The Kids & YA Festival is now SOLD OUT
Now in its tenth year, the 2018 Kids & YA Festival will be bigger and brighter than ever before.
Directed by best-selling, internationally published children’s author Belinda Murrell, this year’s Festival will take place on Saturday 30 June and showcases some of Australia’s best-known and dearly loved authors, illustrators, publishers, media personnel and industry professionals, many of whom have achieved international success.
The 2018 Kids & YA Festival will examine emerging trends, engage with celebrated authors, and offer informative and inspiring sessions on writing for children. The Festival will kick-off with two morning meet-and-greet events, including representatives from key organisations and fellow members of the Kids & YA writing community, followed by an in-depth ‘in conversation’ with multi-award-winning author and KOALA Legend, Deborah Abela, and Festival Director, Belinda Murrell.
The Festival’s stellar line-up includes over 40 speakers, such as multi-award-winning author and KOALA Legend, Deborah Abela; the hugely successful, New York Times best-selling writer Garth Nix; creator of the mega-hit Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series, Jacqueline Harvey; and the author of much-lauded Bitter Greens, Kate Forsyth.
The program includes an intriguing and diverse mix of panels covering topics such as writing comedy for kids; grappling with challenging issues like bullying, racism, and homelessness for YA audiences; current marketing strategies; new directions in picture books; plus, some attendees will have a chance to pitch their work to a panel of publishing professionals.
Festival Director Belinda Murrell says:
This year’s festival includes some of Australia’s most successful authors, illustrators, publishers and industry professionals.
What are their secrets to success? How do they create their wonderful stories? What are the hard lessons they’ve learned along their creative journeys? Learn how to build a writing career, about different publishing pathways and the nitty-gritty of a writing life. Explore emerging publishing trends, industry changes and perennial favourites. Meet fellow writers of all kinds, network, and pitch your own story ideas to Australia’s top publishers.
The 2018 Kids & YA Festival is at the Writing NSW site in Callan Park, Lilyfield on Saturday 30 June.
You can download the 2018 Kids & YA Program here.
Members of the Writing NSW Monday Night Children’s Writers Group will discuss the bene ts of belonging to a dynamic writing group and how it helped them get published. With Debra Tidball, Lisa Nicol, Marian McGuiness, and Katrina Roe (chair).
Four picture book creators discuss the joys and di iculties of writing picture books tackling diverse themes such as creativity, imagination, courage, freedom, identity, and dementia. With Paul Russell, Dub Leffler, Kirli Saunders, Aura Parker, and Sarah Davis (chair).
How do you build a long-term career as a writer? These highly successful authors discuss the nitty-gritty business of a writing life. With Kate Forsyth, Garth Nix, Louise Park, and AL Tait (chair).
Five phenomenally successful authors explain how they create fantastical worlds of magic and wonder, and keep readers coming back for more. With Jaclyn Moriarty, Garth Nix, James Bradley, and Kate Forsyth (chair).
A panel of writers with very di erent publishing routes discuss the pros and cons of partnership publishing, multi-media storytelling, self-publishing, and traditional publishing. With Anne Donnelly (independently published), Jacqueline de Rose- Ahern (partnership publishing), Graham Davidson (multimedia), and Katrina Roe (chair).
Pitch your idea for a picture book to an expert panel. Writers will have one minute to pitch their idea. With Chren Byng (HarperCollins), Clare Hallifax (Omnibus), and Suzanne O’Sullivan (Hachette). Please note: Those interested in pitching will need to submit a 100-word written pitch before midday. Please read the pitching tips on the Writing NSW website.
Deborah Abela talks to Belinda Murrell about the highs and lows of Deborah’s career, her passions, inspiration, writing process, and being part of a writing community.
Jacqueline Harvey talks to Belinda Murrell about the highs and lows of Jacqueline's career, her passions, inspiration, writing process, and being part of a writing community.
Books featuring strong female protagonists are in demand. Four leading authors discuss creating girl protagonists who are brave, fun, and adventurous. With Belinda Murrell, Yvette Poshoglian, Laura Sieveking, and Jacqueline Harvey (chair).
How do authors deal with serious issues in YA literature? How do they create diverse YA voices? What are their challenges and joys? With Eleni Hale, Megan Jacobson, Tamar Chnorhokian, James Bradley, and Will Kostakis (chair).
Publishing trends come and go, but the perennial favourite in children’s literature is humour. How do you create funny books which kids love? With Oliver Phommavanh, Tim Harris, RA Spratt, and Jacqueline Harvey (chair).
These industry leaders discuss the latest trends, what they are looking for, the state of the market and an insight into how the publishing industry works. With Zoe Walton (Random House), Chren Byng (HarperCollins), Clare Hallifax (Omnibus), Garry Evans (Harbour Publishing), and Louise Park (chair).
Pitch your idea for a kids or young adult book to an expert panel. Writers will have one minute to pitch their idea. With Zoe Walton (Random House), Garry Evans (Harbour Publishing), and Claire Craig (Pan Macmillan). Please note: Those interested in pitching will need to submit a 100-word written pitch before midday. Please read the pitching tips on the Writing NSW website.
Meet fellow writers and representatives from key organisations which provide opportunities for children’s and YA writers to develop their careers. With Jane McCredie (Writing NSW), Susanne Gervay (SCBWI), Lindy Batchelor (CBCA & ACLA), Wendy Fitzgerald (CBCA), Emily Banyard (ASA), and Joanne Simpson (Australia Council).
Writers’ Groups – The bridge to publicationWith Debra Tidball, Lisa Nicol, Marian McGuiness, and Katrina Roe (chair).9:30 am - 9:50 am
Picture Books with Heart, Hope and HumourWith Paul Russell, Dub Leffler, Kirli Saunders, Aura Parker, and Sarah Davis (chair).11:00 am - 12:00 pm
The Business of WritingWith Kate Forsyth, Garth Nix, Louise Park, and AL Tait (chair).12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Lunch1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Fantastical WorldsWith Jaclyn Moriarty, Garth Nix, James Bradley, and Kate Forsyth (chair).2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Differing Paths to PublicationWith Anne Donnelly (independently published), Jacqueline de Rose- Ahern (partnership publishing), Graham Davidson (multimedia), and Katrina Roe (chair).3:00 pm - 3:45 pm
Break3:45 pm - 4:00 pm
Break3:45 pm - 4:00 pm
Pitching Session: Picture BooksWith Chren Byng (HarperCollins), Clare Hallifax (Omnibus), and Suzanne O’Sullivan (Hachette).4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Writing with Passion10:00 am - 11:00 am
Writing with PassionWith Jacqueline Harvey and Belinda Murrell.10:00 am - 11:00 am
Girl Power!With Belinda Murrell, Yvette Poshoglian, Laura Sieveking, and Jacqueline Harvey (chair).11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Tackling Big Issues for Young AdultsWith Eleni Hale, Megan Jacobson, Tamar Chnorhokian, James Bradley, and Will Kostakis (chair).12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Lunch1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Make Me LaughWith Oliver Phommavanh, Tim Harris, RA Spratt, and Jacqueline Harvey (chair).2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Publishers Reveal the Inside StoryWith Zoe Walton (Random House), Chren Byng (HarperCollins), Clare Hallifax (Omnibus), Garry Evans (Harbour Publishing), and Louise Park (chair).3:00 pm - 3:45 pm
Break3:45 pm - 4:00 pm
Pitching Session: Kids and Young Adult NovelsWith Zoe Walton (Random House), Garry Evans (Harbour Publishing), and Claire Craig (Pan Macmillan).4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The Breakfast ClubWith Jane McCredie (Writing NSW), Susanne Gervay (SCBWI), Lindy Batchelor (CBCA & ACLA), Wendy Fitzgerald (CBCA), Emily Banyard (ASA), and Joanne Simpson (Australia Council).9:15 am - 9:50 am
Lunch1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Break3:45 pm - 4:00 pm
Drinks5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Drinks5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
After finishing a teaching degree, Deborah Abela produced and wrote a national kids’ TV show before leaving to write 25 books, including Grimsdon, Teresa: A New Australian, Wolfie: An Unlikely Hero, The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and The Most Marvellous Spelling Bee Mystery. Deb has won awards for her work but mostly hopes to be […]
James Bradley is an author and critic. His books include the novels Wrack, The Deep Field, The Resurrectionist and Clade, all of which have won or been shortlisted for major literary awards, a book of poetry, Paper Nautilus, and The Penguin Book of the Ocean. His latest book is The Buried Ark, the second in […]
Tamar Chnorhokian is associate director of Sweatshop. She completed a communications degree in writing and publishing at Western Sydney University in 2004. Her debut novel is The Diet Starts on Monday (Sweatshop 2014). She is the recipient of the 2016 Copyright Agency WestWords Western Sydney Emerging Writers’ Fellowship and is currently developing her second work […]
Graham Davidson writes speculative fiction for all ages and illustrates picture books for 3–6-year-olds. He also animates his picture books for the childhood literacy initiative, Storytime Lane, that he’s developed in partnership with children’s author Emily S Smith.
Sarah Davis illustrated her first picture book in 2008, and in 2010 she quit her day job and began illustrating books full-time. Since then, she has illustrated 39 books and been short-listed for more than 30 major awards in Australia and New Zealand. Her first book as author/illustrator will be released by HarperCollins in 2019.
Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern
Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern is a Canberra author and recipient of the ACT Writers’ Centre 2017 Anne Edgeworth Fellowship. Her debut picture book, Charlie’s Adventures…in Hawaii, was short-listed for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards and chosen as a finalist in the American Best Book Awards. The second book in the Charlie’s Adventures… […]
Anne Helen Donnelly
Anne Helen Donnelly is a Sydney-based author/illustrator. She has targeted the preschool/kindy market with her Ori Octopus series. The third Ori book is due out in mid-2018 and combines another of Anne’s passions, the care of our environment. She is an engaging children’s presenter, having done 67 events in 2017 and thoroughly enjoys having fun […]
Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel aged seven and has now sold more than a million books worldwide. Her most recent book, Beauty in Thorns, is a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty set amongst the passions and scandals of the Pre-Raphaelites. Other novels for adults include Bitter Greens, which won the 2015 American Library Association award for Best Historical Fiction; […]
Eleni Hale‘s debut, Stone Girl, is published by Penguin Random House. In a previous working life, she was a reporter at the Herald Sun, a communications strategist for the union movement and published across many print and online news publications. She has received three Varuna awards, lives in Melbourne and is currently working on her […]
Jacqueline Harvey is one of Australia’s bestselling authors for children with 45 books published to date. Her Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series’ have sold over one million copies in Australia and have attracted numerous shortlistings and awards while her first and only picture book, The Sound of the Sea was an Honour Book in the […]
Megan Jacobson is a YA author whose debut novel, Yellow, was short-listed in the Older Readers category of the 2017 CBCA Book of the Year Awards. Her second novel, The Build-Up Season, is short-listed for the 2018 Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature. She has also written for television and has had several short […]
Will Kostakis is an award-winning author, but his real claim to fame is a Twitter spat with Guy Sebastian. After dabbling in celebrity journalism and reality TV, he now writes for young adults. His latest novel, The Sidekicks, recently won the IBBY Australia Ena Noel Award.
Dub Leffler has written two books for children and illustrated for over 20 publications, collaborating with the likes of Shaun Tan, Sally Morgan and Banksy. His latest book, Sorry Day, written by Coral Vass and published by The National Library of Australia, will be out in May 2018.
Jaclyn Moriarty is the prize-winning, best-selling author of novels for young adults including the Colours of Madeleine trilogy. The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone, Jaclyn’s first book for middle-grade readers, has been short-listed for the Reading Children’s Book Prize and the Aurealis Awards, and named a CBCA Notable Book.
A full-time writer, Garth Nix has also worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. His books have appeared on many bestseller lists including the New York Times and have been translated into 41 languages.
Louise Park draws from a strong background in literacy to produce her blockbuster best-selling series that include Zac Power Test Drives, Spy Recruit, Boy vs Beast, Star Girl, Bella Dancerella, Harriet Clare and her latest series D-Bot Squad. She writes under her own name as well as the successful pseudonyms HI Larry, Mac Park, and Poppy […]
Aura Parker is an exciting new voice in children’s publishing. Her work is whimsical and full of details to pore over. Twig, Aura’s first picture book as writer and illustrator, is a 2017 CBCA Notable Book for Early Childhood. Aura’s new book, Cocoon, will be out soon—followed by a bunch of cheeky meerkats for Meerkat […]
Oliver Phommavanh is a Thai-Australian author and comedian who uses his primary school teacher skills to entertain kids all across Australia and Asia. He is proud to be an author ambassador for the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge and Room to Read. His books include Thai-riffic, Punchlines, The Other Christy and Super Con-nerd, along with Natural […]
Yvette Poshoglian is the author of over 30 books for young readers, including the best-selling Ella and Olivia series. She has also written historical fiction and has a passion for colonial Sydney history. Yvette is a high school English teacher and recently ran the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge. She is also a media producer and […]
Katrina Roe is a picture book author and broadcaster who loves talking about books almost as much as she enjoys reading them. Her newest book is a philosophical picture book, Lily’s Balloon (Wombat Books), which teaches kids that it’s not all about them!
Paul Russell has always been passionate about stories, even before he could read. Determined never to grow up and lose his imagination, he is a teacher, playwright, father, artist and author—but maybe not always in that order. He is passionate about children’s literacy and building an appetite within children for the written word.
Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai woman. She is a children’s author, poet, educator and motorcycle enthusiast. Kirli founded the Poetry in First Languages project. Her first children’s picture book, The Incredible Freedom Machines, has been published in French and English. Her forthcoming titles include Our Dreaming (Scholastic), Happy Ever After (Scholastic), and poetry collection, Kindred (May, 2019, Magabala).
Laura Sieveking has been an editor for many years and in recent times has turned to writing books of her own. She has had many educational titles published and in 2017 her series, The Royal Academy of Sport for Girls, was published by Penguin Random House. Her new series, Amelia Chamelia, will be published in […]
RA Spratt wrote Friday Barnes, Girl Detective and The Adventures of Nanny Piggins. Her new series is The Peski Kids—the story of siblings who have to stop fighting with each other for just long enough to fight crime. RA lives in Bowral with her husband and two daughters. She has three chickens, two goldfish and […]
AL Tait is the internationally published best-selling author of two middle-grade series: The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher. She has worked as a professional writer across many disciplines for more than 25 years and thinks being a children’s author is the best job in the world. Her alter-ego, Allison Tait, co-hosts the So You […]
Zoe Walton is a publisher of books for young readers at Penguin Random House Australia. Zoe edits New York Times bestselling author John Flanagan, whose Ranger’s Apprentice and Brotherband series have sold fifteen million copies worldwide. She also publishes many popular and award-winning Australian authors, including Deborah Abela, Tristan Bancks, Fleur Ferris, Emily Gale, Tim Harris, Belinda […]
Debra Tidball is a social worker who morphed into an author. Her latest picture book, The Scared Book, is a CBCA Notable and heaps of interactive fun, and the gentler When I See Grandma was short-listed for the Speech Pathology Book of the Year. She has flash fiction and short stories published, and she blogs, […]
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