CYA Conference 2015

Last year for the first time ever I attended the CYA Conference in Brisbane. I  had been shortlisted in the pre-school category and so was keen to go. Much to my utter amazement and delight I came 1st. You can read more about it here: CYA Conference 2014

I attended again this year because it was the tenth year anniversary and I had enjoyed it so much last year. Much to my surprise I was shortlisted again. Twice. In utter disbelief I came 1st in the junior fiction category and 3rd in the middle grade category.

I have mentioned many times the importance in entering competitions because without polishing my work, meeting deadlines and entering competitions such as this and sometimes shortlisting or winning I would have nothing to put on my Author’s Bio as an aspiring writer. An Author’s Bio is often required when submitting work and it is something worth thinking about in advance.

  1. Here is my stuff  (just an overnight bag was all I needed) for my flight from Sydney to Brisbane:
packed ready to go
Packed ready to go.

2.Enjoying the peace and fancy decor in the smart hotel room:

Me being all arty in the hotel
Me being all arty in the hotel


3. Meeting and mingling with new and old friends at the networking dinner:

Catherine Oehlman, me and Elizabeth Kasmer.
Catherine Oehlman, me and Elizabeth Kasmer.


4. Arriving early at the Conference Center (7:30 am) to hear the results of the Aspiring (Unpublished) Competition:

me receiving certificate
Receiving my certificate from the lovely Suzanne O’Sullivan – Associate Publisher of children’s books at Hachette Australia. Photographer in photo is Peter Allert. Photo by Catherine Oehlman.

4. Taking a photo of the certificate! 🙂1st place certificate

5. Listening to fascinating authors tell us about their humorous journey to publication and how they keep getting their inspiration once published:

Morris Gleiztman
Morris Gleitzman

I learnt so much from the editor consultation sessions.

I made new friends.

I was inspired by other writers.


Here are some little bits of useful information gleaned from the CYA Conference:

Paul Collins (author & publisher at Ford Street Publishing) suggests:

when getting bookmarks made only print them on one side so you can sign the back.


Meredith Costain (author) believes that:

great openings need to be immediately engaging… gripping… have likeable characters… make you want to find out what happens next.


Morris Gleitzman (author) liked:

as a child to find the exception to the rule.


It was a great weekend and I look forward to next year!

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