News & Updates

Meet: Dee White

25th May 2009

CYA introduces you to Dee White.  Dee was a third place winner in the YA section in 2006. 

 Dee writes contemporary YA fiction and books for older readers. She has wanted to be an author since she was seven-years-old. Dee lives with her very supportive family and enough stray animals to ‘almost fill an ark.’ 

Her published credits include Hope for Hanna, A Duel of Words, and Letters to Leonardo. 

CYA Asked Dee a few questions about being an author:-

Q. If you were not a writer - what would you be?

A: Writing is just something I do - it's like a compulsion that I can't really help. I get very grumpy if I don't have time to write. I have always wanted to be a writer, so I can't imagine being anything else. If I did another job, it would still have to have something to do with books, writing or publishing.

Q. How many years have you been writing seriously, before being published?

I worked for many years as a freelance journalist and advertising copywriter. For the last nine or ten years I have seriously worked to get a book published. But I'm not sure I actually wrote anything that was publishable until about four years ago. For me, it has been a huge learning process. I have studied Professional Writing and Editing, and read and written a lot in order to get me to the stage I am now. Working with a publisher was a whole new learning curve - a fantastic one though.

Q. How do you handle the constant rejections in the writers world?

I make sure I ALWAYS have something still 'out there' in the submission's world - so there is ALWAYS the chance of receiving an acceptance the day after I've had the rejection. You have to have hope. 

I also try not to take any of the rejections personally. It's not me they don't like (they don't even know me). Sometimes it's not even that they don't like my work - it could be that it doesn't fit with what they're publishing at the moment. I also look at what has been rejected, make any changes suggested then try and send the piece out again as soon as possible.

4. What advice can you give other writers/illustrators out there still on their journey to publication?

Write with your heart - don't write what you think someone wants you to write. 

Read a lot, write a lot and don't give up. 

Go to conferences like CYA. It's a great place to meet other writers and discover how they got published. You can find inspiration from their successes, and be reassured by the fact that you're not alone. 

Join writers' groups and your local writers' centre. That's how you find out where the best conferences and workshops are. 

You'll also find out who the publishers are and what sort of things they publish. 

Finding the right publisher for your work is very important.

Letters to Leonardo  is due for release in July 2009, published by Walker Books, Australia. 


And you will have a chance to meet Dee in person at the CYA Conference 2009 when she will discuss her journey to publication, and share Letters to Leonardo with you.

You can visit Dee on her web site at: 

Till next week when we introduce you to another success story...

CYA Later!

Tina & Ally

Meet: Katheryn Apel

20 May 2009 

This year we introduce you to some of CYA Conferences Competition Success stories. 

And let you into a secret - in the breathless moment when we get emails with this type of good news in it, we know that all the effort, time and energy that goes into producing CYA Conference is worth it. Someone else has been published...and CYA Conference has helped fulfill one of its primary objectives: Helping others on their journey to publication within children’s and young adult literature.

Meet Kathryn Apel, winner of the Picture Book section in 2006...

Kat is passionate about words, and working with children. That’s why the primary teacher writes children’s books. Kat lives on a family property in Queensland with her cat-astrophic husband, Felix, and their two sons. She will never run out of things to write, because the males in her life are always making mischief and chaos. Many of Kat’s stories are quirky tales of life in rural Australia. She turns disaster into laughter.

 This is the Mud! is Kathryn’s first picture book. 

It won the Preschool Picture Book Manuscript category of the inaugural ‘CYA Conference’ children’s writing competition in 2006. Beautifully illustrated by Warren Crossett, it was published by Lothian Children’s Books in 2009.

Kathryn’s chapter book, Fencing with Fear was published in 2008.

You can visit  Kat on her blog spot:

And you will have a chance to meet Kathryn in person at the CYA Conference 2009 when she will discuss her journey to publication, and share This is the Mud! with you.

Published Author Competition

Sunday 10th May 2009 

CYA is excited to launch their Published Author Competition in 2009. 


Many published authors, who are struggling to get their next book under contract, for whatever reason,  have asked CYA Conference to please  open the CYA Competition to published authors too.  CYA has listened and in consultation with Paul Collins from Ford Street Publishing (, are so happy to announce the first: CYA Published Author Competition 2009.

First Prize: A full editors critique from Paul Collins and a face-to-face interview during CYA Conference on 12th September 2009.

Short Listed: Your work will be read by Paul Collins. 

The Published Author section of the CYA competition will be judged by volunteer CYA Judges, and all entries will receive their feedback by email before  31st October 2009. 

The first three chapters (max 50 pages double spaced) will be judged but the 2 page synopsis is unjudged.

Details are on the Published Author Competitions Page.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing the Published Authors embrace this competition as much as the unpublished categories.

CYA Later Alligators!

Tina & Ally


       © QMSA Holding Pty Limited 2018