Friday, 4 May 2012

Sign up for the 2012 SCBWI Australia/NZ International conference to hone your craft, showcase your work, and meet industry professionals.

Look what's on for illustrators
at the Australia New Zealand SCBWI Conference 

Friday 29th June - Monday 2nd of July

Get in quickly to book yourself one of the limited places available.
Why should you be excited about this conference? Because as well as the fantastic panel discussions and keynote speakers, there are some fabulous opportunities to promote your work to publishers, learn new skills, and socialise ...

A chance to get your work seen by leading publishers and agents
SCBWI Australia is thrilled to be able to offer illustrator members the opportunity to showcase their work to leading publishing professionals. A private portfolio viewing will be held on Friday the 29th of June at 4.30pm for publishers, editor art directors, designers and agents. Following the private viewing, the exhibition is open to all conference attendees to join in and enjoy the artwork.
Full instructions on how to submit your portfolio

Important dates:
  • 1st June: email photo, bio and one image of your work to organisers for inclusion in the online catalogue (see below for instructions)
  • 15th June: Final date for submission of portfolios by mail (for SCBWI members not attending the conference.)
A chance to get constructive feedback on your work from an experienced industry professional
When you sign up for the conference, book yourself in for a one-on-one 20 minute critique of your portfolio with Jill Corcoran from the New York Herman Agency or a major commissioning Australian publisher

A chance to learn from established illustrators
Take an intensive, three hour masterclass with professional illustrators
THE ART OF DIPLOMACY how illustrators act as mediators and translators to get words and pictures talking to each other
 - with Sarah Davis.
More details here

A chance to doodle,sketch and socialise with your fellow illustrators - have fun and let your hair down!
Join us for the Illustrator Earlybird Breakfast Social 8.30am Sunday 1st July
Don't delay - Book today.
Click here to visit the conference website

For further details contact Frané Lessac ( or Sarah Davis (,
SCBWI Illustrator Coordinators
Lesley Vamos, Serena Geddes, and Andrea Edmonds,
illustrator Committee

Illustration and logo design by Lesley Vamos.
Copyright © 2012 SCBWI illustrator Coordinator, Australia and NZ, All rights reserved. 

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Guest blogger... Deborah Abela

Popular author and children's writers advocate, Deborah Abela is our guest blogger today. Check out why she loves getting together with other book creators. 

I love any excuse to get together with other kids' book creators, mostly, for a bit of fun and secondly, it’s a great way to glean information about what is going on beyond my hermetically sealed writing room.

I was very, very lucky recently to share a room, three-little-bears style in Bologna with wonderful illustrators and fabulous girls, Lesley Vamos and Serena Geddes. We walked through the mild March Bologna mornings each day to the Bologna Children's Book Fair , where we were surrounded by hangars of kids' book publishers, editors, rights managers, authors and illustrators from all over the was a bookish feast! 

We were also very lucky to meet other SCWBI members from all over the world, including founding member, Lin Oliver, who is a hoot.

The SCBWI conferences in Australia are a much smaller affair but no less fun. In fact, the intimacy is one of the highlights, and the conversations you have over the three days are often illuminating.

The atmosphere of sharing ideas, of swapping news, of being amongst people who know the highs and lows, is rejuvenating. I'm looking forward to listening, laughing, sharing and clinking glasses over this wonderful thing we do.

From Deborah Abela

Author of Max Remy Superspy series, Jasper Zammit (Soccer Legend) series, The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen, Grimsdon and her new series is GhostClub, inspired by the real life club that was formed by Charles Dickens over 150 years ago.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A word from Susanne Gervay, Regional Advisor - Australia and New Zealand

Susanne Gervay

Hi everyone - please look at the Conference website to hear news even if you're not coming. Everyone is part of this celebration of our community.
The Hughenden is full now and I have asked delegates to share where possible. No more room, but you can book at The Arts Hotel, Darlinghurst or The Manor, Darlinghurst.
SCBWI Illustrators who are NOT attending the Conference, you are welcome to join the Illustrator showcase - it's a $40 fee for non-conference delegates and you can book online - It's getting exciting.
If you attend or not, please be part of it - with the Conference Blog, Facebook pages and send in your comments.
From Susanne

Monday, 30 April 2012

GUEST BLOG: Maria Gill, New Zealand children's author

Let's slip across "The Ditch" to New Zealand and welcome to the conference blog, Maria Gill, prolific children's author and SCBWI member. Take it away, Maria...
I've travelled over from New Zealand three times (including 2012) for this conference.  That's how much I value it. It is a great opportunity to meet authors, illustrators and publishers across the Tasman.  I network, see if it is any different for authors in Australia and I take every opportunity to pitch my stories.
Maria Gill
This year, I was thrilled to be asked to be on the Educational Panel.  I've had 17 books published for the educational market, 10 books for the trade market, as well as numerous articles for educational journals and magazines.

I'll share my experience of making a living from educational writing, what I've learnt along the way and give tips on how other writers could find opportunities to get their writing published in this area, as well as answering questions.

Other conferences focus only on unpublished authors and that is what I love about this SCBWI conference - there's just as many published as unpublished authors/illustrators and we all get plenty from the conference. I find it beneficial hearing the process that authors have gone through to be international bestselling authors.

It is excellent there is always an American publisher or agent to give us insights into that market.  The publishers are incredibly generous with their time; telling us what they are looking for (and what they're not looking for, which is just as important), sharing books they are particularly proud to publish and giving feedback on pitch sessions.  It is DEFINITELY worthwhile paying for a pitch session, just for the personal feedback alone.

This year I've encouraged four (and I'm working on a couple more) to come over for the conference.  We're sharing an apartment at the Hughenden (get in quick - it is a great place to stay).

We're all planning ahead what stories we'll have ready to pitch, and as well as enjoying ourselves, we'll be making sure we get the most out of the conference. And because it is my third time, I'm really looking forward to meeting up with the friends I've made over the ditch from past SCBWI conferences. See you there!