News & Updates

Barrage of news updates…

A few updates have been going on on the CYA Conference site.

Obviously - we sent an email about the all important program change - and how that would impact you, and we have been flooded with good wishes for the new redesign and how everyone loves it and is just as excited fo this one. That is such great news!!! 

We had an editor and an agent shake up to: 

Editor: Kristy Bushnell went independent - and we will keep her booking open till 14th June to give people time to book in with her.

Agent: We welcomed into our on site professionals  - Danielle Binks, from Jacinta di Mase Management. And we will keep her booking open till 14th June to give people time to book in with her too.

A few editors/agents now are avaialabe on Friday, and a few will also now be joining us on Saturday - so make sure you look carefully for their avaialbility on the online booking form where you will see the number of booking left with each professional onsite.  See the Editor Appointments Page for details. 

We have been adding the CYA Successes to our precious archive, and belive me, keeping track of all these is proving really interesting. So many people to give beautiful gold badges to at conference.. I’mso happy for each and every book baby that comes along becuase of each of thier successes.

Our latest are: 

Emma Middleton

Catherine Pelosi

Kelli Byrnes 


Taryn Bashford


Did you look up their sucess stories - each journey is so different! 

Networking Evening Bookings are now open - and with an awesome menu and a new way to bring down the drinks bill, we are super excited already for this fun evening at 35 Bar & Bistro, 35 Peel St, South Brisbane QLD 4101. (Yip same place - different name.) 

I think that about brings every one up to date - don’t forget that editor/agent assessment bookings will close on 7th June, so get in there and book if you haven't already, and your work needs to be sent in by the new online system too. (Except for Kristy and Danielle who will close  on 14th June instead.)

CYA later!

Tina and the CYA Conference team!



Change of program

CYA Conference would like to advise of a conference program change.

Jackie French is no longer able to join us in 2017, but the good news is she will be returning  in a future year, so stay tuned for that.

Owing to this change we have had a little program shake up – and we really love what we have come up with, and we hope that you do too.

jacqueline-harvey-author-pic-200x280-e1444970167614 The amazing Jacqueline Harvey will now be the opening session with an awesome - Ask me anything talk. Jacqueline puts it all on the table. How she celebrated selling her millionth book recently. This is also an interactive session where Jacqueline will take any questions off the floor. That’s quite an amazing opportunity to get to speak to someone of this calibre about anything writing related.

Jacqueline will also now take the 3 hour writing master class - Junior and Middle Grade Fiction: How and why I write for children in the ‘golden ages’ of reading and how you can too. She will workshop during this time with you,

• Why write for this age group?

• The enduring appeal of middle grade

• Ideas that work and where do they come from?

• Creating memorable characters

• Perfect plots

• Knowing your market

Jacqueline also will touch briefly on the business of being an author

• Knowing your market ( Yip this is repeated on purpose as its two fold!)

• The importance of covers and illustrations

• Building a Brand

So, when you come out of this class, you will all be ready to go home, put what you have learnt into practice and we hope to see many many beautiful book-babies because of this!  Remember that it is recommended that you attend the whole master class, that way you benefit the most from this

Pam1Pamela Rushby is will be speaking on Education VS Trade? Which one should you aim for?

Explore these two diverse publishing routes, and how they can have a symbiont relationship for the creators. With expensive knowhow and an amazing career path, be sure to bring your note pad to this session!

Michelle WMichelle Worthington will have a workshop on Creating dynamic and vibrant picture books, and share her extensive knowledge about how Picture books are a unique and complex genre, and writing a story that will not only appeal to children, but also the publishers, is a refined art.

jake face1Jake Harris’s workshop will be a basic crash course to writing in the electronic games industry, as he gives you the quick 101 to writing for the gaming industry, what is required, and how you go about actually doing this in real life. The basics of what the job of a Narrative Designer (games writer) is. How to plan acts for characters. Telling the story, and experience of the characters. Collaboration with your design team, implementing how your story works into the whole games environment, editing to fit into schedules and fill holes in the game, being the designer of the players' overall experience.

We hope that you will find this sparkly new program just as wonderful, even perhaps a little more interesting and flexible for you.

If you have already booked in for the conference –  you will be receiving an email shortly.


See ya at CYA!

Tina and the Team!

Success Panel

We are so excited that we have begaun to put the success panel together for 2017. 

Congratulations to Ben Long, Elizabeth Kasmar, Emily Larkin, and Jo Sandhu, who will be on the success panel in 2017.

So excited that between these lovely people, they have:

  • Attended a heap of conference. (CYA and otherwise)
  • Entered into the competitions. ( CYA and otherwise)
  • Places/won gained something from that competition.
  • Secured a publishing contract from that competition.
  • Attended editor appointments.
  • Secured a contract from that appointment. 
  • Met a publisher or an agent at CYA Conference, that has lead to more….

Proving once again that CYA Conference is the place to attend, hang-out, network, be involved and enjoy, becuase we are there to help you on your publishing jouney, that never really ends…

Have a fabulous week. Remember time is ticking to 30th April for your entry/ies into the 2017 competition. The editor appointmetns are still open. Book for conference, and look out for the news coming this week on the CYA Networking Friday Night  30th June! 

CYA later!

Tina and the team! 

Editor Booking suspended temporarily

10:17pm - Monday 27th March - Please note we have suspended booking on this form at the moment because of a technical difficulty - we will get this back up as soon as we can.. Thanks for your patience.

P.S. Tuesday - it's back on line - times slots are now not shown but you can still select the days and the editors. We will confirm all times in the week before conference. 

CYA later!

Tina & The CYA Conference Team.

Conference Bookings Open

So excited that today we would open our 12th CYA Conference bookings!!!! (Doing careful wheel spins in my chair!)

CYA Conference will be on: 1st July 2017

Where: TAFE Queensland Brisbane - South Bank Campus, 66 Ernest Street, South Brisbane. 

This conference is aimed as professional development for new and established writers and illustrators of Children’s and Young Adult literature. Master classes and workshops will be conducted bFelicity VallenceJacqueline Harvey, Jackie French, Nadine BatesNatalie HatchPhil Kettle, and Shaun Tan(via Skype). 

Our CYA success stories once again show cased that CYA Conference is making a difference in aspiring authors and illustrators in helping them on their road to publication.

On site editors include: Ann-Marie Finn - Yellow Brick Books, Clair Hume - Affirm Press, Clare Hallifax, Scholastic, Kate Stevens (Hachette), Katrina Lehman - Penguin, Kristina Schulz - UQP, Kristy Bushnell - UQP, Lisa Berryman - HarperCollins, Marisa Pintado - Hardie Grant EgmontRochelle Manners - Wombat Books & Rhiza Press, Suzanne O’Sullivan - Hachette. Agents on site: Alex Adsett, Alex Adsett Publishing Services, Grace Heifetz - Curtis Brown, Australia, and Jill Corcoran, Jill Corcoran Literacy Agency, USA (via Skype) and Self Publishing: Tadaa Children’s Booksmith.

Why not start at 2017 Conference events page and work from there to see the 2017 program.

See ya at CYA!

Tina and the whole CYA Conference Team! 

Editors Open

Big News Day! 

Hello all writers and illustrators.  

Agents and Editors bookings for the 2017 Conference.

The bookings for the first group of editor sessions open!

The registration for this year’s sessions is different in that you are able to pre-select your preferred time slots. So if you're having multiple sessions and want them back to back it's up to you to make it happen.

Bookings are open for the following:

Free one-on-one sessions with Tadaa Books.


And those Friday sessions?

We’re running a poll to see how many of you would be interested in Friday sessions with the Editors and Agents. If you haven't given your opinion yet and would like to please click on this linkIt’s anonymous and just asks Yes/No/Maybe. It only takes a few seconds to complete. We will keep the voting going for another week and then if there is enough interest, see who is available from the on site professionals.

This year's program

We’re in the final stages of setting up this years program and we hope you’ll love it as much as we do. We will send out another news letter once the program is ready for distribution.

Competition close date

We’re just 2 months away from the competition close date so get cracking on stories and illustrations if you’re entering this year. The end of April will be here before you know it.

If you have any questions about the rules please send us an email at and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Updating your profile
We want to start making our mail outs a little more targeted with the information we send you to keep the emails relevant to your interests so if you'd like to take a few minutes to update your profile details please click on this link

Well that’s about it for this week. Hope to see you at the CYA Conference and look forward to reading all the brilliant entries and receiving those wonderful illustrations in this years competition.

CYA later!
Tina and the CYA Conference team!

Published Competition: Final Judge Announced & Competition Open.

CYA Conference is pleased to announce that the 2017 published sections for Writing and Illustrating in the CYA Competitions are now open, and that the Final Judge for this section is: Suzanne O’Sullivan, Publisher for Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette Australia.


Opens: 23rd January 2017

Closes: 30th April 2017

 Entry Fee:

       Published:                                    AUS$ 38.30 including GST


1.     Picture Books

2.     Novels

3.     Illustrations



Published Authors and illustrators: Critique of winning entry by Final Judge, Suzanne O’Sullivan, Publisher for Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette Australia, and the winner will have a face-to-face/electronic communication (e.g. Skype) consultation for 15 minutes, at the CYA Conference on 1st July 2017 with the competition final judge who is attending/electronically communicating with the conference. (Only 1 winner across all categories.)

See the Published Competition page for details! 

Good luck to everyone!

CYA later!

Tina and the CYA Conference team!

2017 Competitions open

CYA Conference is pleased to announce that the 2017 unpublished sections for Writing and Illustrating in the CYA Competitions are now open…

Aspiring (Unpublished) & Hatchling Entrants:

Opens: 9th January 2017

Closes: 30th April 2017

Entry Fee:

     Aspiring (Unpublished):            AUS$ 20.50 including GST

     Hatchlings (8 – 18yrs):              AUS$ 13.60 including GST


Opens: 23rd January 2017

Closes: 30th April 2017

 Entry Fee:

       Published:                                    AUS$ 38.30 including GST

Final Judge for Published Author still to be advised on opening of competition.



1.    Picture Book – preschool aged children.

2.    Picture Book – primary aged children.

3.    Picture Book Non Fiction – primary aged children.

4.    Chapter Book – a) younger primary aged children 

5.     Chapter Book - b) older aged children (Middle Grade.)

6.    Young Adults.

7.     Graphic novels, illustrated picture books and Middle Grade illustrated novels.

8.      Illustrations.



1.     Picture Books preschool and primary aged children.

2.     Chapter book and Young adult.

3.     Graphic novels, illustrated picture books and Middle Grade illustrated novels.


1.     Picture Books

2.     Novels

3.     Illustrations

Prize for each section

Aspiring (Unpublished) Writing & Illustrating: $100.00 per category, and submission of short listed entries to at least one publisher of children’s books.

Published Authors and illustrators: Critique of winning entry by Final Judge to be advised, and a face to face editor/agent appointment at conference with industry professional of their choice attending for writing (both sections only 1 winner) and illustrating. 

Hatchlings: $100.00 per category, and submission of short listed entries to at least one publisher of children’s books.

See the competition page for details! 

Good luck to everyone!

CYA later!

Tina and the CYA Conference team!

CYA 2016

On 2nd July the 11th CYA Conference took place in Brisbane. With just over 160 people on site, it was out biggest conference yet. A fabulous day was had by all. Thank you to everyone who helped on the day, and to all volunteers, "The Dream Green CYA Team" - you did us proud - and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Also a special thank you to the illustration community of Brisbane who at the last moment stepped in and loaned us their laptops and Wacom tablets. Thank you for being there for me, and for CYA Conference - it is truely amazing that you did that and I am totaly in your debt! 

The Editors on site requested many manuscripts from attendees who had a 15 minute face to face assessment with them. Please remember now you next step is to SEND IN YOUR REQUESTED SUBMISSION!!!!

CYA Conference is please to announce the following winners in the 2016 Competition season.Where positions are tied, they are listed alphabetically by name.

Hatchlings (8 - 18 years) 

Category 1 - Picture Books 

Final Editor Judge: Katrina Lehman  - Senior Editor for Penguin Random House

1st:       Love Can Be Anything – Daphne W

2nd:  The Lost Property Bucket – Elise R 

Category 2 - Chapter Books and Novels

Final Editor Judge: Katrina Lehman  - Senior Editor for Penguin Random House

1st: Subversion – Jessica M

2nd: The Piano – Celine N

3rd: Stuck Up High - Emilee C


Category 3 - Illustrated Picture books, Graphic Novels and Middle grade Novels.

Final Editor Judge: Katrina Lehman  - Senior Editor for Penguin Random House 

1st: Hansel and Gretel – Genevieve S

1st: Seasonal Stories – Ruby S


Category 1 - Picture Books - Preschool

Final Editor Judge: Suzanne O’Sullivan, Publisher for Lothian Children’s books, Hachette Australia

1st: Oh, So Many Kisses! – Maura Finn

2nd: There’s No Such Thing As Monsters – Helen Parr

3rd: By The Billabong – Maura Finn 


Category 2 - Picture Books - Primary

Final Editor Judge: Suzanne O’Sullivan, Publisher for Lothian Children’s books, Hachette Australia

1st: The Midnight Feast – Kim Astill

2nd: Missy’s Mess - Fiona Burrows

3rd: My Granny Has A Secret – Rachel Noble


Category 3 - Picture Books - Primary - Non Fiction

Final Editor Judge: Suzanne O’Sullivan, Publisher for Lothian Children’s books, Hachette Australia

1st: Loop the Loop – Jenny Gahan

2nd: Mammalphabet – Janeen Samuel

3rd: Book Stars: May Gibbs – Liz Ledden 


Category 4a - Chapter Books - Younger Readers

Final Editor Judge: Katrina Lehman  - Senior Editor for Penguin Random House

1st: Vikings Behaving Badly – Catherine Pelosi

2nd: Bug Boy goes Camping – Marian McGuinness

3rd: Socks or Undies – Darrelle Spenceley

HC: The Adventure of Lock and Gem - Magic Meets Mad Science –Karen Byrnes


Category 4b - Chapter Books - Older Readers

Final Editor Judge: Katrina Lehman  - Senior Editor for Penguin Random House

1st: Over Ice Under Sea - Marian McGuinness

2nd: Winifred Weatherby Saves the Century – Alison Stegert

3rd: The World Writer: Isaac Ross – Nat Amoore


Category 5 - Young Adult

Final Editor Judge: Lisa Berryman, Children’s Publisher at HarperCollins Publishers Australia.

1st: Bram - Helen Shorrocks

2nd: Foundling - Kate Griffith

3rd: Second Shot - Terri-Anne Green

HC: Unspoken Rules – Laura Wilson


Category 6 - Graphic Novels, Illustrated Picture books & Illustrated Middle Grade Novels

Editor Judge: Rochelle Manners, Publisher – Wombat Books     

1st: Six Sleepy Mice - Heidi Cooper Smith

2nd: The Stolen Button - Marianna Shek

3rd: Kate and the Thing - Heidi Cooper Smith

HC: The Green Man and Brown Mountain - Gracie Adamson

HC: Bandit’s Band - Vair Buchanan


Category 8 - Illustrations            

Editor Judge: Rochelle Manners, Publisher – Wombat Books

1st: Option 2 - Flower Farmer - Emma Middleton

2nd: Option 1 - Squire Chambers – Takara Beech

3rd: Option 2 - Flower Farmer -  Julie  Hill

HC: Option 1 - Squire Chambers - Kathryn Jean Harrison 

HC: Option 1 - Squire Chambers - Vincent Cavanagh


Published Author:

Final Judge Editor: Clare Hallifax – Publishing Manager –  Scholastic Australia 

There is only one winner taken from ALL sections in Published.

Winner: Bessie And Mo : Hat : Freya And The Scaredy-Dog – Karen Collum

YA Novels & Chapter Books:

HC: Eco Rangers Book One - Pelican in Peril – Candice Lemon-Scott

HC: Rick and the Mechanical Shark – Candice Lemon-Scott

HC: Strange Creatures – Chris Bell 

Picture Books:

HC: You're Doing It Wrong! – Ann Harth

HC: Jasper Juggles Jellyfish : Weeds! – Ben Long


Illustrations: Illustrated Picture Books 

HC: A Dog’s Life - Julia Wakefield

HC: My Wife - Paul Falkenberg

HC: Stray Cat Slim - Paul Falkenberg


Thank you to all our Final Editor Judges. It’s a big task to put your own time into this style of judging, so THANK YOU!

Clare Hallifax, Publishing Manager –  Scholastic Australia

Katrina Lehman, Senior Editor for  Penguin Random House

Lisa Berryman, Children’s Publisher at HarperCollins Publishers 

Rochelle Manners, Publisher for Wombat Books

Suzanne O’Sullivan, Publisher for Lothian Children’s books, Hachette Australia


Thank you to all the volunteer judges: 

Ally Howard, Amanda Gardiner, Brenda Gurr, Carly Taylor, Cassandra Webb, Chris Bell, Chrissie Krebs, Claire    Saxby, Debbie Kahl, DebraTidball, Elizabeth Kasmer, Giuseppe Poli, Heather Gallagher, Jackie Randall, Julie Murphy, Karen Collum, Kaylene Hobson, Kaz Delaney, Lynn Ward, Michelle Worthington, Maryanne O'flynn, Natalie Hatch, Nicky Albrecht, Rebecca Sheraton, Rebecca Newman, Samantha Wheeler, Shannon Horsefall, Sue-Ellen Pashley, Taryn Bashford and Tina Marie Clark.

Without you all - we couldn’t have this competition. THANK YOU!

To everyone else who entered, who didn’t place, CONGRATULATIONS for having the courage to put your work out there, in front of a faceless stranger, to received feedback, THANK YOU for entering. We hope that the feedback you get helps you on your journey towards creating a better story! 

All feedback will be emailed out by 31st August as per the guidelines.

All artwork and final placing for whole categories will be posted by 31st August.

CYA later!

Tina and the CYA Team!


We are in the pointy stage of getting ready for CYA Conference now. Thought you might be interested in the full menu for CYA Conference.

Friday Networking dinner:


Drinks: Your have unlimited soft drinks, beer, wine and sparkling wine. If you want spirits (hard alcohol) you will need to pay for that at the bar and its extra.

Food: v = vegetarian, gf- gluten free


     Vietnamese rice paper rills, nam jim - (v & gf)

     BBQ chicken pancakes w/hoi sin and shallots


     Pumpkin and chickpea samosa w /labneh - (v)

     House made sausage rolls w tomato jam

     Chicken, leek and cheddar hand pies

     Satay chicken skewer, panang dressing (gf) 

Then there will be platters of hot chips and salt and pepper calamari too circulating.

The package is for 2 hours only, after 8.30pm any drinks consumed at the bar will be for your own account, not CYA Conference. 

We are inside in a function room next to the restaurant, so the colder weather shouldn’t be a problem, dress comfortably!

Saturday 2nd July CYA Conference:

Morning tea: 

Assorted Danish

Assorted Biscuits

Special diet (v & gf) 

     Yoghurt, Honey & Muesli Cups

     Crunchy Vegie Sticks & Dip

     Cheese With Dried Fruit Selection

     Fruit platters


We are happy to say we are having the BBQ lunch again as everyone loved it so much last year so:

Bread Rolls & Condiments (We will also provide Gluten Free Bread) 

Veggie Burgers (v)

Cajun Chicken Steaks

Minute Steaks

Jacket Potato with Sour Cream & Chives

Garden Salad

Pasta Salad

Fruit Platter

Homemade Cake Slices

Can of Soft drink or Juice

Afternoon tea: 

Scones with jam and cream 

Assorted Gateaux

Special diet: (v & gf) 

     Crunchy Vegie Sticks & Dip

     Cheese With Dried Fruit Selection

     Fruit platters

     Yoghurt, Honey & Muesli Cups

So as you can see - lots of yummy food coming your way. 

NB: If you cannot find anything on these menu’s you can safely eat, please bring your own food and we will refrigerate where necessary for you. While we have tried to accomodate more allergies and intolerance its impossible to catch them all.  

These menus are making me hungry….

CYA later!

Tina and the CYA team! 

       © QMSA Holding Pty Limited 2017