Forest for the Trees is a one-day seminar that explores the current state of writing and publishing in Australia. It brings together writers, publishers, and industry representatives to discuss what is happening in 2018.
The conversation will cover mainstream and independent publishing, as well as opportunities in the US market, book sales data, and the challenges of navigating publishing deals. The day ends with a panel of industry experts who will shine some light on what the future holds.
Please note these tickets are sold under the Sydney Writers’ Festival cancellation policy and are therefore are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Refunds are only granted as outlined in the Entertainment code of Fair practice.
Julie Koh left a career as a lawyer to pursue writing. Her books (Capital Misfits, Portable Curiosities) have been met with critical acclaim, and in 2017 she was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist. A writer’s life entails much more than getting words on the page, for Julie this includes being an editor, judge, founding member of Kanganoulipo, and writing the libretto for an opera.
What does it take to get published and maintain a career as a writer? Julie Koh discusses the winding path that novelist and non-fiction writer, Charlotte Wood (The Natural Way of Things), took to get her first book published and how she maintains her writing life.
Bianca Whiteley from Nielsen Bookscan brings us data about the books readers are buying and the books that are likely to sell in the future. She will also shed some light on that commonly asked question, ‘What makes a Bestseller?’.
How does an author navigate the complex and, at times, obscure documents associated with publishing? Author Walter Mason (Destination Cambodia) delves into the confusing world of publisher websites, letters of offer, and contracts but is offered a guiding light by Juliet Rogers, CEO Australian Society of Authors and Alex Adsett, publishing consultant and literary agent.
The United States has long been an opportunity for Australian authors to sell their rights. Wenona Byrne, Director of Literature, Australia Council for the Arts explores which Australian books do and don’t sell in the US market with Anne Beilby, Rights Manager, Text Publishing; Per Henningsgaard, academic and former publisher; and Kirsty Melville, President and Publisher of US-based Andrews McMeel Publishing.
The book world faces significant political and legal challenges including parallel imports, the so-called ‘fair use’ definition of copyright, and the arrival of Amazon on our shores. What do you need to be concerned about, what are the opportunities, and who is protecting your interests? Jennifer Wong talks with Rosanna Arciuli (Copyright Agency), author Annabel Smith (Charlie, Whiskey, Foxtrot), Michael Gordon-Smith (Australian Publishers Association), and Fiona Stager (Avid Reader bookshop).
My Path Through the Forestwith Julie Koh10:00 am - 10:45 am
Staying on the Pathwith Julie Koh and Charlotte Wood10:45 am - 11:30 am
Reading the Signswith Bianca Whiteley (Nielsen Bookscan)11:45 am - 12:45 pm
Mirkwoodwith Walter Mason, Juliet Rogers and Alex Adsett12:45 pm - 1:45 pm
Going Further Afieldwith Wenona Byrne, Anne Beilby, Per Henningsgaard and Kirsty Melville2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
The Open Roadwith Jennifer Wong, Rosanna Arciuli, Annabel Smith, Michael Gordon-Smith and Fiona Stager3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Julie Koh was born in Sydney to Chinese-Malaysian parents. She studied politics and law at the University of Sydney, then quit a career in corporate law to pursue writing. She is the author of two short-story collections: Capital Misfits and Portable Curiosities. The latter was shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, the Steele Rudd Award in […]
Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and two books of non-fiction. The Natural Way of Things won the 2016 Stella Prize and Indie Book of the Year, and was joint winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction.
Bianca Whiteley started her career in publishing at Murdoch Books in 1999, and spent seven years in various roles including Inventory Management. She joined Nielsen Book in 2006 where her latest role is Account Director. For the past 12 years she has helped publishers and retailers make the most of the data and is currently […]
Juliet Rogers is the CEO of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA). She has had a long career in publishing, including Managing Director of Random House (NZ and Australia) and CEO of Murdoch Books. Before joining the ASA, she ran her own small publishing and consultancy business, The Wild Colonial Company. She has chaired Booksellers […]
Alex Adsett is a literary agent and publishing consultant. As a consultant, Alex offers strategic and commercial contract advice to authors and publishers, helping them negotiate the sometimes fraught landscape of publishing agreements. As a literary agent, she represents exceptional manuscripts for all ages, with a focus on science fiction, fantasy, romance, and crime. She […]
Dr Per Henningsgaard is a lecturer in professional writing and publishing at Curtin University. Prior to arriving in Perth, he was the director of the master’s degree in book publishing at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. His publications include ‘Kim Scott’s Publishing History in Three Contexts: Australian Aboriginal, National, and International’ in A Companion […]
Founding publisher of Simon & Schuster Australia, Kirsty Melville moved to the US in 1994 as Vice-President and Publisher for Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, California, and led in its transformation from a niche publishing company into an internationally recognized, award-winning publisher. She departed Ten Speed to work as Publisher for San Francisco’s University Games, […]
Anne Beilby is the Rights Manager at Text Publishing. She handles and negotiates contracts relating to both acquisitions and international licensing, audio and film contracts for the Text list. She has been presenting at international book fairs for more than 10 years.
Rosanna Arciuli has worked in the publishing industry for over 30 years, starting off as a Sydney bookseller, moving to Penguin Books as a sales representative before working for an independent publisher in London. On her return from London, she worked with the merchandising divisions of ABC Enterprises and SOCOG. Rosanna then relocated back to […]
Annabel Smith is the author of The Ark, US bestseller Whisky Charlie Foxtrot, and A New Map of the Universe, which was shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Awards. She was one of five inaugural recipients of an Australia Council Creative Australia Fellowship for Emerging Artists, for her interactive digital novel/app The Ark. She holds […]
Michael Gordon-Smith is the CEO of the Australian Publishers Association. He has worked for more than 20 years in Australian media and communications industries, including as a director, a government regulator and the CEO of industry associations. Michael has led projects or policies from media ownership to mobile telephones, from copyright to digital television. He […]
Fiona is the co-owner of Brisbane’s award-winning bookshops, Avid Reader and Where the Wild Things Are. She has been a judge for the Vogel Award, the Stella Award and the Queensland Literary Awards. Fiona has been presented with the Johnno Award for services to the Queensland writing community and in 2014 the Australian Booksellers Association […]
Walter Mason is a travel writer and blogger, and the author of Destination Saigon (2010) and Destination Cambodia (2013). He has trained in meditation traditions in Thailand, Taiwan, Cambodia and Vietnam, and teaches courses in Buddhist cultural history and the spiritual traditions of Vietnam.
Wenona Byrne is the Head of Practice, Literature, at the Australia Council for the Arts. In this role she is responsible for overseeing the core grants program and other strategic initiatives that support the literary sector. Before joining the Council Wenona worked in publishing for 11 years, 9 years as Rights Manager with independent publisher […]
First Friday with Tiffany Tsao
First Friday, our monthly conversation with an industry professional, is a chance for our community to learn more about the writing and publishing industry. This September, we invite you to our online event with Tiffany Tsao, editor of The Circular. Some of the best new literary writing disappears without a trace online. Great writing can […]