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! 🙂

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