Welcome to New South Wales
NSW is an amazingly creative state, with stunning beaches from Byron Bay to Bateman’s Bay; the massive Outback regions with towns from Broken Hill and its landscape artists to the black opal underground mines of Lightning Ridge; the Riverina from the historic old Murray paddleboats and rich fields of irrigated crops to remote Wakool with its rice farms and massive sheep stations; the Blue Mountains with the stunning Great Dividing Range, Jenolan Caves, bush walks with kangaroos, breath taking waterfalls, rugged cliffs and virgin bushlands. There’s the coastline from Queensland to Victoria and so much more.
Then there’s Sydney, home to publishers great and small —HarperCollins, Random House, Hachette, Pan MacMillan, Scholastic, ABC Books, Walker Books, Blake Education, Koala Books, Little Hare and more. It’s home to many newspapers and magazines including Sydney’s Child, School Magazine, and Good Reading. The headquarters of the Australian Society of Authors, the Australian Writers Guild, Fox Studios and the Australian Film & Television School are all based in Sydney. SCBWI NSW is well positioned to engage with the key bodies and organisations in the children’s publishing industry.
Based at the lovely Hughenden Hotel in Sydney, SCBWI NSW meets at least four times a year to share information, ideas, news and to hear from industry professionals.
There are also regular illustrator soirees organised by our very active Illustrator Committee. Illustrators have a real voice in SCBWI NSW.
Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory is home to stunning tracks of bushlands, parklands, Mt Stromlo Observatory with its world class telescopes, Lake George with its low lying grasslands and the jewels in the crown, Lake Burley Griffin and Australia’s capital, Canberra. Canberra houses Australia’s national treasures including National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, National Library of Australia, the War Memorial, the Parliament of Australia and so much more. It is home to arts in all its forms and promotes creativity from the stunning gardens of Floriade to the treasures of National Film and Sound Archives to literature and the growing group of SCBWI authors and illustrators in the ACT.
Greetings from SCBWI Queensland!
Queensland is the second largest state in Australia, 2.5 times the size of Texas. We are unique in that half of our 4.6 million people live in regional and outback areas. This statistic fits SCBWI Queensland’s membership where almost 50% face geographic isolation and limited access to networking opportunities.
Nevertheless, Queensland’s arts community has a strong literary history and today it’s the home of many notable and passionate authors, illustrators and editors, including those who work in the field of children’s and YA books.
Our state’s diverse geography and balmy climate play a large part in our outdoor lifestyle and creative inspirations. Much of the work of SCBWI Queensland authors and illustrators reflects this environment – from the far-north tropics and vast coastline, through rural communities and the arid outback, to the urban sub-tropical, capital city of Brisbane.
We love connecting with SCBWI friends through workshops, exhibitions, regional visits, quarterly general meetings, members’ book launches, the Queensland SCBWI Blog, our SCWIBBLINGS newsletter, social networking and of course, gatherings on our Queensland verandahs.
Our region is special because it’s small in geographical size but it’s big when it comes to SCBWI members. At last count Victoria had the largest number of members in the Australian/New Zealand regions and we are very proud of that.
Each year we hold four or five gatherings, regularly at DiMattinas Restaurant in Lygon Street, Carlton where members and non-members come together on a Saturday afternoons to listen to two fellow members talk about an aspect of their creative careers. We then break for a long afternoon tea of discussion, networking and camaraderie while we eat, and drink Italian coffee. A Guest Speaker then shares with us an aspect of their experience from within the children’s book industry.
We’ve had publishers, agents, booksellers, authors, illustrators, booking agents and even accountants to advise us on how to balance our finances. One gathering each year is held in a regional location to give members and non-members who live far from the city, an opportunity to attend. Over the years firm friendships have blossomed from these afternoons and publishing successes have been shared and celebrated.
Festival South Australia
South Australia is home to long summers, stunning beaches and award-winning wine, events and festivals. It’s the gateway to the Barossa, Flinders Ranges and Outback and Kangaroo Island. It also the state which loves festivals. There’s the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, Cabaret Festival, Feast Festival, the WOMADelaide world music festival. It’s home to the May Gibbs Trust which attracts so many children’s authors to the state. Omnibus, an imprint of Scholastic, established in Adelaide has published many award winning children’s books. Iconic Australian children’s authors Gillian Rubenstein and Colin Thiele were South Australian. SCBWI authors and illustrators are making their mark led by talented children’s author Kelly Hibbert.
Islands, lots of islands. Tasmania (Tassie) is an island state with 334 surrounding islands around, 240 kms south of the Australian mainland. It’s a wilderness paradise with evergreen eucalypt forests, alpine heathlands, rainforests, moorlands, farmlands, wild rivers, white sand coastlines and stunning national parks with marsupials of all kinds. It’s a foodie paradise with more than apples. There’s boutique seafood, cheese, breads, honeys, nuts, craft beer, whisky, chocolate and more. It’s home to the Australian Antarctic Division. There’re festivals, the famous MONA FOMA art festivals, and a literary culture. After all, it’s the home of Richard Flanagan and the classic book ‘For the Term of His Natural Life’ by Marcus Clarke. Children’s writers and illustrators are flourishing with award winning SCBWI creators Julie Hunt, Lian Tanner, Christina Booth, Anne Morgan, Gay McKinnon and many more. The Writers Centre in Hobart is frequent gathering place for SCBWI as well as Fullers Bookshops and The Hobart Book Stop. There’s so much to love in Tasmania.
Newcastle & Central Coast
A newcomer to the SCBWI family, the Newcastle and Central Coast group holds regular gatherings for members with quarterly general meetings and casual get-togethers spread throughout the year to offer networking opportunities and encouragement to local children’s authors and illustrators.
Our group has a broad geographical base which includes the Central Coast, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Upper Hunter and Port Stephens areas. With a number of beaches, lakes, bushland and wineries as well as farming land and urban areas for inspiration, it is no surprise that our members represent a wide range of genres and styles.
As one of Australia’s largest non-capital city populations, Newcastle and the Central Coast already has a wonderful core group of members who are keen to welcome newcomers.
Kia Ora from New Zealand!
Despite our size and small population, we are a country of exceptional achievers in many fields, noted for being great readers and producing some exceptional illustrators – David Elliot (Redwall series) and Gavin Bishop, a Noma Concours award winner, and writers – notably Joy Cowley, nominated for 2012 Astrid Lindgren Award and our late beloved Margaret Mahy, 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Award winner.
New Zealand (population 4.4 million) is a young country. Settled originally by M?ori who voyaged from Hawaiiki probably in the 13th Century, by shiploads of immigrants from England and Scotland in the 19th Century; Pacific Islanders from the 1960s onwards; and more recently migrants from Asia and central Europe adding to a vibrant mix of cultures.
We are known for our dramatic and varied landscape. Auckland, saddling two harbours, the Waitemata and the Manukau, sits on a bed of 55 (fortunately dormant) volcanoes. Wellington, the capital city, built on steep hillsides overlooks a windswept harbour, and Christchurch, recovering from the recent earthquakes, sits adjacent to the Southern Alps which form the backbone of the South Island. We are surrounded by water, subtropical Pacific Ocean in the north and chilly Southern Ocean in the south, and none of us live far away from water.
Although we have a small trade publishing output, New Zealand writers have a reputation for producing quality material for the international educational market. Many of our writers have honed their skills writing for the School Journal, which has recently celebrated its centenary, and is distributed free to every school in the country. Our children are avid readers of books from other English-speaking countries especially Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. We also celebrate the strong oral traditions of Maori and Pacific Island cultures.
We celebrate children’s books with the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards and the Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand annual festivals. Storylines also has a number of awards for published and unpublished writers and illustrators.
SCBWI gives us a unique opportunity to build relationships beyond our shores. Because of our small publishing market, the sense of belonging to a large children’s book community is vital for NZ writers and illustrators to stay fresh and feel connected.