Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Conference Program 2016



Sunday 4th September, 2016

Prologue & Scene Setting



6pm to 11pm—Conference Welcome Dinner

Welcome by SCBWI leadership
Introducing Conference Keynote speaker Tara Weikum, Vice President of HarperCollins USA
Australian Society of Authors partners SCBWI with Laurine Croasdale, Professional Development Manager

Spelling Bee Quiz party featuring Deborah Abela’s 'Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee' and introduced by Zoe Walton, Children's publisher Penguin Random House.

Room to Read celebration and gold coin donation for helping literacy in the developing world introduced by Kel Butler and Wendy Rapee.


Book sales and signings

Throughout the Conference there will be faculty books for sale and signings. The Children’s Bookshop is the Conference bookseller.




Monday 5th September, 2016
Chapter One: The Inciting Incident!






9am to 9:50am—New Kid on the Block: EK Publishing

An insight into the perks and pitfalls of establishing a new picture book imprint with publisher Anouska Jones, and EK authors and illustrators Gwynneth Jones, Katrina McKelvey, Kirrili Lonergan, and Belinda Landsberry
MC: Katrina McKelvey



10am to 11am—Behind the Book  

A nuts and bolts session with children's author, packager and publisher Louise Park

examining the practical aspects of a book project such as budget, printing costs, marketing spend, point of sale costs and overheads

MC: Carolyn Goodwin



11am to 12pm—Morning Tea and opportunity for delegates to view the Illustrator Portfolio Showcase



12pm to 1pm—Dynamic Duos: A Case Study

4 pairs of publishers and authors offer insight into the process of creating a book together, from the first initial submission right through to publication. Panel includes: Ana Vivas (Scholastic) with Lesley Gibbes, Clare Hallifax (Scholastic) with Maria Gill, Zoe Walton (Penguin Random House) with Dianne Wolfer, and Sharon Evans (Big Sky Publishing) with Aleesah Darlison and Shane McGrath

MC: Deborah Abela



1pm to 2pm—Lunch
Lunch is a smorgasbord in The Carrington on Level 1, The Menzies Sydney Hotel



2pm to 2:50pm—Branding Brilliance
How to create your public image and turn yourself into an icon. With invaluable wisdom from: Brand creator – Valerie Khoo, Small Press publisher – Sophie Masson, Publicity Manager for HarperCollins – Holly Frendo, Director of Story Crowd Literature Festivals – Sandy Fussell, Managing Editor Australian Standing Orders – Belinda Bolliger
Participating Chair: Margaret Hamilton AM Pinerolo The Children's Book Cottage



3pm to 3:50pm—KEYNOTE ADDRESSState of the Market for Illustrators and Authors Climax of Chapter One!
Tara Weikum, Vice President of HarperCollins USA



4pm to 4.30pm—Afternoon Tea



4.30pm to 5.30pm—Pitch to Publishers: Pitch Perfect

Hear what the publishers have to say about effective written and verbal pitching and 2014 pitch winner Pamela Rushby explains how her successful pitch resulted in publication. A panel of industry experts will share what it takes to create a pitch that tickles their fancy. What makes them want to read on? What makes them want to run away? And what makes them want to request a full manuscript? Then, it’s over to delegates for the real pitches! Authors pitch their ideas to a panel of publishers, Maryann Ballantyne (Black Dog Books), Zoe Walton (Penguin Random House), Clare Hallifax (Scholastic Australia), Lisa Berryman (HarperCollins)  Suzanne O'Sullivan (Hachette), Donna Rawlins (Walker). 

MC: Tracey Hawkins and Katrina Germein



5.30pm—End of sessionsTo Be Continued…



7.00pm to 11.30pm—Dinner dance party … Midpoint of the Story Arc!
Dance the night away to the rock’n’roll stylings of The Beatnickers SCBWI Band led by Meredith Costain & Scott Chambers

Announcement of major conference prize winners:
HarperCollins Illustrator Portfolio Award presented by Lisa Berryman
Penguin Random House Illustrator Portfolio Award presented by Zoe Walton
Andrea Pinkney Writer Award presented by Claire Stuckey, Children's & Young Adult Librarian, Central Coast Council

Book Launches—Tasmanian Talent!
Author Terry Whitebeach’s initiative to create and send books 'When I was a boy/girl in Sudan' to Southern Sudan.
Clare Hallifax will launch Christina Booth’s book ‘Too Many Sheep’ (commissioned by Scholastic at the 2014 SCBWI Conference)

MC: Susanne Gervay



Tuesday 6th September, 2016
Chapter Two: Ascending Action with a Big Twist!


8.45am to 9am Bologna Brief
SCBWI at Bologna Book Fair with Frances Plumpton in conversation with Susanne Gervay


9am to 10am—From Ideas to Publication

Editors, Authors and Illustrators discuss the process of creating their books. Random House team with Zoe Walton, Belinda Murrell and Serena Geddes and HarperCollins team with Lisa Berryman, Jen Storer and Lucinda Gifford

MC: Frances Plumpton



10am to 11am—Morning Tea



11am to 11:50am—International Skype sessionsClimax of Chapter Two!
Parallel sessions running simultaneously, bringing international expertise downunder
Session A: International Publishing with Mallory Kass, Commissioning editor for Scholastic USA in conversation with Susanne Gervay
Session B: The Craft of Illustration with Caldecott award winning US illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky MC: Sarah Davis and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall



12pm to 1pm—International Skype session

Suzanne Murphy, President & Publisher of HarperCollins Children's Books USA and Cristina Cappelluto, Children's Publishing Director Harper Collins Australia talk international publishing

MC: Susanne Gervay



1pm to 2pm—Lunch
Lunch is a smorgasbord in The Carrington on Level 1, The Menzies Sydney Hotel



2pm to 2.30pm—Uncovering talent

Bookseller Extraordinaire Paul MacDonald (The Children’s Bookshop, Beecroft) discusses the picture book genre and introduces new work from SCBWI authors and illustrators Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, Emma Allen and Neridah McMullin.

MC: Deborah Abela



2.40pm to 3.30pm—100 years of The School Magazine

Inside Australia’s venerable and beloved literary magazine for children. The editor, designer and successful contributors discuss submissions, process, opportunities and reasons to celebrate! Alan Edwards (editor), Josemalene Ruaya (Designer), Wendy Fitzgerald and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall (contributors)

Participating Chair: Sheryl Gwyther



3.30pm to 4pm—Afternoon tea



4pm to 5pm—Masterclasses

Masterclass for authors with Tara Weikum

Masterclass for illustrators with Sarah Davis



5pm—Thank you and Farewell…Denouement and Resolution


The End?



Wednesday 7 September, 2016

4.30pm—Encore! Showcasing New Books by Australian Children’s Book Authors & Illustrators from across ANZ 
An umbrella event of the SCBWI International Biennial Conference, including acclaimed authors Hazel Edwards, Aleesah Darlison, Dianne Wolfer, Maria Gill, Penny Morrison, Emma Allen and John Heffernan will be showcasing new books with MC Susanne Gervay. There will be signings, afternoon tea and celebrations.

Where? The Children’s Bookshop, 6 Hannah St Beecroft 2119 (The Children's Bookshop is on the train line and easy to get to from The Menzies Sydney.)

Everyone welcome, but bookings are essential:




The Conference Program is always a Work in Progress and changes will occur!




Thank you to our Sponsors and Partners











Room to Read, DenzoMedia, The Children's Bookshop Beecroft, The Story Crowd, Australian Writer's Centre, Australian Society of Authors, Christmas Press, HarperCollins Australia/USA, Scholastic USA, PenguinRandomHouse Australia, The Hughenden Hotel.


Poster Display

SCBWI proudly highlights associations involved in the SCBWI Conference in the Poster display. Information leaflets will be available. 


The Australian Society of Authors
image1The Australian Society of Authors is the principal advocate for the professional and artistic interests of Australian authors by protecting basic rights to freedom of expression; working to improve income and conditions; promoting Australian writing and literary culture. It was instrumental in setting up the Copyright Agency and successfully campaigned for Public Lending Right and Educational Lending Right. The ASA provides professional development, information and assistance to emerging and established writers and illustrators including fellowships, contract assessment service, mentorships sets minimum rates of pay and conditions for writers and illustrators;  works with arts organisations, booksellers, publishers, writers' centres and literary agents on campaigns and research projects;  coordinates special interest groups for children's writers and illustrators, academics, Indigenous writers, isolated writers and translators;  conducts and contributes to research on issues concerning Australian literary creators.


The School Magazine
image2The School Magazine is Australia’s longest-running literary magazine for children. Published by the NSW Department of Education in 1916, this year it celebrates its centenary year.  With a small in-house team, it compiles 40 magazines each year with Countdown, Blast Off, Orbit and Touchdown.


Room to Read
image3Founded in 2000 on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children®, Room to Read’s innovative model focuses on deep, systemic transformation within schools in low-income countries during the two time periods which are most critical in a child’s schooling: early primary school for literacy acquisition and secondary school for girls’ education. We work in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and to ensure girls can complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions. Room to Read has benefited 10 million children across 18,000 communities in Asia and Africa and aims to reach 15 million children by 2020. Click here to learn more.


Creative Kids Tales
image4Creative Kids Tales is an industry recognised site for Australian children's authors. Since 2011 we’ve helped authors on their journey to publication by providing resources such as a comprehensive Australian Publishers listing, writing tips and tips from well-known Australian children’s authors. We have festivals, courses and workshop information from around the country.Your stories help make the world a better place and we’ll help you take your stories to the world. For more information


Christmas Press
image5Established 2013, Christmas Press is a boutique publishing house focussed on publishing high-quality picture books and fiction for children, in three different imprints: Christmas Press Picture Books: Our core list: high-quality illustrated books featuring lively retellings of traditional tales from many countries and cultures–folktales, fairytales, myths and legends– retold by well- known children's authors and illustrated in beautiful, classic styles inspired by the cultures the stories come from. Eagle Books: Our new fiction list, focussing on adventure novels for readers 11 and up, by both classic and contemporary authors. The launch title was a magnificent limited edition of the first new English translation in over a hundred years of  a great classic adventure novel by Jules Verne. Second Look Publishing: New editions, in e-book and print on demand format, of out of print Australian children's literature, featuring plays, poetry and fiction.


The Premier’s Reading Challenge 
image6The Premier’s Reading Challenge aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students, and to enable them to experience quality literature. It is not a competition but a challenge to each student to read, to read more and to read more widely. The Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) is available for all NSW students in Kindergarten to Year 9, in government, independent, Catholic and home schools.


The Story Crowd
image7The Story Crowd is passionate about literacy, aiming to inspire students to be keen readers and to encourage budding writers and illustrators to pursue their dreams. We tailor a complete Children’s Literature Festival package to suit the needs of individual schools, to be held on school grounds and inclusive of all students from K-6. A festival is a full day of activities including multiple author and illustrator presenters, book sales, book signings and craft activities. Presenters are empowered, knowledgeable and entertaining, ready to ignite a school-wide enthusiasm for reading, writing and illustrating.


pineroloPinerolo, the Children’s Book Cottage is the home for children's books in New South Wales – at Blackheath in the beautiful Blue Mountains. Pinerolo promotes Australian picture books and their creators, educates children and adults about picture books, provides a venue for the exhibition of original artwork from picture books and brings people interested in picture books together in an inspiring environment. Margaret Hamilton AM’s extensive collection of books and original artwork provide the nucleus of Pinerolo. *Pinerolo is an Italian word meaning 'place of pines' 


Australian Standing Orders
image9Australian Standing Orders ASO is a literature preview service to schools where teachers and librarians purchase new Australian children's books for their school libraries with Teacher Notes. Selection of books are made from a range of submissions from publishers around Australia, up to 6 months before they are published, selected on literary merit. Scholastic is proud of ASO's history and acceptance by Australian schools and we are determined to not only continue, but to improve our service going forward. We are pleased that Belinda Bolliger has joined the ASO team as Editorial Manager. Belinda has many years of children's publishing experience in senior roles with well-known Australian publishers and is ideally placed to guarantee that our selections are the best the publishing industry can offer.


The Australian Writers’ Centre
image10The Australian Writers’ Centre, established by Valerie Khoo, journalist, author, media commentator. Australia's leading centre for writing training. You'll learn how to get published, write your book or improve you writing at work. You can choose from courses including  children’s books, film scripts.  creative, magazine and travel writing. With locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, or online writing courses.



Terms and Conditions
SCBWI is a not-for-profit volunteer run organisation and all proceeds from these tickets are committed to Event expenses. Unfortunately we are unable to provide refunds, but we will allow transfer of Conference ticket to another eligible SCBWI member.

 Illustrator Showcase and Critique tickets are non-transferable.