Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators


Date(s) - 17/Aug/2020 - 22/Aug/2020
9:30 am - 4:30 pm


17-22 AUGUST 2020

SCBWI TAS will facilitate a series of Zoom-based sessions with breakout rooms, where participants will receive 15 minutes of private feedback from an industry professional.

Davina Bell from Allen & Unwin will provide brief written feedback (no Zoom).

Priority is being given to writers and illustrators who attended the SCBWI TAS ‘How to Pitch’ webinar on 18 July. If some critique tickets are still available by 1 August, we will advise the Trybooking link on this page.

The stated times are in Australian EST.

What the assessors are looking for

Maryann Ballantyne, Publisher, Wild Dog Books

10am-4.10pm, Monday 17 August

Wild Dog Books is an independent Australian publisher of award-winning children’s books. We love stories, both fiction and non-fiction, and especially Australian stories that show us who we are and where we have come from.

Mark Mcleod, President and Publisher, Dirt Lane Press,

10am-noon, Tuesday 18 August

I look for a strong plot that touches my mind and my heart with a fresh perspective, particularly one that involves social justice. Entertainment comes first, learning second.

Sophia Whitfield, Publisher, New Frontier Publishing,

3pm- 6pm, Tuesday 18 August (zooming from London)

We are looking for picture book texts with an emphasis on kindness and resilience. Our list is growing for junior fiction and we are keen to read fast paced adventure stories for 7+.

Clair Hume, Commissioning Editor for Children’s Books, University of Queensland Press,

10am- 4.10pm, Wednesday 19 August

I’m always on the lookout for clever/funny/evocative/warm-hearted stories with a unique spin. I cannot resist complex, fully-formed characters (with faults that somehow make me love them more), as well as great pace and tension.

In terms of picture books, I’m looking for unique illustrative styles and stories that go where I don’t expect them to.

Nancy Conescu, Publisher at Berbay Publishing

10am-noon, Thursday 20 August

We’re looking for highly-inventive fiction and nonfiction picture book manuscripts with lots of kid-appeal. On the fiction side, we’re looking for smart junior fiction and middle-grade novels that have a timeless quality and can be published as hardcover works with spot illustrations.  We’re not publishing YA novels, at this time.

Karen Tayleur, literary agent, Jacinta Dimase Management

10am-noon, Friday 21 August

Looking for writing with a strong and unique authorial voice. Not looking for rhyming text — unless it is absolutely fabulous. Particularly interested in author/illustrators.

Christina Booth (illustrations critiques)

10am-noon, Saturday 22 August

Christina is an award winning internationally published author/illustrator who is passionate about visual narrative and the power of story telling. She enjoys unique qualities in illustration that demonstrate a confident skill base in visual arts/design and an ability to be a strong ‘dance partner’ with other narrative forms. She is an experienced portfolio assessor and is keen to help new and emerging illustrators set up a professional portfolio that will catch a publisher’s eye.

Davina Bell, Publisher, Allen and Unwin

brief written feedback only, to be provided by Sunday 22 August

I’m after picture books, non-fiction for all ages, stand-alone middle-grade novels and junior fiction with series potential. Original, funny, poignant, whimsical, ridiculous, memorable or meaningful – I’m always looking for a combination of these qualities, told in a fresh and appealing voice.

 For more information, contact