Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI Sydney—Polishing, Pitching and Getting Published

Date(s) - 01/Jul/2018
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Woollahra Library, Sydney
451 New South Head Rd - Double Bay, NSW 2028

One of our main aims at SCBWI is for kids’ book creators to be connected to the professionals who can offer them publication. In the years since we began in Australia, we’ve been instrumental in hundreds of members getting their first break in this rewarding and exciting industry. This next event, Polishing, Pitching and Getting Published, is no different.

You have your idea for your new book, you’ve worked on your synopsis, done all the necessary research, you may even have written your first draft. Now you are ready to be signed up.

But where do you start? Who do you approach and how should you do it?

Heather Curdie from Penguin Random House and Suzanne O’Sullivan from Hachette are two of Australia’s publishing powerhouses and they’ll be joining us to answer these questions and more.

They will talk about their work, their lists and how each of their publishing houses work. They will discuss the process of signing up creators, tell us what they are looking for in a manuscript and showcase examples of how they take a first draft to final draft. They’ll also give advice on what to do as a new writer and illustrator to enhance your profile.

Heather and Suzanne will also be offering 5 manuscript critiques each. Yes! That’s right there will be 10 critiques on offer.

Hope to see you there!



1-1.15pm—Welcome and update on SCBWI Events with Susanne Gervay

1.15-2pm—Heather Curdie from Penguin Random House

2-2.30pm—Afternoon Tea and Networking

2.30-3.15pm—Suzanne O’Sullivan from Hachette



Tickets For the Event

CLICK HERE for Tickets at Trybooking 
SCBWI Members $25 • Non-members $35


Manuscript Critiques

A limited number of Manuscript Critiques will be available before the event. Critiques are 15 minutes plus an additional scheduled time for changeover. Critiques are limited to SCBWI members attending this event. At time of booking you will be able to choose your preference from the available time slots.

Manuscript Assessors:

Heather Curdie—Commissioning Editor, Penguin Random House Australia
Heather is interested in Middle Grade and Picture Books

Suzanne O’Sullivan—Publisher Children’s Books, Machete
Suzanne is interested in Young Adult, Middle Grade and Picture Books


CLICK HERE for Tickets at Trybooking
$65 per critique and places are limited to one per person. Critiques are limited to SCBWI members who are attending this event. Critiques are non-refundable and non-transferable, so please choose carefully.
Tickets opening June 1. There are only 10 critique places available, so book quickly!


Submission Guidelines for Manuscript Critiques:
Following your booking CLICK HERE to submit your manuscript or picture book text or thumbnails. Please take note of the June 10, 2018 deadline and the format for submissions. Unfortunately, submissions that are late or that do not conform to the specifications cannot be accepted.

Your Manuscript critique submission should include the following:

  • An overview of your project to a maximum of 1 page including your name, email and website (if applicable)


  • An outline of your project idea with synopsis and short writing samples for comment and discussion to a maximum of 10 pages, double spaced in 12pt Times New Roman or similar


  • An extract of your draft manuscript to a maximum of 10 pages, double spaced in 12pt Times New Roman or similar


  • A full picture book draft text to a maximum of 10 pages, double spaced in 12pt Times Roman or similar


  • If a writer-illustrator an illustrated picture book dummy with text.

Most assessors prefer word document format so they can make inline notes, however, pdfs are also acceptable. Picture books in thumbnail form can be supplied as pdfs. Please label your file including Surname, Title (abbreviate if necessary), Genre (PB, C, YA) and indicate if it is Non-Fiction NF: ex. Surname_Title_PB_NF




Heather CurdieCommissioning Editor, Penguin Random House
Heather is a very experienced editor with extensive experience in the children’s publishing industry. She has been commissioning editor at Penguin for more than ten years. Prior to that she was senior editor at RandomHouse for ten years and editor at Transworld Publishers for 5 years.




Suzanne O’SullivanPublisher Children’s Books, Hachette 
Suzanne worked in the book industry for over 15 years, focusing on children’s books for most of that time. At Lothian, she publishes books for all ages, with a particular focus on picture books and middle-grade fiction. She is particularly keen to find new illustrators and authors with a distinctive style and a firm grasp on what appeals to kids. She says the best moments in her job are when she reads a manuscript or sees an illustration that transports her as vividly as the books she loved growing up used to do. Recently she made an incredible round-the-world journey in A.L. Tait’s The Mapmaker Chronicles, discovered the secret world of shape-shifters in The Turners by Mick Elliott, explored the farmyard with Phil Cummings and Sarah Davis’s adorable picture book Be Brave, Pink Piglet, and remembered World War One with A Soldier, a Dog and a Boy by Libby Hathorn and Phil Lesnie.