SCBWIAuNZ Sketch & Scribble at Luna Park

Today I participated in SCBWI’s Sketch & Scribble event held at Luna Park. It was so much fun. Lots of chatter, catching up with fellow writers and illustrators amongst beautiful views. What more could you ask for? Well maybe Luna Park being open for starters! Yes, it was closed but that just added to the humour of the day. We are creatives. We can work around this hiccup. And we did, taking a lovely stroll through Wendy Whitely’s Secret Garden. So if Luna Park had been open we all would have been none the wiser about this secret treasure behind the park.

Children’s author Katrina McKelvey prompted us to ‘look up’ and use our five senses.

Here are some of the sketches I managed to fit in between all the chatting:

Parts of some of the very colourful rides.


The city skyline behind the park.


I particularly liked the seagull on the right with his little head cocked to the side as if he was curious to know what we were all doing.


As SCBWIAuNZ’s new member co-ordinator I also had the opportunity to meet some new members for the first time. This is the bonus for belonging to an organisation like SCBWI. You get to meet, connect and network with like minded people. Writing and illustrating can be a lonely career so these occasions and events are a great way to meet new friends and catch up with old ones.

Maybe I will see you at the next one!


SCBWI Conference Sydney 2016 round up

Sunday night I attended the pre-conference networking dinner for #SCBWISyd Conference 2016. Boy, did I have a lot of networking to do. I was one of a great team of Roving Reporters as well as being  New Member Coordinator for SCBWI Sydney.  So if I came across anyone standing alone looking lost I went up to them, introduced myself and had a chat. If friends walked by I would grab them and introduce the newbie to them. It was fun. It was exhausting. But luckily I am a sociable person so this was the perfect role for me.

You can read my Roving Report here: Pitch to publishers

The reports written by other Rovers can be found here: SCBWI East Australia & New Zealand

Editor Consultations

I had booked two editor consultations from different publishing houses. The feedback I received from both editors about two different manuscripts was invaluable. Fresh eyes on your work is so important. Especailly from experts in the children’s book industry. I could not wait to get home and rework my stories.


On the final day, there was a choice of two masterclasses and I have to admit, I always feel torn as to which one to attend. This time I chose the class for illustrators with the uber talented Sarah Davis. I love learning new tips on how to illustrate.






I tweeted quite a lot about the event and you can check out my Twitter feed here: @RamonaofJersey 

I also bought books written by two friends that have recently been published. I am lucky enough to have Penny Morrison as a critique buddy and Elizabeth Kasmer I met at the CYA Conference in 2015.


But the best thing about the conference really is the great writing community you become a part of. Here I am on the right of the photo with new and old writer and illustrator friends:


August’s – 52 Week Illustration Challenge

It’s pouring down today and so it is perfect weather to sit down, write blog posts and listen to my favouirte podcasts.

I am currently watching and listening to:

  • Children’s author Jen Storer’s Girl & Duck video’s everday Friday
  • The Yarn which takes you behind the scenes of children’s literature
  • All The Wonders where readers can discover new books

I have to confess that I found this months themes a bit too abstract and therefore struggled until the last minute to come up with somthing for most of them.

Week 31: Realism

Digital using Tayasui App

Week 31 - Realism

Week 32: Hairy

I did enjoy sketching out these yeti characters in pencil before colouring them in on my ipad in the digital art .

© Ramona Davey 2016
© Ramona Davey 2016


Week 33: Father

I used gelli printing for their bodies and posca pens for the detail.

© Ramona Davey 2016
© Ramona Davey 2016

Week 34: Intricate

Week 34- Intricate

Week 35: Grandfather

Collage, gellie printing and pen

© Ramona Davey 2016
© Ramona Davey 2016

This weekend is the start of the #SCBWI Conference 2016 held in Sydney. It is a big event for children writers and illustrators and I am really looking forward to it. As New Member Co-ordinator I wil be on the look out for any newbies that look a bit lost and hope to make them feel comfortable at their first writers conference. Look out for me if that is you!

I have a couple of editor consultations to go to and hear feedback on my manuscripts from two experts in the industry. Fingers and toes are crossed that at least one of them likes my writing. I will be also be a Roving Reporter at a couple of the workshops or speaker sessions. But don’t worry, if you couldn’t attend there will be plenty of us blogging about the event.

Have a great weekend!


Roving Reporter at this years SCBWI Conference

Two years ago I attended my second SCBWI Conference as a newbie Roving Reporter. The photo is of me and the inspiring Illustrator/author Bruce Whatley at  SCBWIAusNZ14

This year I have the great opportunity to be part of that team again. You can read more about me and the other reporters here:

I’m really looking forward to the event. It is a great time to catch up with old writerly friends, make new ones, network with publishers, listen to established authors and illiustrators and their success stories as well as getting feedback on your own work. I highly recommend attending or joining. If you are a new member and feel nervous that you won’t know anyone, come and find me. I am SCBWI Sydney’s New Member Co-ordinator. I’ll look after you. 🙂

I hope to see you there!

Meet The Publishers Day Kidlitvic2016

Me (in the stripy dress) with my fantastic critique group.
Me (in the stripy dress) with my fantastic critique group.

This time last weekend I was returning from a fabulous day down in Melbourne at the very first Meet The Publishers Day organised by the highly wonderful, friendly and talented authors Alison Reynolds and Dee White.

What to pack:

  • layers – no one could figure out what the weather was going to do in Melbourne – after all it is the city known to have four seasons in one day. Thankfully the weather turned out to be quite warm which was great for the evening meal in one of the many wonderful restuaurants in Hardware Lane.

At the airport:

  • I bought an ipad cover for protection – but I never got around to using it. Instead I prefer to write straight into the booklet you are given next to the name of the presenter who was speaking – much more practical if you want to quote someone.

At the Brady Hotel:

  • what a great little hotel, perfect location, friendly staff, loved the brass accessories in the bathroom and of course, a whole room to myself with no snoring husband or sleep walking sleep talking kids!

At the event:

  • Again, the location of the State Library of Victoria was perfect – what writer doesn’t like to find themselves in another library!

There was so much to take in. So many new people to meet and old friends to catch up with. Here are a handful of the comments made during the many presentations throughout the day:

  • write about characters that the reader can relate to
  • can your character be marketed in a series proposal?
  • do you know who the market will be for your book?
  • if you are writing a series can the readers come back for more and be surprised?
  • the series descriptor has to be ‘punchy’
  • if you are an illustrator can you draw from different perspectives?


During the event I had the opportunity to have a manuscript consultation with Clare Halifax from Scholastic. I was nervous and excited at the same time. It is so hard to act normal when you are like that. 🙂 Be prepared for how quick the time goes. Don’t forget to take notes. Lastly, enjoy.

Here are some of the presenters likes:

Maryann Ballantyne (Black Dog Books) likes Australian history

Suzanne O’Sullivan (Lothian/Hachette) likes Lauren Child’s style of  illlustration

Marisa Pintado (Hardie Grant Egmont) likes to see concise hooks, easy to grab hooks and concepts

Lisa Berryman (Harper Collins) likes to see whole story arc

Michelle Madden (Penguin Young Readers) likes the series descriptor to be punchy

Clare Halifax (Scholastic) likes humour and mystery

Miriam Rosenbloom (Scribe) likes wonder, surrealism and darkness

Melissa Keil (Five Mile Press) likes something that stands out, a little bit different



So if you want to check out other feedback from the event either check out #Kidlitvic2016 on Twitter or Facebook

Thanks goes to the rest of Alison’s and Dee’s team that helped make the day such a great success: Nicky Johnston, Jacquelyn Muller and Coral Vass.


The next event I am looking forward to is this year’s SCBWI Conference on 4th – 6th September where I will be acting as ‘Roving Reporter.’ I hope to see you there! 🙂

#illo52weeks – November’s illustrations

Wow! One month to go till the end of the year. How fast did that go? I nearly didn’t participate this year but I am so glad I persevered. Here are November’s illustrations:

Week 44: Scandinavian

Funnily enough my Christmas decorations have a Scandinavian theme this year.

Week 44- Scandanavian copy


Week 45: Peace

Peace is much needed at the moment as the house is filled with builders all working hard on the second stage of our house renovations.

Week 45- peace 2

Week 46: Endangered

One of many animals that need to be protected.

Week 46 Endangered


Week 47: Play

I love this time of year as it gives me lots of excuses to play at dress ups. 😉

Week 47- Play

It is a busy time of year. I have had the joy of meeting and welcoming new members of SCBWIAusNZ as well as attending this year’s SCBWIAusNZ Xmas party. Here I am with the lovely Jodie Wells-Slowgrove and her junior fiction series:

Me and Jodie at SCBWI Xmas party 2015

Next week I have a Christmas end of year dinner with my fabulous critique groups Picture This & Down The Rabbit Hole!

I love this time of year even though it is hectic, thanks for stopping by,


Ramona 🙂

PS: If you have a connection to Jersey, Channel Island and are looking for a great little gift or stocking filler don’t forget my book is available here: The Jersey 12 Days Of Christmas