The recent CBCA Northern Sydney Sub-branch meeting included guest publishers Claire Hallifax of Scholastic/Omnibus and Chren Byng of HarperCollins. These two wonderful children's and YA publishers were interviewed by author Louise Park, during a fascinating question and answer Publishing Panel session at Chatswood Library. There was a capacity crowd of eager, enthusiastic writers, illustrators and librarians all hanging off every word!
The two publishers discussed what they're looking for in manuscripts, how many new authors and illustrators they take on each year, whether social media is helpful, and where they find new creators. Again, the publishers emphasised not to write to the latest fad, but to write from the heart - and that is ultimately what will speak to them.
Some great tips - Claire said to think of a picture book as an 'audio-visual medium' and 'practice, practice...' your writing. Chren recommended reading your work aloud, especially picture book texts, and even better, to get someone else to read your work aloud...
After the Publisher Panel, the meeting continued with a round up of recent CBCA-run events, included the fun Authors in the Hills and the very successful Lunch with the Stars at St Patrick's Seminary Manly. The meeting ended with the latest 'Book Babies' being shared by proud writers and illustrators - including me, with my latest, A Christmas Menagerie (Christmas Press), for which I created colour illustrations.
Clever Wombat illustrations (A Christmas Menagerie, Christmas Press)