the Market Place
with successful US self publisher and award winning picture book creator Kathryn Otoshi and successful illustrator/author Tania McCartney (52-Week Illustrator Challenge and Kids Book Review).
MC: Katrina Germein

10.55am to 11.55am—Morning Tea
Delegates can view Illustrator Showcase

Noon to 12.55pm—Jellico Road: From Novel to Film Adaptation
with Melina Marchetta
MC: Laura Harris

1.00pm to 1.55pm—Lunch

2.00pm to 2.55pm—From Submission to ‘On the Book Shelf’
From Walker Books: Mary Verney Editor, Donna Rawlins Art Director, and Simon Panagaris Marketing Manager present the journey of The Croc and the Platypus with Jackie Hoskings and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall.
Chair: Sue Whiting, Publishing Manager Walker Books

The SCBWI proudly announces the Sydney Conference bookseller is The Children's Bookshop, Beecroft.
Books will be on sale with the authors and illustrators autographing at the events.

3.00pm to 3.55pm—The Art of Pitching to Publishers
An overview of what publishers and editors want in a pitch by an expert panel including Zoe Walton, Lisa Berryman, Niki Horin, Holly Toohey and Clare Hallifax.

All publishers are invited to watch and comment on the 8 creators pitch.
Moderator: Deborah Abela

4.00pm to 4.55pm—How to get into the International Market
Panel: Frances Plumpton, Connie Hsu, Nerilee Weir
Moderator: Frané Lessac

5.00pm to 6.00pm—Book Launches
MC: Deborah Abela

Peter Taylor—Once a Creepy Crocodile (Five Mile Press) launched by Karen Tayleur
Gabriel Evans—A New Pet (Five Mile Press) launched by Karen Tayleur
Wendy Binks—10 Clumsy Emus (Scholastic) launched by Clare Hallifax

The SCBWI proudly announces the Sydney Conference bookseller is The Children's Bookshop, Beecroft
Books will be on sale with the authors and illustrators autographing at the events.

7.30pm—Dinner Dance
Partying and Shaking your Booty to the music of The Beatnickers, SCBWI’s own Meredith Costain on vocals and keyboard, James Foley vocals, Scott Chambers on guitar and Mark Greenwood on drums. There will be a Prize for Best Dancer!


Tuesday—15th July, 2014

9.00am to 9.55am—How to move 250,000 books in 6 months
with publisher and best selling series author Louise Park.
MC: Tracey Hawkins

10.00am to 10.55am—Going to the Common Core USA
Professor Ernest Bond explains the core themes and rationale for books reaching the USA.
MC: Carolyn Goodwin

11.00am to 11.55am—Morning Tea

Noon to 12.55pm—Up Close with Bruce Whatley, internationally acclaimed illustrator
MC: Lisa Berryman

1.00pm to 1.55pm—Lunch

2.00pm to 2.55pm—Tips on Grants & Organisations
Australian Society of Authors, Copyright Agency Limited, SCBWI, School Magazine, Australia Council and New Zealand Grants.
Panel: Sue Murray and Emma Heyde, Libby Gleeson, Jill Eddington, Zoe Rodriguez
and Christopher Cheng
Chair: Frances Plumpton

3.00pm to 3.55pm—Publishers share their best-kept stories – funny, inspiring, sad and more
Panel: Zoe Walton, Maryann Ballantyne, Sue Whiting
Moderators: Frané Lessac and Susanne Gervay

4.00pm to 4.30pm—Illustrator Duel
with the formidable warrior talents of Bruce Whatley in combat with Stephen Axelsen.
Auction of the Illustrations for Room to Read.

Prize giving by Fiona MacDonald of her limited edition print published by Christmas Press to the best Facebook entry about the SCBWI Conference and 

Prize of The Bear Said Please by Jacque Duffy, a delightful, fun rhyming picture book and a cuddly bear which will be awarded to the Best Dancer at the Monday Night Dance Party!

Farewells from the SCBWI team.


Wednesday—16th July, 2014 (Optional)

As a special feature of the SCBWI International Conference, outstanding presenters conduct the optional 3-hour Master Classes. 

Master Classes—9.00am to Noon:
Connie Hsu—Diversity in Literature from Board Books to YA

Bruce Whatley—Crafting the Picture Book

Meredith Costain—Hooks to Keep Readers Turning Pages

Master Classes—1.00pm to 4.00pm:
Connie Hsu—Hands On Book Intensive
Bruce Whatley—Advanced Techniques

Self serve coffee and tea provided. 


This Program is correct at time of posting but is subject to change.

We would like to thank our wonderful Supporters and Sponsors:

Australian Society of Authors
Copyright Agency Limited
The Hughenden Boutique Hotel
SCBWI Head Office


The SCBWI proudly announces the Sydney Conference bookseller is The Children's Bookshop, Beecroft

We Support:


Room to Read—Taking literacy to the children of the developing world