Date of Success:
Winner of the '2020 State Library NSW Award for Emerging Children's Author', Victoria Mackinlay is a new and exciting children's author who loves to play with language. Her debut picture book RIBBIT RABBIT ROBOT, illustrated by Sofya Karmazina, was a CBCA shortlisted book in 2021 in the New Illustrator Award category.
Victoria was previously Head of Strategic Partnerships for Google APAC, and now works as a freelance strategist and storyteller.
Fluent in French and Italian, visitor of 51 countries and counting, Victoria is a direct descendant of King George III (the one who went mad!).
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
I LOVE the CYA competition for many reasons:
First, you get written feedback and grading on your entries which can be incredibly helpful in developing a manuscript.
Second, you can enter as many manuscripts as you like and see them ranked among all the other entries. When I was starting out, I found this especially helpful as I had lots of manuscripts on the go. I entered them all and got an indication of which were the strongest ones.
Third, it's very reasonably priced which helps with the point above.
Fourth, as part of the application you are pushed to research your target publisher. This is so key for a successful submission in the real world.
Fifth, one of my manuscripts won the Primary School Picture Book category in 2019 so I have especially fond feelings for it! My prize (an assessment with Susanne O'Sullivan) gave me further confidence to submit, and I was amazed to receive interest from several publishers. I signed a contact with Harper Collins in 2020 and they paired me with the incredible Animation Director from Bluey, Beth Harvey as illustrator. THE BARK BOOK comes out in July 2021.