News & Updates

Competition Results 2011

12 September 2011 

Competition Results 2011

Congratulations to all those placing in the CYA Writing & illustration competition 2011.

Certificates, prize money (where applicable) and book packs for schools (where applicable) will be mailed to you if you were not present at the CYA Conference. 

Everyone, who entered will receive their feedback via email by 31st October 2011.

CYA Conference Winners list:


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

1st  - How Long Until My Birthday? – Lynda Davies

2nd  - Monster Sister -  Jo Hart

3rd Place – Butterfly -  Melinda Van Slobbe

Short Listed: Lizzie Blueboots -  Rebecca Newman

Sloppy Kisses  - Jodie Wells-Slowgrove

Category 2  & 3– Primary School Picture Books & None fiction Picture Books - The final judge: Jon Appleton, Lothian Children’s Books- Imprint of Hachette, Australia

1st - An Awfully Spooky Party - Jodie Wells-Slowgrove

2nd - Huberta’s Hullabaloo (Non-Fiction)  - Dianne Tunnington 

3rd  - Mishy Mashy Mush - Renee Taprell

Shortlisted: Sticks And Stones  - Melanie Labrooy

Just A Dog  - Jenny Erlanger

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

1st   -  Astrid Nine-Names  - Marian Mcguinness

2nd  - Jasmine Jones And The Marble Of Destiny  - Arun Pradhan

3rd  - Metal Mouth, Square Eyes  - Laura Wilson

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

1st  - The Timekeepers  - Nicola Alter

2nd - Saving Aggie Blue - Alison Stegert

3rd - Finding Zoe  - Sally Hall

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

1st - One Very Tired Wombat Renee Treml 

2nd - Baby Tawnies  - Judy Paulson

3rd - The Green Man and the Brown Mountain - Gracie Adamson 


Category 7 –Illustrations - The final judge Zoe Walton, Random House, Australia.

1st - Gay McKinnon  (Illustrated: Claire Saxby - Extract from story:  Super Kate and the Magic Cape)

2nd - Kathryn Harrison (Illustrations of: Tina Marie Clark – My Dad is a Helicopter Pilot)

3rd - Kelly McDonald - (Illustrated: Tina Marie Clark – My Dad is a Helicopter Pilot)

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

1st - Jumping Through Hoops  - Chris Bell

2nd - Our Dog Olly - Michelle Vasiliu

3rd - Bathtime Pirates -  Aleesah Darlison 

Short Listed: Midget Bones's Diary – Robyn Osborne 


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

1st - Jumbah the Elephant – Debbie A (18)

2nd - The not so standard book of birds  - Elizabeth W (14)

3rd - Tweet Tweet SQUAWK  - Cathy F (14)

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

Tie 1st  - In Peace   - Cory V (15)

Tie 1st  - Therapy Cat – Sarah K (17)

3rd - The End of the Beginning – Annabelle B (10)

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

1st - Dreams Come True – Kirrah T (13)

2nd  - Precious and Rare  - Amber E (12)

Complete lists of all categories of all stories and illustrations entered into the competition will go up here shortly.

CYA later!

Tina & Ally

Introducing Tristan Bancks & CYA tomorrow

Introducing Tristan Bancks & CYA tomorrow

9 September 2011

Our final presenter I introduce to you to for 2011 is Tristan Bancks.

Tristan Bancks tells stories for the page and screen. His background is in acting and filmmaking. His short films have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV. 

Tristan has written several books for children and teens, including the brand new Galactic Adventures, First Kids in Space (UQP, July 2011) and My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up (July, Random House). He is also author of the Mac Slater, Coolhunter books released in Australia and the US, and illustrated series, Nit Boy , about everybody's favourite mini-beasts. 

Nit Boy is currently being developed for television. Tristan's Young Adult novel, it's yr life (Random House) was co-written via email between Byron Bay and L.A. with actress / author, Tempany Deckert. 

Tristan loves telling inspiring, fast-moving stories for young people.

A few of Tristan’s Books:

Tristan has been presenting at the Ipswich Children’s Literature Festival, and will be at BWF too so if you iss him at CYA Conference, try  catch him there!

Tristan will be presenting workshops at Alligators and at Hatchlings and I can’t wait to see what he makes us all do in Book trailers.....

Thanks Tristan for being part of CYA!

Well that’s it, I am uploading this and driving into the city to begin set up at 3pm this afternoon. If its left at home now, its too late.....

CYA tomorrow!

Tina & Ally

Illustrators Shortlist & CYA Success Panel and only 5 sleeps to CYA...

5 September 2011 

Illustrators Shortlist & CYA Success Panel and only 5 sleeps to CYA…

Illustrations are unique. They are individual and they carry a tiny piece of the artists heart with every frame. CYA is really lucky to see some of these frames from those people who enter the CYA Conference Writing & illustrating competition in Categories 6 & 7 for Alligators and Category 3 for Hatchlings. And today we are excited to announce the short list for the illustrating sections. 

Remembering that ALL the art work for these categories has been seen by the final Judges, and these short lists are the editors choices.

A HUGE thank you to the final judges listed below!

CYA Conference Illustration short list 2011, in alphabetical order:



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


¬ Gracie Adamson 

¬ Judy Paulson 

¬ Renee Treml 

Category 7 –Illustrations - The final judge Zoe Walton, Random House, Australia.

¬ RandomHouseAustraliaBlackGay McKinnon 

¬ Kathryn Harrison

¬ Kelly McDonald



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

¬ Dreams Come True

¬ Precious and Rare

Congratulation everyone!

We can actually tell you that already 2 of these entries from the three categories were outstanding, and have had requests from publishers to see more of their holding thumbs for both those illustrators. Proof that CYA Conference helps as a short cut above the slush pile once again!

And talking about how CYA has helped Alligators we have a success panel. This year there are 6 people able to make it back to CYA and share with everyone, their journey, their tips, their BOOKS!!!!  This is a special session reminds everyone that the dream you are chasing of publication is real, is achievable and can happen, but for the organisers of CYA Conference, it is a reminder why we run this conference. And that it is worth it, as we are making a difference in peoples journeys, helping them on their way and hopefully reducing the time it takes to get to publication for some. 

Introducing Katherine Battersby, Peter Allert, Robyn Osborne, Matt Porter , Julie Fison & Alison Ashley - a few of the 2010/11 success stories...

Katherine Battersby -    Competition winner 2009, Book Published 2011 (Contracted 2009) 

What Katherine said about CYA:  “In 2009 I won the picture book illustration  competition and gained a significant boost of confidence in myself as a creator – that

year I went on to sign with my wonderful agent and get my first book contract.”

Peter Allert  -  Book Published 2011 (Contracted 2009 - met editor of Book at CYA Conference.)

A little of what Peter said:“The CYA Conference is the soil in the garden of  

my possibilities and as I grow I find I am in a field of friends and the sun is 

shinning brightly indeed.

CYA has been responsible for many ideas that have come in handy when 

honing my craft, here are a few I have found very useful:

Create an area to work, Have belief in yourself, Learn for what has gone before, Keep a Journal, Pencils, Paper, Action!, Have Patients and Share experiences with others. “  ( for expansion please see Peters Success page.)

Robyn Osborne - Competition Winner 2009 (Book contracted in 2010)

A little of what Robyn said: “My CYA journey began in 2007 when I    entered a number of manuscripts into the CYA competition.  Although I   didn’t win, the feedback was fantastic.  My results ranged from 8th  through to 41st.  

In 2009, I entered again and was delighted to win first and highly commended in the picture book section.  Interestingly, my previous 41st    entry was the winner this time - if at first you don’t succeed…! My wins  gave me two lovely certificates, some cash (always nice) and most importantly, confirmation that I could write.”


Matt Porter - Competition Winner 2009 (Book contracted in 2011)

A little of what Matt said: “ I was thrilled when I found out I’d won the 2009 

CYA Chapter Book competition.


I entered the competition mainly because I knew each entry received 

feedback from the judges. I used this feedback, and the recognition that 

Mr Sergeant and the Dodgeballs of Doom had won, to rewrite my story and promote it to publishers. Celapene Press will be publishing Mr Sergeant in September 2011.”

Matt is having his launch of Mr Sergeant and the Dodgeballs of Doom at Lunch at CYA Conference so it will be an exciting day for Matt!

Julie Fison - Book Published: October 2010

Julie has already been introduced on 27th August 2011 as a presenter - but she is  also a success story.

 A little of what Julie said:” I met the head of Ford Street Publishing, Paul Collins,  during the Brisbane Writers’ Festival last year. Ford Street will be publishing my first fiction series, Hazard River, in October 2010. 

The CYA Later Alligator conference successfully puts all the necessary information for new writers into one weekend. I’d recommend it to aspiring authors of books for children and young adults.”

Alison Ashley - Competition Place in 2009 - Book published in 2011.

A little of what Alison said: “It was a last minute impulse to enter Phoenix into the published author category of the 2009 competition, and I’m really glad I trusted that instinct as I was awarded 2nd place! 

This gave me the confidence to pursue my dream of publishing my YA paranormal series, The Fifth Shadow, and after working with a professional children’s editor to polish my words.”

With only 5 sleeps until CYA Conference, I am starting to get excited now....

CYA later!

Tina & Ally

Introducing: Sarah Davis

1 September 2011

CYA introduces you to illustrator Sarah Davis. 

As you will see from Sarah’s bio below, getting to be a full time illustrator has taken time and dedication - oh and did I mention talent- Sarah is one phenomenally talented illustrator!!!

Sarah was born in London, and spent her childhood in America, Sweden, and finally NZ where she spent a lot of time digging for worms, chasing sheep, falling in rivers - and of course, doodling endlessly. She now spends her time in Sydney digging for ideas, chasing her 3 children, spilling pots of paint - and doodling endlessly. 

She has an honours degree in literature, and as a qualified secondary teacher taught English, creative writing and art in NZ secondary schools for 5 years. In 2004 Sarah moved to Sydney and began freelancing in commercial illustration for advertising, film, editorial publishing, and toy design. She worked as an in-house designer for The Book Company, and as as art director and senior illustrator for Childhood Heroes, producing books in association with high profile sports stars such as Tim Cahill, Brett Lee, and UK footballers Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand. In July 2009, she threw herself into illustrating picture books full time.

She began illustrating for children in 2007 and has since collaborated with several well known Australian and NZ authors.

Sarah adapts her style to suit the essential qualities of an author's text, so her work ranges from emotionally charged realistic oils to quirky digital cartoons. She also handles the design and layout for most of the books she illustrates, so can speak about the process of creating a book right up until it goes to press. 

As a self-taught illustrator and designer she is constantly on the hunt for more information, better methods, or cunning new tricks. She can share the thrills and spills of this process of discovery with students, and help them see art as a fun, messy, exciting adventure. She enjoys building students' confidence in their own abilities, and giving them freedom to let their own imaginations off the leash.

Sarah was awarded the CBCA’s 2009 Crichton Award for her first picture book, the beautiful, haunting Mending Lucille, by J.R. Poulter (Lothian/Hachette Livre), which was released in 2008. 

2009 saw the publication of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Sue Whiting (New Frontier), a fun, sparkly book, packed full of magic, music, candymakers, greedy kings, wicked guards, and the occasional surprised camel. 

Next came Fearless, by Colin Thompson (ABC Books/Harper Collins), about a well-meaning bulldog with a huge heart and a tiny brain, who becomes an accidental hero. 

Released in 2010: The Fierce Little Woman and the Wicked Pirate by Joy Cowley (Gecko Press, NZ); 

Night Noises by Chris Cheng (Random House); 

and Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam by Juliette McIver (Scholastic)

A few others:

So as you can see, Sarah knows what she is talking about, so at Alligators when we advertise her 90 minute master class: 

Anatomy Of A Portfolio

The mechanics of portfolio, what makes illustration children’s market portfolios illo’s different. Reviewing different portfolios and sorting them out, lastly filling spaces within folio. Need to bring portfolio, and sketch pad optional 

Did you see that last line...incase you didn’t it says: 

 “bring your portfolio”- 

with you to CYA Conference

and make full use of Sarah’s expertise, and if you want to bring your own sketch pad, thats fine too, but CYA will be providing loose sheets of sketch paper if you forget.

CYA is excited for this wonderful opportunity for the illustrators, and thank you so much Sarah for coming to CYA Conference!

Sarah will also be presenting at the Ipswich Children’s Literature Festival, and if you miss her at CYA - try catch her there!

Today the Alligator itineraries were emailed out - the editor appointments will follow tomorrow.

Hatchlings itineraries are due to be emailed on Tuesday, so please don’t panic if you haven’t received anything - it’s coming!

The tax invoices (and receipts noted on them) for the conference will be a paper copy and attached to your itineraries on the day, and will be collected at the registration desk, when you get your name badge, goodies bag etc.

As I write this, CYA Conference is only 8 days, 9 hours and 41 minutes away!

CYA later!

Tina & Ally

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