News & Updates

Winner, grinner and 2017 Conference wrap up

Saturday 1st July the weather is Brisbane was perfect for a winters day.  And quite quickly the sun was shining brightly. This matched many peoples really happy moods as we announced the winners of the 2017 Competition:

Hatchlings (8 - 18 years) 

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

Category 1 - Picture Books

1st - Ruby's Lost Humour - Ella C

2nd - Star Struck - Olivia P

3rd - Vacation Swim - Celine N

Category 2 - Chapter Books and Novels

1st - Graveyard - Kodi S

2nd - Baroque - Emily W

3rd - Taming Indicah Wild - Sarid T

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

1st - T.M. Clark – Jabiru's Bush Dance -Mia B

2nd - Ant Little - Sarah G

3rd - T.M. Clark – Jabiru's Bush Dance - Kadyn S


Category 1 - Picture Books - Preschool

Final Editor Judge: Kate Stevens, Commissioning Editor, Hachette Australia

1st  - The Flippopotamus -  Laura Bridge         

2nd - Quick, Mum's Lost Her Marbles! – Sandra Turner        

3rd - The Box – Grace Bryant     

Category 2 - Picture Books - Primary

Final Editor Judge: Final Editor Judge: Kate Stevens, Commissioning Editor, Hachette Australia

1st - Billie's Trail of Clues - Carmel Lillis         

2nd - Alone on a Hill - Danielle Freeland         

3rd - Perfectly Peculiar - Rachelle Sadler        


Category 3 - Picture Books - Primary - Non Fiction

Final Editor Judge: Final Editor Judge: Kate Stevens, Commissioning Editor, Hachette Australia

1st - Sister Kenny - Bush Nurse to Miracle Worker – Jacqui Halpin          

2nd - Tawaki, The Rainforest Penguins - Leslee Anne Hewson      

3rd - A Pocketful of Coins – Rachelle Sadler  


Category 4 - Chapter Books - Younger Readers

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

1st - Lee and Loh: The Avenue – Catherine Mojsiewicz      

2nd - Beyond The Wall – Danielle Freeland    

3rd - The Enchanted Doll's House – Lynelle Kendall            


Category 5 - Chapter Books - Older Readers

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

1st - Rocky - Amanda O'Shea    

2nd - The Disc of The Exiles – Joy Daly

3rd - Imperial - Brittany Dalton 

Category 6 - Young Adult

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

1st - Fire - Georgina Ballantine 

2nd -  The Stone of The Amazons – Joy Daly

3rd -  To Sleep, To Dream – Emily Larkin 

Category 7 - Graphic Novels, Illustrated Picture books & Illustrated Middle Grade Novels

Editor Judge: Clare Hallifax – Publishing Manager –  Scholastic Australia

1st - The Rite of the Conceição - Tiago Martins

2nd - Next Door Neighbours - Simone Hale

3rd - Ellie and the Seagulls - Judy Paulson

Highly Commended - My Two Grandmas - Liz Duthie    

Highly Commended - One Still Dawn  - Yvonne Low      


Category 8 - Illustrations            

Editor Judge: Clare Hallifax – Publishing Manager –  Scholastic Australia

1st  - OPTION ONE: T.M. Clark – Sam Treasure: Whales Garden – Tamlyn Teow  

2nd - OPTION Two: T.M. Clark – T.M. Clark – Jabiru's Bush Dance – Marianna Marx

3rd - OPTION ONE: T.M. Clark – Sam Treasure: Whales Garden – Sandy Flett



Published Author:

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

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

Overall winner:  Once Upon a Sacred Site : Paper Cranes : The Perfectly Proper Grand Pet Parade – Coral Vass

Picture Books:

Commended - More, More, More! : Purple Puppies : Kara T Kidd: Karate Champion - Penny Morrison

Commended - Horrie the Hero – Neridah McMullin


YA Novels & Chapter Books:

Highly Commended -  The Hatch - Karen Collum

Commended -  Gone Daddy Gone; Book 1 in The Hartley Girls series – Jess Black

Commended - Fangus Fearheart ... Truth Seeker  - Sheryl Gwyther


Illustrations: Illustrated Picture Books. 

Highly Commended: Simone In France - Ardis Cheng


Congratulations everyone! 


Thank you to all our Final Editor Judges. 

Clare Hallifax, Publishing Manager –  Scholastic Australia

Kate Stevens, Commissioning Editor, Hachette Australia

Katrina Lehman, Senior Editor for  Penguin Random House

Lisa Berryman, Children’s Publisher at HarperCollins Publishers 

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

And again to our volunteer judges: Ally Howard, Amanda Gardiner, Bec Timmis, Cassandra Webb, Catherine Oehlman, Rose Pearce, Chris Bell, Claire Saxby, Gabrielle Devana, Georgina Moore, Heather Gallagher, Helene Magisson, Jen Loakes, Justine Barker, Lucy Mcginley, Lynda Calder, Maryanne O'Flynn, Michelle Worthington, Natalie Hatch, Nicky Albrecht, Rebecca Dalton, Rebecca Sheraton, Sandra Mohr-Edgar, Shaye Wardrop, Sue-Ellen Pashley, Tina Marie Clark and Yvonne Mes.

Please everyone note the date this year that feedback won’t be with you until AFTER 31st AUGUST 2017 at the earliest as stated in the guidelines for 2017.

Quick wrap up of 2017 CYA Conference:

An awesome, loud and fun network evening was enjoyed by all on Friday night.  A few pictures (Thank you to Peter Allert who, as always, was the official CYA Photographer)

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Plenty more pictures on the photo’s page…

Then on Saturday 1st July - 210 people descended onto the TAFE South Bank premises - and what an awesome day we had. 

The rego table was ready….

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And the people arrived in droves - ready to face the busy day….

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Friends were reacquainted with fondness 

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and new friendships made as people chatted ….

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….the theatre began to fill up… 

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Certificates were won and presented, and some story names Tina didn’t even attempt to say - instead she got the delegate to say it for her. (And what a lovely accent Tiago Martin said it in too… ahhhh… Conceição sounds better in a Spanish accent than a South African…I’m just saying…)

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The CYA Success panel was a hit - with Kristina Schulz (UQP)  standing in for Elizabeth Kasmer. ( We missed you Liz! But thank you to Kristina who imparted some amazing behind the scene knowledge to us about how editors don’t want to loose your story when they hear about it either.) Ben Long, Emily Larkin and Jo Sandhu looking on. 

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Jacqueline Harvey spun her magic for the first time in the morning in the Ask Me Anything talk, and it continued all day for her 3 hour master class too - its not accident that Jacqueline is a +-10 year in the making overnight success!  

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Pamela Rushby gave an awesome talk on education vs Trade giving us facts and figures and laying it all out.

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Phil Kettle shared his know-how on how to capture reluctant readers. 

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Julia Ferracane was all about marketing and strategy.

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Shaun Tan…. via Skype…. but just as awesome as always. (Thank you Shaun Clark.)

Michelle Worthington shared so much more than just how to get your picture book out there. ( And she should know… her name in lights! (Thanks Michelle Worthington for the picture.)

Jake Harris shared how to get involved in writing for the growing games industry. (Thank you Georgina Ballentine for this picture.)

Nadine Bates gave us alternative places to put your books.

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Natalie Hatch was telling us all about the adolescent brain and how to use this knowledge to your advantage in your YA writing. (Thank you Linc Law for this one.) 

The publishers panel brought it all home, what they do to accept your stories, and telling us about the real time it takes to say ‘no’ or 'yes' to you stories. 

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And lastly - the close of the conference, where all the amazing volunteers got together and were given a much deserved round of applause.

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Thank you to every volunteer who helped at any stage - be it judging, on the day or the random times during the year that CYA Conference calls on help. 

To all the husbands, Shaun Clark, Brian Eeles and Steve Howard, for all the hard work and for being so supportive as always of your wives in this industry. Thank you!  

To our children, who are now all old enough to 'stretch or starve', its always awesome when you help too - thank you!

Lastly - to everyone who supported CYA Conference in 2017, by entering a competition, or booking in for conference or for booking a professional onsite appointment, it is only because the writing community has continued their support over the years that we can continue this event. Thank you for your support.

We will put more photographs into the albums as we sort them.

If you attended and want to fill in a survey form, you can do that here: 

Thank you again - and CYA soon!

Tina and the CYA Conference team.

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