Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Australia East & New Zealand Zooming and Singing out the Year Party

Date(s) - 06/Dec/2020
11:00 am - 1:30 pm

SCBWI AUSTEastNZ Zooming Out The Year Party

All SCBWIAustEastNZ members are invited to this online party to celebrate our uber-talented members and sing out 2020! We have a special treat in store with incredible author/illustrator James Foley giving us an in-depth chat about creating graphic novels. Then we’ll be adding more Zip to your Zooms as shining lights Nat Amoore, Shelly Unwin, Michelle Worthington and Jess Racklyeft share their tips and secrets for presenting stellar school zoom sessions. We’ll wrap up with a special sing-a-long led by superstar James! So bring your vocal chords and a glass of your preferred tipple and let’s party!


This event is FREE but please register so we can send you the Zoom link. Open to all current SCBWI members from Australia East and New Zealand.

CLICK HERE to register. (The time is 11am Sydney time. Please adjust for the time zone differences)

You will be sent a link and password for the Zoom Event at the time of booking your ticket.

Click here to download the Lyrics for the Singalong. Don’t forget your reindeer antlers!




11am – 11:15amWelcome by Susanne Gervay

11:15am – 11.55am—Zooming with the Stars
Expert SCBWI Zoomers show us what they’ve been doing online to get kids excited about books with a 10 minute sample presentations by Nat Amoore, Shelly Unwin, Jess Racklyeft, and Michelle Worthington.

11.55am – 12:15pm—Adding Zip to Your Zoom
Get tips to make your school zooms shine! ARA Deborah Abela will ask our panel of Zoom Stars about the joys and pitfalls of Zoom and what they’ve learned after a year of virtual school visits. Panel to be followed by Q&A.

5 min break

12:20pm – 1:05pm—The Nuts and Bolts of Graphic Novels with James Foley
James will give us a detailed insight into his creative process.

1:05pm – 1:15pm—Let’s Sing!
Deck the halls and get those vocal cords ready to sing with James Foley. Put on your antlers, tinsel, bring your favourite cheery character – let’s go for it to see the end of 2020 and look forward to 2021.

1.15pm – 1.30pm—Update from State Leaders





Nat Amoore
Nat is a Sydney-based writer who is passionate about encouraging kids to read and write and explore their imagination without boundaries. Her first middle grade novel. Secrets Of A Schoolyard Millionaire came out last year with Penguin Random House. It had great success as both Dymocks and QBD’s ‘Kids Book Of The Month’, becoming Australia’s #1 bestselling debut Aussie children’s fiction in 2019. Her second book The Power Of Positive Pranking is due out in June 2020.


Shelly Unwin
Shelly grew up in a tiny English village where she was surrounded by animals, the occasional pixie fairy and her best friend Cracker, a feisty palomino pony. She was the middle child of three, but also had eleven foster siblings (not all at the same time!). Shelly studied teaching and biology at university in Birmingham and moved to Australia in 2002, where she has since married an Aussie with two beautiful kids and added another two to the brood. She plays with words all week long and loves that she can call it ‘work’.


Jess Racklyeft
Jess is a children’s book lover, draw-er and reader based in Melbourne, who also creates work for card companies, picture books, original paintings, prints and all types of different client projects. She loves watercolours, but getting more and more into combining digital work and tinker with oils, pencils and other bits and bobs she can get her mitts on.


Michelle Worthington
Michelle is an award-winning children’s author and international guest speaker on the importance of reading and the power of storytelling. A full-time fiction and screenwriter based in Brisbane, Michelle credits her three sons for giving her an endless source of inspiration, as well as her wrinkles. Two-time finalist of the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award and two-time winner of the International Book Award and finalist in the USA Best Book Awards, she received a Gellett Burgess Award and a Silver Moonbeam award for her contribution to diversity in children’s literature with stories that celebrate children of all abilities.


Deborah AbelaSCBWI ARA, New South Wales
After producing and writing children’s TV for Network Ten, Deborah has written over 25 novels about spies, soccer legends and characters who battle sea monsters and evil harbour lords. Her books include the Max Remy and Jasper Zammit (Soccer Legend) series, The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and The Most Marvellous Spelling Bee MysteryGrimsdon, New City and Final Storm were inspired by her crankiness about inaction to climate change and her historical fiction novel, Teresa A New Australian, was sparked by her family’s survival during WW2 and migration to Australia. Her first picture book is Wolfie, An Unlikely Hero and will be joined by Bear in Space in August 2020. Deb has won awards for her books but mostly hopes to be as brave as her characters. She is a proud ambassador for Room to Read and Books In Homes.


James Foley
James Foley makes picture books, middle grade novels and comics for kids. He’s the author/illustrator of the S.Tinker Inc graphic novel series for middle primary: Brobot (2016), Dungzilla (2017) and Gastronauts(2018) star Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and Joe Tinker, her stinky baby brother. The fourth in the series, Chickensaurus, will be published in late 2020. James also illustrates the Toffle Towers series written by Tim Harris. James contributed to Total Quack Up (2018) and Funny Bones (2019), both anthologies of funny stories with proceeds going to charity. His earlier books My Dead Bunny (2015), In The Lion (2012), The Last Viking (2011) and The Last Viking Returns (2014) have all scored several honours, including children’s choice awards, shortlistings in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year awards, and selection to the International Youth Library’s White Raven list. The sequel to My Dead Bunny, There’s Something Weird About Lena, will be published in late 2020.