News & Updates

Introducing: Karen Robertson

29 August 2011

In this day of technology with iPads, kindles, sony readers etc, we all know that electronic books have arrived, and people are talking about them. So it’s good to introduce you to Karen Guinn Robertson, an author who already has experience in electronic format books. 

For Karen, it all started with a dream. In 2007, Karen was struggling to get her sons to read for fun, until she had a dream that lead her to create a new kind of book that combined the magic of stories with the fun of toys. 

She self published “Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island,” and recently turned the successful book into a book app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Karen now helps other children’s writers see how they can turn their stories into book apps.

A few of the screen prints from Treasure Kai and the Lost Gold of Shark Island

Karen is presenting a workshop at Alligators on - e-books - The Digital Era - An in-depth look at how to turn your book into a successful e-book from someone who has done it! 

Thanks Karen for joining us at  CYA Conference!

On the digital note: Lucia Macscillo, a CYA Success Illustrator is presenting at the  Ipswich Children’s Literature Festival , Wednesday 7 September – Twilight seminar at Woodlands of Marburg on digital publishing for authors. (FREE event.) I would encourage authors and illustrators interested to attend both these events.

Update on Editor assessments/pitching at CYA Conference:

Zoe Walton, Lisa Berryman and Sue Whiting are SOLD OUT.

There are still a few places (not many though so hurry) with agent on site: Jacinta di Mase, and editors: Maryann Ballantyne, Kristina Schulz  and Nadine Bates. 

As I write this, there are less than 2 weeks left to conference. 11days, 4 hours, 12 minutes....phew...counting down is hard work!

CYA later!

Tina & Ally

Introducing: Julie Fison

27 August 2011

CYA is pleased to introduce you to Julie Fison. Not only is Julie a CYA Success Story and will chatter on that in the Success Panel after lunch at Alligators, but she is also presenting a workshop - No Pink Tutu’s Here…Writing an appealing adventure book.

Julie is the author of Hazard River, an exciting new series of adventure stories for primary school children, the inspiration for which began with a family holiday on the Noosa River. The emphasis in the series is on fun, adventure and action, and each story has an environmental theme, relaying important messages without lecturing. The first book in the series, Shark Frenzy was inspired by a serious fact: one hundred million sharks are slaughtered each year, mostly for their fins. The practice of shark finning, where the sharks' fins are cut off and the bodies are thrown back into the sea, is just one of the experiences the kids of Hazard River encounter in the series.

I was so lucky to launch Shark Frenzy for Julie, and it was such a highlight in my life - launching a book that came into being because of CYA Conference. Being present at the launch of this book was like sharing Julie’s book, seeing a small part of my own dreams come to life... thank you Julie for asking me to be part of this special day. I was just so happy I launched her book on sharks and not Snake Surprise...I have an absolute phobia about snakes…

Now - back to Julie... The first two stories in the series, Shark Frenzy! and Snake Surprise! were released in October, 2010 to be followed in March, 2011 by Bat Attack! and Tiger Terror!                          

Julie is a former television reporter and travel writer and has lived and worked in Australia, Asia and Europe. The Hazard River stories reflect the author's interest and passion in current affairs and for a great adventure story. Currently Brisbane based, Julie spends as much time as possible on the Noosa River, the inspiration for the Hazard River series.

Some of Julie’s books hung on the cork-board:

This is Julie’s Hazard River Series Trailer on YouTube....

Click here to view the Hazard River Preview Video  if the link above doesn’t work.

The fabulous Marc McBride ( CYA Presenter this year - who you have already been introduced to previously)  did these covers for Julie. And just like the Deltora Quest covers, he brings a depth and dimension to every book that makes this series unique and instantly recognisable.

Thank you Julie for coming to CYA Conference , and we look forward to your workshop!

As I write this, there is less that 2 weeks left until conference....13 days 17 two weeks time we will all be sitting in our workshops at St Laurence’s enjoying ourselves, networking, and mostly importantly developing our skills as writers and illustrators.

Counting down....( Yes I am counting now...)

See ya at CYA!

Tina & Ally

Introducing: Aleesah Darlison

25 August 2011

Aleesah Darlison doesn’t really need an introduction to CYA Conference as we celebrated her publishing success with her at CYA in 2010, and she launched one of her Totally Twin books there too! But for those that were not with us, and haven’t met Aleesah,  or if you just want to know a little bit more about her -

Aleesah grew up in a tiny country town on the mid-north coast of NSW, Australia, and was always surrounded by loads of tame animals: horses, donkeys, cows, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, ducks and even a pet rosella named Joe. And not so tame ones: dingoes, goannas, snakes, eels, echidnas, wallabies and much more. Animals have always been a part of her life. That's why they feature in so many of her stories. Humans are luckier than we realise to have such amazing creatures sharing the world with us.

After attending university in Sydney, she lived and worked both in Australia and overseas in corporate marketing. 

A full time writer now, Aleesah can't imagine herself doing anything else. When she is not writing, you can find her  looking after her three children who are a constant source of amusement, inspiration and energy-deprivation - or keeping up with her two dogs who are pretty much the same amount of ‘work’ as her children.

These are a few of Aleesah’s books:

CYA Conference is happy to have Aleesah presenting a workshop this year at Alligators - Making Picture Books. And encourage you to follow her down to Ipswich on Sunday for her session at the Ipswich Children’s Literature Festival with her  session: Promoting your work and Virtual visits.

An update on editor assessment/pitches: 


Zoe Walton, Sue Whiting are sold out. 

Kristina Schulz, Lisa Berryman and Maryanne Ballantyne are almost sold out with one or two appointment still open only. 


Zoe Walton has only one appointment left.

Everyone else still have places available and CYA Conference is still accepting bookings for these appointments at both Alligators & Hatchlings!

15 days and 12 hours as I write this blog post until CYA Conference. 

CYA later!

Tina & Ally

Introducing: Jess ‘Jaybird’ Briscoe

24 August 2011

On the cork board today, CYA Conference is pleased to introduce: Jess ‘Jaybird’ Briscoe - who is an amazing animator, illustrator, manga artist and did I mention her ‘alter ego’ Princess Riko in Cosplay? ( FYI: Cosplay is short for "costume play", is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. ) Characters are often drawn from popular fiction in Japan, but recent trends have included American cartoons and Sci-Fi. Favourite sources include manga, anime, tokusatsu, comic books, graphic novels, video games, hentai and fantasy movies

A few pictures of Jess’s work and a few of her at cosplay:

These images belong to Jess and are copyrighted. 

They can be viewed on her sites:


Jess is the Artist in residence at the Transit lounge in Caboolture and has been the assistant animation teacher for the ’Out of the box program’ and a guest Lecturer in the “8x8 Food For Thought” Lecture Night.

In 2010 she was the Winner of the 18 - 25 animation division of the ‘MashItUp’ Film Festival. 

Awesome all round artist and amazing young Queenslander!

And lucky for us, Jess will be at CYA Conference, with extremely hands on workshops - 

At Alligators - Manga Mania ~ How to make your characters more accessible to "Generation  @" ( Gen Z, Generation I...) 


at Hatchlings with ~ Manga Rulz. Improve your manga figures.

Thanks Jess for joining us at CYA!

16 days till CYA Conference....and I still have so many presenters to tell you about - for a sneak peek go and look at the presenters page...

CYA later!

Tina & Ally

Introducing: Jack Heath

23 August 2011

CYA introduces you to Jack Heath...

Jack is the award-winning author of six action-packed thrillers for young adults. 

He started writing his first novel, The Lab, at age 13, and earned a publishing contract for it at 18. Now 24, his books are popular in eight countries. His new book is Hit List.

Some of Jack’s books:

Jack will be presenting at both Alligators and Hatchlings with :  Packin-in the action ~ Thrillers for young adults.

We are looking forward to having you join us in Brisbane for the weekend!

I loaded a map of the venue today - a quick reminder: CYA Conference 10th & 11th September will be held at:

St Laurence’s College, 82 Stephens Road, South Brisbane, Qld, 4101

Note: CYA Conference will be in Building 7 on the map: Edmund Rice Building, using the McElligott Theatre. (There are steps this year to access the building - if you need help please arrange with Tina before hand so a volunteer can be with you.)

Parking: FREE parking will be available on the Savio Oval.

There are now 17 days, 10 hours, 56 minutes...not that we am counting....

CYA Later!

Tina & Ally

Competition Short List 2011

22 August 2011

CYA Conference Writing and Illustrating Competition - 2011 is please to announce the short list:

Congratulations to 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. The 2011 short list is below.

Remember, you might not have made this short list, but you still receive your feedback sheets (emailed back to you before end of October 2011) and remember to continue to write write write and draw draw draw! Full lists of placings go up on the web site as soon after conference as we can get them there...

 Please note that these are the JUDGES of the final placings of the competition, but the short lists are seen/read by more than one publisher.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the judges who volunteered their time to judge the CYA Competition, Rebecca Timmis, Ally Howard, Heather Davies, Tina Marie Clark, Keri Lane, Mardi Sands, Debbie Kahl, Aaron Pocock, Leonie Tyle, Karen Collum, Kathryn Apel, Claire Saxby, Ali Ashley and Sally Odgers.  Without your help there would be no competition - thank you.

Note: No judge was allowed to judge in their own section, nor have access to the entries from that section.

A HUGE thank you to the final judges listed below!

CYA Conference short list 2011, in alphabetical order:



Category 1 – Picture Books – Preschool  - The final judge: Jon Appleton, Lothian Children’s Books- Imprint of Hachette, Australia

¬ Butterfly 

¬ How long until my birthday?

¬ Lizzie Blueboots

¬ Monster Sister

¬ Sloppy Kisses


Category 2 – Primary School Picture Books - The final judge: Jon Appleton, Lothian Children’s Books- Imprint of Hachette, Australia

¬ An Awfully Spooky Party

¬ Just a dog

¬ Mishy Mashy Mush

¬ Sticks and Stones


Category 3 – None fiction - The final judge: Jon Appleton, Lothian Children’s Books- Imprint of Hachette, Australia 

There were insufficient entries in this section to keep separate. The entries in this section have been added to Category 2 for final placings within that section. BUT the entries into category 3 have been sent to Jon Appleton with Section 2 short listed stories.


Category 4 – Chapter Books - The final judge: Jon Appleton, Lothian Children’s Books- Imprint of Hachette, Australia.

¬ Astrid Nine-Names

¬ Jasmine Jones and The Marble of Destiny

¬ Metal Mouth Square Eyes


Category 5 – Young Adult - The final judge: Lisa Berryman, HarperCollins Publishers, Australia.

¬ Finding Zoe

¬ Saving Aggie Blue

¬ The Timekeepers


Category 6 & 7 – Graphic Novels, Illustrated picture books /Illustrations - The final judge Zoe Walton, Random House, Australia.

No short list was made for Graphic Novels and illustrated picture books, or illustrations as Zoe Walton is viewing all artwork entered into this category.

Congratulations to all who entered, and winners will be advised before conference if they are on the winning list, but not of their actual places until the conference presentation.



Category 8  - Published Authors - The final judge: Maryann Ballantyne - Blackdog Books - Imprint of Walker Books Australia.

¬ Bathtime Pirates

¬ Jumping Through Hoops

¬ Midget Bones's Diary 

¬ Our Dog Olly



Category 1 – Preschool & Primary Picture Books - Final judge: Katrina Lehman - Penguin Books, Australia

¬ Jumbah the Elephant

¬ The not so standard book of birds

¬ Tweet Tweet SQUAWK


Category 2 – Chapter Books & Young Adult Novels - The final judge is: Katrina Lehman - Penguin Books, Australia

¬ In Peace  

¬ The End of the Beginning

¬ Therapy Cat


Category 3 - Graphic Novels, Illustrated picture books - The final judge: Katrina Lehman - Penguin Books, Australia

No short list was made for Graphic Novels and illustrated picture books as Katrina Lehman is viewing all artwork entered into this category.

Congratulations to all who entered this category, and winners will be advised before conference if they are on the winning list, but not of their actual places until the conference presentation.


CYA later!

Tina & Ally

Introducing: Mark Wilson

19 August 2011

CYA is pleased to introduce Mark Wilson to you, this extremely talented author, illustrator and artist also keep administers his own web site - so how is that for a ‘multi-tasker’ in all areas of life!

Mark is one of Australia’s most successful author/illustrators of children’s books. He currently has seventeen books in print in Australia and the USA. His picture books have won many awards including two Whiteley Awards for children’s picture books, two Wilderness Society Awards and five CBCA Notable Picture Book awards.

Mark began to study art in year ten and went on to study mural design and painting at C.I.T. (now Monash, Caulfield Campus). He skipped classes two days a week to work as a cleaner to pay his way (somehow he still managed to pass though). 

After art school, Mark did National Service for two years, serving with Survey Corps and then Training Command . After the army, he gained his Diploma of Education, but chose a band over teaching.

By the mid seventies, Mark began work as an illustrator-designer for Pursuit magazine, and by 1981 was freelancing internationally. In 1981, he illustrated his first picture book by friend Ann James, and was hooked! 

Marks current publishers include Lothian (Hachette Livre), National Geographic (U.S.A.), Harcourt, Nelson Learning, University of Western Australia Press, Harper Collins, ERA Publishing and McGraw-Hill.  

His absolute passion is writing and illustrating children’s books and he is on an eternal quest for the best coffee shop in Australia on his various visits to festivals and schools.

Mark Wilson was crowned Grand Dragon of Dromkeen for a year in 2010. A great tradition started by Graeme Base and the people at the Dromkeen Centre for Picture Book Art in Victoria.  

These are just some of Mark’s books: 

Mark will be presenting his workshop ~ Using Acrylic Paint In Illustrations ~ (Hands on paintbrushes everyone). This class is interactive, if you are coming, bring old clothes to wear during this workshop so they don’t get damaged by paint! ( I’m not saying you are a messy painter, but accidents do happen....)

We are sharing Mark with the  Ipswich Children's literature festival, and he is appearing there in the week leading up to CYA - so catch this talented author, illustrator and artist at either venue! 

21 days, 19 hours....until CYA Conference. Not that I am counting.....but yesterday the nice outdoor banners to attache to the fence at St Laurences arrived, so that you don’t drive past the gate you need to use, it will have a recognisable Beckett and Hatchling and CYA Conference hanging there for you to see! 

Our main logo’s name is Beckett, for those who recently came to know about CYA Conference. Drawn by Bec Timmis, he evolved to this back in 2005 when we were just starting the journey that became CYA Conference... 

Bec Timmis drew ‘our Hatchling’ last year when we introduced our 8 - 18years old program: 

“Hatching tomorrows published authors and illustrators today!”

Although Bec doesn’t maintain the CYA Conference web site, she is often called on for issues relating to design and everything requiring an artistic anything!!!! CYA thanks her and her company for their continued sponsorship and support:

CYA Later!

Tina & Ally

Introducing : Anne Spudvilas

17 August 2011

Introducing you to the wonderful illustrator Anne Spudvilas.

Anne  is a multi-award-winning illustrator of children’s books and an established portrait painter who also works as a courtroom artist for the Melbourne media. Anne's portraits have been selected in major portrait competitions and she has completed public commissions for the City of Melbourne and the Victorian State Government and her work is in collections in Australia, USA, Europe and Asia.

Her first picture book The Race was awarded the Crichton Award for Illustration and  CBCA (Children's Book Council of Australia) Honour Book. In 2000 she won CBCA Picture Book of the Year with Jenny Angel, which was also shortlisted for the NSW Premiers Award.

In 2008 The Peasant Prince won the NSW Premier's Award (Patricia Wrightson Prize), the Australian Book Industry Award for Younger Readers and the Queensland Premiers Award.

Anne's designs were used by Australia Post for the 2006 Australian Christmas stamps. If  anyone has one of these stamps, CYA Conference would LOVE to see one and share what it looks like here....

Have you booked in with Anne for her workshop ~ Illustrating Books With Anne at Alligators on 10th September 


 Anne will ~ Creating Picture Books (Writing & illustrations.) at Hatchlings on 11th September 2011.

We are very lucky to have Anne as we are sharing her with Ipswich Children's literature festival, and she is appearing there in the week leading up to CYA - so catch her at either venue! 

23 days until conference....where is the time going??? We still have so much to organise.

    Editor assessments/pitches are mostly in, and off to the editors. 

  •     Zoe Walton has no more space at all, she is SOLD OUT. 
  •     Sue Whiting has no space on Saturday but has one or 2 on        
         Sunday that she can still fit in.


    CYA later!

    Tina & Ally

Introducing: Clare McFadden

12 August 2011

Introducing your to Clare McFadden, author and illustrator of The Flying Orchestra.  But even better than reading about here now  - here have a little ‘sticky-beak’ at  her youtube video of Clare reading her book - backed by musical instruments of the orchestra.... enjoy.....

This is the link incase it gets broken

So... great wast it!!! 

What a concept!!! 

Now about Clare...

Clare is a designer and producer of arts-based work for children and communities. She has worked in Community Arts at Brisbane City Council and at the State Library of Queensland where she was the Manager of The Corner, a creative space for under eights.  

Clare has designed for theatre, film and music productions and her illustrations have been exhibited in group and solo shows. 

In 2010, Clare was the recipient of the Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artist’s Fellowship – enabling her to investigate international best practice methods of engaging children in the arts. The Flying Orchestra is her first book.

We can’t wait Clare’s workshop at Alligators as she shares her secrets to: Best Practice Methods For Engaging Children In Art ~ Relates specifically to working with children's books ... don’t worry - there is a lots room for upfront  of the class with her, if she brings her orchestra!

We got fantastic news yesterday from Rachel Nolan MP - Minister for Finance, Natural Resources and the Arts. We got out first ever Arts Queensland grant. Now I haven’t even got the pack yet to see what logo I need to acknowledge with or anything - was just so excited that I was sharing the news....will deal with al the lovely administration side later!   Thank you Arts Queensland!!!!

So, what does this mean for attendees this year: it will ensure that we can have a CYA Conference NEXT YEAR! 

So, with just 28 days, 22 hours...until the start of CYA Conference, this co-ordinator better get back her job...there are assessments to email to the editors ( is yours in yet??) Bookings to attempt to marry together with payments ( you did send me your name o your direct debit ??? NO - oh dear - email me and tell me where and when you did the deposit so I can find you...) and of course, the normal, getting shirts ordered, food etc... 

CYA later!

Tina & Ally

Introducing: Marc McBride

11 August 2011

As the count down to CYA Conference continues, we are so glad to introduce you to: Marc McBride.

Marc is the awesome illustrator of the phenomenal Deltora Quest Series, written by Emily Rodda. And he shared his know-how of drawing the scary, large and small and unique monsters with everyone is subsequent books. Marc’s book covers appear on the shelves of most good book shops, the shopping chains. 

After the fantastic success of the Deltora Quest series, the relationship of writer Emily Rodda and illustrator Marc McBride continue in the new series: The Three Doors, due out this September! (and we should have copies for sale at CYA Conference our onsite book shop - but more on that another day...)

So a little more about Marc:-

Marc has illustrated over fifty book covers and countless magazines, as well as producing artwork for advertising campaigns. He has a solid design background in both advertising and film, and won the West Australian Film and Television Award for Best Art Director. 

Marc has had work exhibited with the New York Society of Illustrators. 

Marc is holding a 3hour masterclass at Alligators, and its all hands on, so be prepared to learn: “How to Paint your Dragon ~ Drawing dragons from your imagination and drawing. “                       

At Hatchlings, Marc has 3 x 1 hour workshops on: “The Monster Class of Dragon Drawing” , so he will cover ALL age groups from 8 - 18 years. Hatchlings places ARE LIMITED to 15 per class, so get your booking form in ASAP! 

Hanging on our cork board below are just a few of Marc’s covers: 

So, with the clock ticking away.... as I write this its, 30 days , 00hours , 8 minutes till the start of CYA Conference....editor pitches are coming in and being sent to for their assessments/pitches and the competitions are almost collated and ready to go to their  final judges ... so  lots happening behind the scenes still.

CYA Later!

Tina & Ally

Introducing: Michael Gerard Bauer

10th August 2011


I am introducing the birthday ‘boy’ today - everybody - meet  Michael Gerard Bauer...and Michael, because you write with humour I can sing:

“Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

You look like a monkey

And you smell like one too....”

(Lets see how bad the retribution from that is.... I think I might need to ‘duck’ for a few days now...)

You might want to do Michaels workshop at Alligators  - Getting serious about Humour or at Hatchlings  - How to write funny...they will be so worth attending.

A little about Michael: 

Michael is an in-demand speaker and a popular writer for children and young adults. His books have been shortlisted, won numerous awards and are used as class texts in many schools around Australia.

Born in Brisbane, Michael attended the University of Queensland where he gained an Arts degree with a double major in English Literature. He became a teacher, who has now retired to write full time.Together with his wife and children Meg and Joe, Michael lives in the beautiful Brisbane suburb of Ashgrove.

Multi published here in Australia, Michael books are now published in the USA and Europe.

Also, I have just updated the success page with another book baby. Yeah!!  

Congratulations to Alison Ashby who chose to publish her YA paranormal series, 

The Fifth Shadow after coming 2nd in the Published Author Section in the 

CYA Competition in 2009. Please visit Alison on the Success Page for more details about the first book in the series: Phoenix.

If you have booked an pitch/assessment at Alligators or Hatchlings, remember to get your documents into CYA Conference before 14th August 2011. 

We have a new brochureFlyer out for Hatchlings. You can download it here and print it if you need to:

HatchlingsFlyer.pdf ( Now disabled in new system.)

There are 30 days left until CYA Conference 2011 - one month today!

CYA Later!

Tina & Ally 

Introducing: Brian Falkner

 7 August 2011

I  was fortunate enough to launch 3rd time CYA Presenter Brian Falkner’s latest book: Northwood on Tuesday evening 2nd August at a Booklinks function here in Brisbane. 

It was a fun night, with hot soup served (which was delicious!!!) to everyone who attended. 

Walker Books describes Northwood as:

The dark forest of Northwood has never seen the likes of Cecilia Undergarment before …

Cecilia Undergarment likes a challenge. So when she discovers a sad and neglected dog, she is determined to rescue him. No matter what. But her daring dog rescue lands her in deep trouble. 

Trouble in the form of being lost in the dark forest of Northwood. A forest where ferocious black lions roam.  A forest that hides a secret castle, an unlikely king and many a mystery. A forest where those who enter never return. But Cecilia is determined to find her way home. No matter what.

A new project from Brian Falkner, the best-selling and award-winning author of The Tomorrow Code, Brainjack and The Project,  Full of adventure and humour, this story is ideal for 8-12 year olds Illustrated by Donovan Bixley.


As I was the person to launch this book for Brian, indulge me as I take the liberty of describing Northwood for you - not in marketing terms, but in how I read it....

“Delivering yet another fantastic book, Brian’s Northwood is a story of contradictions. It’s where one finds appearances can be deceiving as a bad nasty cruel men turned out to be sad men, who just didn’t know how to cope with loss. Where ordinary people find a path through life’s dark forest, and inside the largest person, can beat the most kind heart. I got lost in a world where lions were noble and misunderstood, and where people who are loved so completely simply know that never giving up, is the only option available to them, if they are to return to those loved one who hold their hearts.  

Northwood is where Brian Falkner reminds us, that it is his job as an author to tell big fat farty fibs© Brian Falkner  and our job as readers to enjoy them!’’

In true Brian fashion, this was no ordinary book launch. He had organised to present an hour of professional development after the launch that could count towards teachers and librarians keeping abreast of their professions.  His topic of:  How to get children interested in reading and writing was amazing, and dare I say it - interesting....  I wanted to rebook him on the spot - yet again!!!!  

Remembering that we had Brian to CYA Conference before, when he was an international guest. Now he is a local Queenslander, and we are just as keen to have him back - for the third time.

So, let me introduce you to Brian Falkner...

Brian was scuba diving off a small island near the coast of Phuket when his dive buddy frantically pointed at a small underwater rock formation that Brian was just passing. Brian turned to see a huge moray eel with a head the size of a football staring at him.

Brian started to back away slowly, but instead of attacking, the eel turned and wound its way into a crevice. That incident is not yet in one of Brian’s books, but one day it might well be. A lot of Brian’s real life adventures end up in his books, (in fictional disguise of course!) Whether it is an attack by a vicious swarm of wasps, being bullied at school, or skimming the surface of the ocean in a tiny seaplane, Brian loves to use real incidents as the basis for the stories in his books.

A recent face-to-face encounter with a deadly king cobra, a ride on an elephant with a mind of its own, and a long distance flight with a flatulent fellow passenger, are all lodged away somewhere waiting for the right moment to emerge in a story.

Even at school Brian knew that he wanted to be a writer. It took him thirty years to realise that dream with his first junior novel published in 2003.

He studied computers at university (college) but dropped out to pursue his love of writing. He trained as a journalist, and then worked as a reporter and an advertising copywriter, a radio announcer and an Internet developer before finally becoming an author.

Brian lives on the sunny Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, and doesn’t particularly like the actual act of catching a fish! 

Hope that you will join Brian for his 3hour master class at CYA Conference ~ Alligators on 10th September - or one of his classes at CYA Conference ~ Hatchlings on 11th September, before he jets off across the ocean, for his latest book tour in the USA. 

Only 33 days till conference....

CYA there!

Tina & Ally

Final Judges announced and...

4 August 2011

The CYA Conference Hatchlings writing & illustrating competition is now closed. Thank you to all who entered - and good luck with your entries.

All judging is now in process and we hope to let everyone know the short lists by Monday 22nd August 2011 (if not before...)

A big thank you to all first round judges who are giving their time to judge these entries. At this stage I won’t name you because I’m sure everyone is open to chocolate bribes.... only joking! All the volunteer judges will be names after the judging is completed.

Thank you to all the final judges who have volunteered their time to help judge this competition. 

The final judges for the sections are: 


Category 1: Picture Book Preschool - 500 words - Jon Appleton, Lothian Children’s Books- Imprint of Hachette, Australia.

Category 2: Picture Book Primary School - 500 words - Jon Appleton, Lothian Children’s Books- Imprint of Hachette, Australia.

Category 3: Picture Book None fiction - 500 words - Jon Appleton, Lothian Children’s Books- Imprint of Hachette, Australia.

Category 4: Chapter Book - 1000 words - Jon Appleton, Lothian Children’s Books- Imprint of Hachette, Australia

Category 5: Young Adult - 1000 words - Lisa Berryman, HarperCollins Publishers, Australia.

Category 6: Graphic Novels & illustrated picture books - Zoe Walton, Random House, Australia.

Category 7: Illustrations - Zoe Walton, Random House, Australia.

Category 8: Published Author section - Maryann Ballantyne - Blackdog books - Imprint of Walker Books Australia.


Category 1: Picture Book –Preschool or primary aged children  - 500 words -  Katrina Lehman - Penguin Books, Australia. 

Category 2: Chapter Book & Young Adult  Novels - 1000 words -  Katrina Lehman - Penguin Books, Australia 

Category 3. Graphic Novel & Illustrated Picture Book  - Katrina Lehman - Penguin Books, Australia.

We have had a special note from Jacinta Di Mase concerning her pitches/assessments. Theses are Jacinta’s  recommendations for the CYA Conference pitches/assessments,  and anyone who had booked with Jacinta already will get an email with information in it. I have also added it to the program page so everyone who sees it will benefit.

Remembering that the spec for Jacinta’s agent assessments was:

Jacinta is looking for quality commercial fiction for younger readers and young adults. ( No picture books and no illustrations please.)

"All correspondence to go to CYA Conference  - NOT directly to Jacinta please. Jacinta only wants a one paragraph synopsis, and very short bio (not a full cv), and the sample chapter (10 pages). 

Sample chapters should be in a word doc email attachment. The bio and synopsis can be in the body of the email SENT TO CYA CONFERENCE - not Jacinta.

The sooner I receive these, the better. (Note to delegates:CYA's D.Date for this is 14th August, if you can get it to CYA CONFERENCE before that PLEASE DO!) 

On the day they should bring a list and brief synopsis of any other work in case we get time to discuss it (in fact with both Aleesah Darlison and Kerri Lane, I liked works that I hadn’t read before the meeting. I looked through their lists of other works in progress and pinpointed those that I thought had commercial potential and we went from there)."

So, with 36 days left until CYA Conference, the count down has begun....

CYA later!

Tina & Ally

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