News & Updates

Cyber Chatter

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I am in awe at the number of great blogs, FB posts and twitter feeds that happened about CYA Conference 2012.

Listed here are a few of the blogs, if you see more - please do email me so I can add them in to the list. I love hearing what people though of things, what they learned and found most helpful to them.

From reading all the tweets (and there were many many of those), to everyone who wrote about us on face book - obviously I can't copy and past your posts here as I could violate your privacy - but know that I read them when you linked them back to me personally and to CYA , and was stoked at how many people like CYA Conference this year - and broadcast it to the world. 

Just so you know our official CYA twitter is: @CYAConference 

The blogs, those are a little different, I can point you in that direction becuase following a blog can be benificial too… it seems that each person takes away something different - even from the same presenter.

Kat Apel - Published Author winner -


Kat Apel - No Cows Illustartions

Penny - A Mum in the Wild:

Sam Sochacka - 

DeeScribe Writing:

Hootenanny Books Blog:

Kathleen Noud:

Till we chatter again.

CYA later!

Tina, Ally and Sam.

All results

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The 7th CYA Conference was held on 7th July 2012 at Southbank Institute of Technology, 
66 Ernest Street, South Brisbane, Qld. And from CYA Conference perspective, it went really well. Attendance on the day we had 135 people onsite.

While this was not the biggest CYA Conference in the 7 years, it was one of the most memorable for CYA Conference, as this year we organised independently two internationals, Paul Griffin (who we shared with Whitsunday Voices on the Coast festival) and Jill Corcoran (who we shared with SCBWI Australia). Thank you to both festivals for sharing with us, and making these people more accessible to the Australian children’s literature industry on the whole!  Thank you to both Paul and Jill for saying ‘yes!’

 Thank you to all the onsite professionals who worked really hard on their one-on-one appointments, and on the Publishing panel:

Editor: Leonie Tyle (Leonie Tyle Publishing)

Editor: Zoe Walton (Random House)

Editor: Nadine Bates (Hootenanny Books)

Editor: Kristina Schulz (UQP)

Editor: Vincenzo Pignatelli (BlueQuoll Digital Publishing)

Editor: Paul Collins (Ford Street Publishing)

Agent: Jill Cocoran (Herman Agency Inc- USA)

Agent: Alex Adsett - (Alex Adsett Publishing)

So far we have had at least 1 client signed to Jill in the USA, and a few more that she’s seriously considering. We also had four people from the artwork sections of the competitions details requested by an editor before the conference, so that is really positive. There have been quite a number of serious requests for more work (writing and illustrating) with editors.  So all over, it was a great year for artists and publishing houses meeting up!

Competition: Total amount entered: 434 entries, and this year we did not have to merge any sections together for the final results which was fabulous.

 Congratulations to everyone who entered the CYA Conferences Competitions! Give yourself a pat on the back   - Firstly: For writing your story.

Secondly - For getting it out there to be 'judged' and taking a step to either publication/improving your story or simply getting feedback on it. Your reasons for entering are all different. Don't compare your results to others you might know as each story is unique and only you can tell your story the way you want to tell it. 

 Thank you again to all volunteer judges: - Dee White, Kaz Delaney, Mardi Sands, Nadine Bates, Debbie Khal, Cass Webb, Tina Marie Clark,  Pam Collings, Ally Howard, Kathryn Apel,  Sharon Norris, Meredith Costain, Peter Allert,  Tania McCartney and Angela Sunde. 


And thank you to all the final judges:

Zoe Walton, Publisher, Children’s and Young Adult Books at Random House Australia,

Jeanmarie Morosin, Commissioning Editor for Children’s Books at Random House, Australia

Lisa Berryman, Children’s Publisher at HarperCollins Publishers Australia. 

Katrina Lehman, Senior Editor, Books for Children & Young Adults, Penguin Group (Australia)

Suzanne O’Sullivan, Commissioning Editor for Lothian Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Australia.


Thank you also to all the unmentioned editors who read the complete CYA Short list - your time and effort mining out short list for diamonds is appreciated - stax!

 And lastly - thank you to everyone who entered, for competing to get your work in front of the editors. For investing time and money in yourselves to be better writers/illustrators of children’s literature. Without you entering - there is no competition.

 Listed in the results page, on the program: competition tab, of are the results for all categories. As per the terms of the competition, we will be emailing out the feedback by 31st August for you to read and look through. Remember that feedback is subjective and only one persons point of view. Use what you can from the feedback, and if you don't like it - don't use it. But have a think on what was said. Many of the judges are multi published authors and illustrators, so they know their stuff... 

Invoices from the conference were loaded this weekend and should begin emailing out shortly.  

A quick note on the conference…


1 set of house keys - if anyone has an extra set - please contact us.

1 Picture Book: Drac and the Gremlin (Alan Baillie/Jane Tanner) from Create a Picture Book ~ Aspects of creating pictures books - Dr Virginia Lowe & Jo Thompson class. If anyone has got this book in error, please send back to us at:

P.O. Box 275, Bribie Island, QLD, 4507 so we can return this much cherished book to its owner.

Dates for your diary:          

CYA Conference competitions will open on Wednesday 2nd January 2013, and close on 30th April 2013.   


CYA Conference will be held on 6th JULY 2013.


Lastly, and most importantly, I wanted to thank our long suffering husbands, Shaun, Steve and Brian, for all the time and energy they too dedicate to CYA Conference.  THANK YOU!


CYA later!

Tina, Ally and Sam.


CYA Conference Competitions Winners 2012:-

Congratulations everyone who had the courage to enter the CYA Competition. Getting your work out there, in front of a judge is hard, so just by entering you have achieved something - well done!

Unfortunately we can’t all be winners and this competition is about getting your work fast-tracked in front of an editor.

Thank you to all volunteer judges, and to final judges who all gave their time freely. It is greatly appreciated!

These are the top results from the competition.

Results of all the sections and all entries will go up by Monday next week.


Note: HC = Highly commended

Category 1: Unpublished - Picture Book - Preschool.

Suzanne O’Sullivan is the Commissioning Editor for Lothian Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Australia.

1          Juanita Stroh            Nellie's Baking Day

2          Wendy Bridges        That's Not a Windy Day Hat!

3          Vicki Englund           A Cat's Work is Never Done

HC      Simon  Humphries   Ten Little Kids



Category 2: Unpublished - Picture Book - Primary School.

Suzanne O’Sullivan is the Commissioning Editor for Lothian Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Australia.

1          Suzanne Barton       Meeka

2          Robyn  Carolan        Undies

3          Rebecca Colless    Bollinger Plays Ball

HC      Heidi Parkes            Ten Green Boogers

HC      Kylie Fornasier         The not-so-ordinary Daisy Chain



Category 3: Unpublished - Picture Book - Primary School - Non Fiction.

Suzanne O’Sullivan is the Commissioning Editor for Lothian Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Australia.

1          Rebecca Colless                Dot and the Extra Dimensions

2          Catherine Oehlman          A Charm of Finches

3          Diane Jackson                    Beat It!


Category 4: Unpublished - Chapter Books

Suzanne O’Sullivan is the Commissioning Editor for Lothian Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Australia.

1          Debbie Kahl                         Bitter Besties

2          Marian McGuinness           Desknapped

3          Kerri McDonald                    Time Conspiracy



Category 5: Unpublished: Young Adult Books

Lisa Berryman, Children’s Publisher at HarperCollins Publishers Australia.


1          Carina  Coles                        Torn

2          Karen Young                        Speaking of the Daughters

3          Michaela Sanderson          In The Age Of The Shadowy Sun

HC      Kate Mahler                          The Round Table Society

HC      Sally Hall                               Stalked

HC      Debby Smith                         The Third Eye- The Gift


Category 6: Unpublished: Graphic Novels & Illustrated Picture Books 

Jeanmarie Morosin, Commissioning Editor for Children’s Books at Random House, Australia

1          Megan  Forward       Pigs CAN Fly

2          Lynda Robinson      Dorris The Amazing

3          Gracie Adamson      The Green Man and the Brown Mountain series 2



Category 7: Illustrations

Jeanmarie Morosin, Commissioning Editor for Children’s Books at Random House, Australia

1          Kelly Mcdonald         No Cows 

2          Lynsey Hagen          No Cows 

3          Renee Treml             No Cows 


Published Author Section

Published Author Section: Category 8

 Zoe Walton, Publisher – Children’s and Young Adult Books at Random House Australia,  in conjunction with Jeanmarie Morosin, Commissioning Editor for Children’s Books at Random House, Australia


1          Cat 2  Kathryn Apel             Bully On The Bus

2          Cat 1  Karen Collum           The Boss, Benjamin Buster Barnaby Bill, Mr Jumbelina

3          Cat 2  Dee White                 Saving Sarah Davis

HC      Cat 1  Kathy Hoopmann    The  Beautiful Chameleon, Little Fish And The Wiggly, Jiggly Monster

HC      Cat 1  Sharon Rushton      Owlets And Eaglets Picture Book, Caretta's Journey

HC      Cat 2  Tania  McCartney     How To Be Ten




Hatchlings Category 1: Picture Book –Preschool or Primary Aged Children  

Katrina Lehman, Senior Editor, Books for Children & Young Adults, Penguin Group (Australia)

1          Elizabeth W               My Plans for Super Villainy

2          Ella C                          Hermit’s Spectacular Belly Flop


Hatchlings Category 2: Chapter Book & Young Adult Novels

Katrina Lehman, Senior Editor, Books for Children & Young Adults, Penguin Group (Australia)


1.         Harriet F        Cobalt Blue

2.         Nick W           Family Issues

3.         Kirrah T          Atom Adventure


Hatchlings Category 3. Graphic Novel & Illustrated Picture Book

Katrina Lehman, Senior Editor, Books for Children & Young Adults, Penguin Group (Australia)

1          Kirrah T          A day to celebrate


CYA later!

Tina, Ally and Sam

CYA Conference

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Its here…I'm packing the cars and getting ready to drive into the city for the CYA Conference.

1. Set up this afternoon.

2. Networking Cocktail evening tonight.

3. CYA Conference tomorrow.

Sooooooooooooo excited.

CYA  ya there!

Tina, Ally and Sam

Podcast And Web Name

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Here is the podcast of the radio interview that aired  last Thursday  with Amy Stevenson for 4ZZZ Book Club, a weekly show (7-8pm on Thursdays) on Brisbane's major alternative radio station, 102.1FM.  

Thank you Amy for the interview and the air time - it is much appreciated.

Of course, I have no idea where to actually put this podcast on the site for a permanent home. I'm thinking the front page so that people who have no idea what we are can listen… anyone with an idea please email me on :

For 102.1FM web site and other podcasts - have a look at their link:

Also, google has not propagated very fast and is still pointing to our old MobileMe website for CYA Conference, even though we have been gone from there since at least Friday.  If you have our link in your web site - please CHECK THE LINK - it should only say: 

- it should not say any other like techno other than that!

CYA Saturday! 

Tina, Ally and Sam

After tea...

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Once afternoon tea, again provided by provided by the TAFE students, is over, and we have had our last hot beverage for the day, we continue our spotlight on our  presenters:

The Secondary Character ~ How to develop secondary characters and give realism to minor characters (which does a lot in giving depth to a novel) by Steph Bowe


Steph is an eighteen-year-old YA author represented by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown. 

her debut novel, Girl Saves Boy, was published by Text Publishing in Australia & New Zealand in September 2010. 

She was one of triple j's inaugural 25 UNDER 25 and won Express Media's award for Outstanding Achievement By A Writer Under 25 in 2010.

She has written for the Age and appeared in various other publications. Steph has been on the radio (triple j's Hack and Radio National's Life Matters) and on TV (The Circle and Totally Wild), and a lot of different places on the internet.

'Breaking Through' ~ Writers blocks, tricky novels, industry doors. By Belinda Jeffrey


Belinda's young adult fiction is acclaimed for its arresting characters and vivid descriptions. Her impressive debut, Brown Skin Blue (UQP, 2009), was shortlisted for last year’s Western Australian Premier’s Literary awards. 

Her second novel, Big River, Little Fish (UQP, 2011) was inspired by summer holidays spent at her father’s shack on the Murray River, South Australia and has been described as ‘a quintessential Australian novel’. 

Her latest novel is One Long Thread (UQP, 2012). 

90 Minute Masterclass: About Picture Books ~ what authors, editors
 and illustrators do ... main focus is drawing! Includes: TIPS for bringing characters to life with movement and expression, humour and drama, WITH LOTS of hands-on learning by drawing. By Craig Smith 


Craig grew up in the Adelaide Hills, later studying graphic design at the South Australian School of Art, graduating 1976.

He worked at a variety of jobs - including undercoating the Sydney Harbour Bridge - while slowly building a career as an illustrator.

 He has done the illustrations for over 370 picture books, junior novels and educational readers - approximately 8500, or thereabouts, published drawings.

 His recent books have seen a return to real painting and a turning away from rendering on computer.

His recent years have been invigorated by speaking and drawing at schools around Australia.

 He lives in Melbourne, but loves getting out of it.

When not drawing – or waiting for paint to dry - he loves gardening.

Note from CYA: Craig ordered a heap of  different colour paints, water paper, and other interesting things like conte for his class.(No as an author I had no clue what that was…lucky the art supplier did). This is definitely a hands on class and you will not have to worry about running out of steam at the end of the day here!                                  

ADVANCED MASTER CLASS: Now the Hard Part - Promoting Your Book!   ~ Practical Advice for Authors and illustrators of one or more published book/s will learn how to promote and market their books from one of Australia's most experienced authors and publishers. By Paul Collins


Paul Collins's many books for young people include The Slightly Skewed Life of Toby Chrysler and series such as The Jelindel Chronicles, The Earthborn Wars, The Quentaris Chronicles and The World of Grrym in collaboration with Danny Willis. 

His latest book is Mole Hunt, book one in The Maximus Black Files. He is also the author of over 140 short stories.

Paul has been the recipient of the A Bertram Chandler, Aurealis, William Atheling and Peter McNamara awards and has been shortlisted for many others including the Speech Pathology, Mary Grant Bruce, Ditmar and Chronos awards.

He is currently the publisher at Ford Street Publishing : 

And with those workshops and master classes done CYA Conference will end at 17:15pm.

I am so excited, we have less than a week to go until CYA Conference. 

A bit of behind the scenes of :

On Thursday last week I did a radio interview with Amy Stevenson for 4ZZZ Book Club, a weekly show (7-8pm on Thursdays) on Brisbane's major alternative radio station, 102.1FM.  It was so interesting and being my very first radio interview for CYA Conference, Amy was so nice and she made it so easy to talk back - thank you Amy! I talked the hind leg off the donkey - as always, but she edited it down and made me sound so great… the pod cast will go up soon on our web site. For 102.1FM web site and other podcasts - have a look at their link:

This Sunday night - we sent out a check booking email. Please check everything is as you wanted it. If not get onto us ASAP so we can fix it.

Some of the presenters are already in Brisbane and surrounding areas, other begin to fly in during the week, and lots on Friday. So if you are flying in to Brisbane, and you see one of the presenters, do remember to say hello to them.

During the week Paul Griffin arrives in Australia from the USA. It will be wonderful to meet him in person, but he will need these few days to overcome his jet lag I am sure.

Isobelle Carmody is also flying in from Prague, and will be out and about too. 

Jill Corcoran is already in Sydney having just done the SCBWI Conference at the weekend, and I am looking forward to meeting her too.( I hear she was awesome!)

We will also have all the invoices and personal itineraries to email out, the maps and the parking permits - so we will still be busy organising.

Friday: Set up at TAFE, the rest of the presenters arrive in Brisbane and the networking dinner occurs. (There are still tickets available for this - please email us if you would like to join us and haven't booked one yet.) 

Saturday: The big day - CYA Conference…

So, although its school holidays, my week won't be all sleep-ins and reading on the deck…but I will make sure I do some of that, relaxing, enjoying the sunshine and the kids being home for the holidays. Hope you get a chance to do the same, as you are going to need lots of energy to get through the jam packed day we have for you on the 7th July!

CYA later!

Tina, Ally and Sam

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