Thursday 28 September 2017

Resources for Children’s Writers and Illustrators

When you are new to writing for children, how do you find information that helps you to get published? Here are some ways in which you can develop and extend your interest and knowledge towards your goal:

KidLitVic Conference                                                                                                    This is a one day conference held annually in Melbourne which is attended by a large contingent of publishers such as Black Dog, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Allen & Unwin, Ford Street Publishing, Scholastic, Five Mile Press, Lake Press, Hachette, Windy Hollow, Text, Hardie Grant Egmont, Scribble/Scribe, Walker Books and Affirm Press. There is a cost of $88 (including GST) for a 15 minute one-on-one assessment with a publisher, plus written feedback on your manuscript or your portfolio.

CYA Conference                                                                                                          Held annually in Brisbane usually mid-year, this conference is aimed as professional development for new and established writers and illustrators of Children’s and Young Adult literature. Master classes and workshops are conducted at the conference. CYA also runs writing and illustrating competitions in conjunction with the conference.

The Children’s Book Academy                                                                                          If you aspire to become a successfully published children's book author or children's book illustrator, the academy says, ‘we have what you need! Whether you’re interested in self-publishing, learning to write or illustrate and publish traditionally, finally learning Photoshop, discovering your writer's and character's voices, or upgrading your skills in general, or learning the rules to break to make your picture book, we have something for everyone, from beginner to seasoned pro! Come in, look around, sign up for a course from our award-winning faculty, and jump-start or refresh your career!’

Jen Storer is an award winning children’s author who has had numerous books published, mostly by HarperCollins and Penguin. After nearly twenty years she’s still writing and publishing. Jen also worked in-house as a children’s book editor, predominantly in Creative Development. She has a First Class Honours degree in Literature and has taught creative writing to all kinds of people.

Green Leaf Press
Greenleaf Press is owned and operated by award-winning author and marketing guru Aleesah Darlison who saw a need for key services and opportunities for authors and illustrators. Greenleaf not only helps clients to develop and place stories and artistic projects through assessments and mentorships, it also provides ongoing work opportunities. Greenleaf Talent represents a number of authors and illustrators across Australia and secures paid work for them in preschools and schools.
The company’s services include manuscript assessments, mentorships, editing, copywriting and blogging. It also runs events throughout the year that educate and inspire both adults and children, including the Sunshine Writers Retreat (held each November). In 2017, Greenleaf Press launched a picture book manuscript competition. Email:

Enterprising Words 
Having published 130+ books for young people over a 30 year writing period. Dianne (Di) Bates has also worked as an editor, magazine compiler, publisher ( bookseller and writing teacher. Di offers modules in her Writing for Children course, including Writing a Picture Book Text. Numerous ex-students have had debut books published following completion of the course. For more information, contact her at

Faber Writing Academy                                                                                                   Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin is a writing programme offering a range of courses from one-day workshops to longer courses devised by the foremost practitioners in their fields. The Academy says, ‘If you have a story to tell, why not study with two of the world's leading publishers? Since launching its first course at Shakespeare & Co bookshop in Paris in 2008, Faber Academy has tutored more than 1500 students in courses ranging from one-day workshops such as Getting Published to longer courses including our popular program Writing a Novel. In 2010, Faber Academy found a natural home with Australia's award-winning publisher Allen & Unwin, and courses are offered in Sydney and Melbourne.

Buzz Words 
Established in 2004, this premier Australian online magazine for those in the children’s book industry is essential reading for the new writer as it offers not only advice, but much information including Australian and overseas markets, opportunities (such as grants & residencies), competitions, interviews, articles and much more. For a free sample, write to Subscription is $48 pa for 24 issues.

Writers’Centres:                                                                                                                 Most writers’ centres around Australia offer courses on writing for children at one time or another. Following is a list of the major Writers Centres across Australia:
Queensland Writers Centre
Victorian Writers Centre
NSW Writers Centre (Every second year they hold the Writing For Children Festival which is always well attended)
SA Writers Centre
ACT Writers Centre
WA Writers Centre
Hunter Writers Centre
NT Writer’s Centre
Tasmanian Writers Centre                                                                      Australian Writers Centre

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