Links to Publishing Industry organisations

Here you’ll find invaluable links to organisations and sites active within the publishing industry, with a listing of some of the resources, assistance and professional development available. I’ve added my own personal experiences with these very helpful organisations.

ASA – Australian Society of Authors  Australia’s professional association representing writers and illustrators, providing advocacy, support and advice.

As a member, I’ve been able to access:

- contract assessments and advice, publishing information and resources;  educate myself through attending seminars, including understanding copyright – ‘Education Information and Copyright’ in 2013, 'From Manuscript to Book' (publishing and promotion) and 'The Big Picture' (meeting key industry players) in 2018

- ASA first National Writers’ Congress: Authorship 20/20 in 2013 and ASA’s second National Writers’ Congress 2015 Congress: Reclaim, reboot, renew.  This was a great chance for networking, making new friends in the publishing industry, hearing from successful writers and illustrators and learning about the current and future issues facing the publishing industry.

- Emerging Writers’ Mentorship Program – a wonderful opportunity to apply for professional development

- I subscribe to the ASA e-newsletter and keep up-to-date with topical issues, events, festivals, upcoming workshops.

- The Style File  An online curated listing and showcase of professional illustrators.  I’m a Style File member, which showcases my work alongside other professional illustrators

- ASA Creators on Craft webinars – I’ve participated in amazing webinars with Monica McInerney, Katherine Howell, Kate Forsyth, Shaun Tan and Ann James generously sharing their creative process and tips

- ASA even provides opportunities for connecting with trade publishers – I attended one of ASA’s ‘Literary Speed Dating’ sessions, where you get a chance to pitch your work directly to publishers.

SCBWI – Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators  The international body representing writers and illustrators. Australia has its own chapters – I’m with Australia East/New Zealand

SCBWI offers local and international networking opportunities, particularly through their Conferences, held throughout the world.  Australia’s SCBWI conference takes place biannually in Sydney.  The Conference includes workshops, guest speakers, manuscript and illustration portfolio assessments and networking opportunities

- Illustrator’s Showcase takes place at the Conference and is a great opportunity to showcase your own work as an illustrator.  Publishers, Editors and Art Directors will view your work.  This is how the wonderful Sophie Masson, Publishing Director of Christmas Press found my work, which resulted in a contract!

- SCBWI and SCBWI Australia/NZ e-newsletters:  Features include the SCBWI Success Stories – I feature in this section on 5 March 2017 describing being ‘discovered’ by Christmas Press.

The newsletter also features upcoming talks, workshops, awards, news, events and opportunities for learning – I participated in ‘Perfect Your Portfolio’ and an art portfolio assessment with Donna Rawlins in 2015

- Collaborative and writer/illustrator community events.  I’ve taken part in ‘Sketch and Scribble at Taronga Park Zoo’ in 2015

- SCBWI Australia/NZ organises promotional events such as Inside Story at the Children’s Bookshop, Beecroft (2013) connecting authors and illustrators with their readers at specialist bookshops

- International webinars – Photoshop for Illustrators in 2017 with David Opie from USA was a helpful session on learning basic digital tools.

- International– author/illustrator listing internationally, along with opportunities such as the SCBWI International Postcard Competition and taking part in Migrations Exhibition - The postcard which I created and sent, is included in this worthy international exhibition, shining a spotlight on the plight of refugees.

- SCBWI Draw This – my illustrations feature in this great online opportunity to showcase images inspired by a prompt word and which (hopefully) will attract the attention of publishers and art directors!  

- Bologna Book Fair – SCBWI assists in promoting the work of writers and illustrators at this amazing childrens’ international book fair.

CBCA – Children’s Book Council of Australia  The CBCA promotes and encourages community involvement in children’s literature with state and local branches.

I’m an active member (and former committee member) of the Northern Sydney Sub-branch (NSW), which meets around 4-5 times per year, hosting a fascinating guest speaker from the children’s book industry at each meeting and culminating in a wonderful Christmas Party, where again one or two guest speakers are featured.  In the past we’ve been lucky to have Alison Lester, Margaret Wild and Julie Vivas.

Our sub-branch also organises regular Author/Illustrator presentation afternoon teas at schools and the wonderful 'Lunch with the Stars', where excited children and teachers hear from and mingle with local authors and illustrators.  You can hear about and see photos from some of these in my blog.

Sub-branch excursions.  As part of the Northern Sydney Sub-branch group, I recently visited May Gibbs entrancing home on the shores of Sydney Harbour, filled with May’s original artwork and her furniture, including May’s easel, and her lovely garden, which gave her much inspiration.

CBCA National Conference is a chance to mingle with writers, illustrators, teacher librarians and like-minded professionals and hear from wonderful speakers including successful writers and illustrators.  The 2016 12th National Conference featured Jeannie Baker, Graeme Base, Nadia Wheatley, Margaret Wild and Julie Vivas amongst others and was a fantastic opportunity to listen to and learn from these luminaries of the children’s publishing world - it was so inspiring!

The Australian Children’s Laureate is the CBCA program promoting children’s literature around Australia – Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor were co-Laureates in the two year inaugural program (2012-2013), followed by Jackie French (2014-2015) and Leigh Hobbs (2016- 2017).  Laureates offer wonderful workshops and talks connecting with children and communities around Australia.

Reading Time is the CBCA book news and reviews magazine.

The annual CBCA Book Awards reward outstanding contributions to Australian children’s literature.

CBCA Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program (which I entered in 2007) is a great opportunity for unpublished authors to professionally develop their work.


Copyright Agency and Viscopy are organisations providing licencing, collecting fees and distributing royalties for writers, illustrators and visual artists.  They also offer educational seminars.  As a member, I receive the e-newsletter, which includes information on copyright issues, grants, awards, events and seminars.

I attended Australian Society of Authors 2013 Seminar Education Information and Copyright in partnership with Copyright Agency/ Viscopy and Australian Publishers Association (APA) – a good introduction to the fundamentals of copyright.

Vivid Voice of the Artist – Age of the Image Forum (in conjunction with AGNSW) in 2016.  I learnt about the challenges facing today’s visual artists, particularly with the impact of the digital world.

NSWWC – New South Wales Writers’ Centre

Based in Sydney, the Writers’ Centre offers a huge array of courses for writers ranging from playwriting, short story, travel writing, writing historical fiction, writing autobiography, writing for children…

As a member, I’ve attended many over the years, including:

Intensive Picture Book workshop with Libby Gleeson

Creating Travel Literature with Bruce Elder

From Writer/Illustrator to Presenter with Eleanor Shakiba

The Business of being a Writer with Judith Ridge and James Roy

NSWWC also offers a mentorship program, host writing groups and you can also receive manuscript assessments – I’ve had some with Leonie Tyle, former publisher with UQP.

NSWWC presents a number of writer festivals each year, which include expert panels, discussions, workshops and book launches.  The Children’s Literature Festival is a great opportunity to network and learn from professionals.  If you’re game, you can even take part in a ‘pitch a book to publishers’ session.

Books in Homes

Books in Homes is a great organisation, supplying books to children and schools in need, all around Australia.  I’m a Books in Homes Role Model and have the pleasure of presenting at Book Giving Assemblies in disadvantaged schools.

Pinerolo, The Children’s Book Cottage

Margaret Hamilton owns and runs this gorgeous cottage in Blackheath, Blue Mountains, dedicated to children’s picture books and the children’s publishing industry.

In Picture Books @ Pinerolo, Margaret offers picture book weekend workshops, and I have been fortunate enough to attend two, with Dee Huxley and Freya Blackwood as guest illustrators and Margaret sharing her knowledge and insights as a writer and publisher.

Comics Mastermind

Julie Ditrich hosts and teaches comics and graphic novels and provides masterclasses and workshops with guest comics creators.  I’ve completed the wonderful Visual Storytelling Success System:  How to Write Comic Books and Graphic Novels with Julie Ditrich and Breaking into European Comics with Thomas Campi, which are enabling me to take my writing and illustrating in yet another direction.


There are a number of great writing and illustrating competitions which I’ve entered over the years – all a good chance to improve your craft, receive feedback on your work and get exposure to trade publishers.

- CYA Conference and Competition takes place in Queensland and is an opportunity for new and established children’s writers and illustrators to participate in workshops and masterclasses and enter the writing and illustrating competitions.  Major publishers are involved as speakers, assessors or judges.

- my 2017 picture book illustration entry into the ‘Aspiring Category: Graphic Novels, Illustrated Middle Grade Novels and Illustrated Picture Books’ won a Highly Commended award in June 2017, judged by Claire Hallifax (Scholastic)

- Writers’ Unleashed Festival  The Sutherland Shire Writers’ Festival includes the Picture Book Writing Competition


Amongst the many Australian publishers, The School Magazine is unique.  It is a NSW Government publication producing 4 different magazines (Countdown, Blast Off, Orbit and Touchdown) for NSW schools and offers opportunities for writers and illustrators to be published in a highly respected magazine. 

The School Magazine celebrated its 100th Birthday in 2016 and at the CBCA 12th National Conference, I joined fellow The School Magazine writers in a celebratory group photo, while Editor Alan Edwards cut an enormous cake! You can see more on my blog and on Twitter @YLcreate

My poetry has featured in Countdown magazine.

On-line and other Resources

PIO – Pass It On E-zine  Jackie Hosking hosts this very helpful weekly e-zine, with publishing news, reviews, events and competitions.

As a poet, Jackie hosted a Poetry Blog Tour celebrating World Poetry Day in 2016 and combining poetry with the celebration of The School Magazine’s 100 Year Anniversary - I took part along with other poets and writers Claire Saxby, Janeen Brian, Sophie Masson and Stephen Whiteside. 

Buzz Words E-zine   Di Bates is the Editor of this great e-zine, which includes features on competitions, awards, writing markets, publisher profiles, interviews and opportunities.

- The Inside Scoop - Di Bates interviewed me as an illustrator and I explained the process of working with Christmas Press and Sophie Masson on Jack of Spades (15 May 2017 Issue no. 249)  Buzz Words also has competitions – I won the April 2016 Buzz Words Illustration Competition and received a lovely collection of new picture books as my prize.

Feathers of the Firebird blog:  Writer Sophie Masson’s blog on all things writerly.  My own ‘Five Favourites’ books from childhood feature in this blog (June 2017)

Kids’ Book Review  A children’s literature and book review site led by founder Tania McCartney.

Create a Kids’ Book (Dr Virginia Lowe)  Virginia offers helpful manuscript assessments, workshops, book reviews and writing tips.

Just Write for Kids   An online support group for writers and illustrators of children’s books.

Creative Kids Tales   A useful site for those starting out in the children’s book industry.