Forest for the Trees 2018

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.

This event has already taken place.


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9 am
10 am
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12 pm
1 pm
2 pm
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4 pm
5 pm
Metcalfe Auditorium
Metcalfe Auditorium
My Path Through the Forest
10:00 am - 10:45 am
with Julie Koh

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.

Staying on the Path
10:45 am - 11:30 am
with Julie Koh and Charlotte Wood

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.

Reading the Signs
11:45 am - 12:45 pm
with Bianca Whiteley (Nielsen Bookscan)

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?’.

12:45 pm - 1:45 pm
with Walter Mason, Juliet Rogers and Alex Adsett

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.

Going Further Afield
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
with Wenona Byrne, Anne Beilby, Per Henningsgaard and Kirsty Melville

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 Open Road
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
with Jennifer Wong, Rosanna Arciuli, Annabel Smith, Michael Gordon-Smith and Fiona Stager

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).


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