News & Updates

Short List 2017



CYA Conference is pleased to announce the short list for the CYA Conference 2017 Writing and Illustrating Competition.

Please note that the final places will only be revealed at the Opening Awards Ceremony of CYA Conference on 1st July 2017, being held at South Bank TAFE, Brisbane. 

Look forward to seeing you there if you can make it!


Thank you to all the volunteer judges: 

Ally Howard, Amanda Gardiner, Bec Timmis, Cassandra Webb, Catherine Oehlman, Rose Pearce, Chris Bell, Claire Saxby, Gabrielle Devana, Georgina Moore, Heather Gallagher, Helene Magisson, Jen Loakes, Justine Barker, Lucy Mcginley, Lynda Calder, Maryanne O'Flynn, Michelle Worthington, Natalie Hatch, Nicky Albrecht, Rebecca Dalton, Rebecca Sheraton, Sandra Mohr-Edgar, Shaye Wardrop, Sue-Ellen Pashley, Tina Marie Clark, Yvonne Mes.

Without you all - we couldn’t have this competition. THANK YOU!


To everyone else who entered, who didn’t short list: CONGRATULATIONS!!

for having the courage to put your work out there, in front of a faceless stranger, to received feedback. THANK YOU for entering. 

We hope that the feedback you get helps you on your journey towards creating a better story! 

All feedback will be emailed out no earlier than 31st August as per the guidelines.


SHORT LIST 2017: In no particular order:

Hatchlings (8 - 18 years) 

Final Editor Judge: Katrina Lehman - Senior Editor for Penguin Random House

Category 1 - Picture Books

Celine N

Ella C

Olivia P

Category 2 - Chapter Books and Novels

Emily W 

Kodi S

Saraid T

Category 3 - Illustrated Picture books, Graphic Novels and Middle Grade Novels.

Kadyn S

Mia B 

Sarah G


Category 1 - Picture Books - Preschool

Final Editor Judge: Kate Stevens, Commissioning Editor, Hachette Australia

The Box – Grace Bryant    

The Flippopotamus -  Laura Bridge        

Quick, Mum's Lost Her Marbles! – Sandra Turner       


Category 2 - Picture Books - Primary

Final Editor Judge: Final Editor Judge: Kate Stevens, Commissioning Editor, Hachette Australia

Billie's Trail of Clues - Carmel Lillis        

Alone on a Hill - Danielle Freeland        

Perfectly Peculiar - Rachelle Sadler       


Category 3 - Picture Books - Primary - Non Fiction

Final Editor Judge: Final Editor Judge: Kate Stevens, Commissioning Editor, Hachette Australia

Tawaki, The Rainforest Penguins - Leslee Anne Hewson     

Sister Kenny - Bush Nurse to Miracle Worker – Jacqui Halpin         

A Pocketful of Coins – Rachelle Sadler 


Category 4 - Chapter Books - Younger Readers

Final Editor Judge: Katrina Lehman - Senior Editor for Penguin Random House

Lee and Loh: The Avenue – Catherine Mojsiewicz     

Beyond The Wall – Danielle Freeland   

The Enchanted Doll's House – Lynelle Kendall           


Category 5 - Chapter Books - Older Readers

Final Editor Judge: Katrina Lehman - Senior Editor for Penguin Random House

Rocky - Amanda O'Shea   

Imperial - Britanny Dalton

The Disc of The Exiles – Joy Daly


Category 6 - Young Adult

Final Editor Judge: Lisa Berryman, Children’s Publisher at HarperCollins Publishers Australia.

To Sleep, To Dream – Emily Larkin        

Fire - Georgina Ballantine

 The Stone of The Amazons – Joy Daly


Category 7 - Graphic Novels, Illustrated Picture books & Illustrated Middle Grade Novels

Editor Judge: Clare Hallifax – Publishing Manager –  Scholastic Australia

Ellie and the Seagulls - Judy Paulson

My Two Grandmas - Liz Duthie   

Next Door Neighbours - Simone Hale

The Rite of the Conceição - Tiago Martins

One Still Dawn  - Yvonne Low     


Category 8 - Illustrations            

Editor Judge: Clare Hallifax – Publishing Manager –  Scholastic Australia

OPTION Two: T.M. Clark – T.M. Clark – Jabiru's Bush Dance – Marianna Marx

OPTION ONE: T.M. Clark – Sam Treasure: Whales Garden – Sandy Flett

OPTION ONE: T.M. Clark – Sam Treasure: Whales Garden – Tamlyn Teow         


Published Author:

Final Judge Editor: Suzanne O’Sullivan, Publisher for Lothian Children’s books, the children’s imprint of Hachette Australia

There is only one winner taken from ALL sections in Published.

Picture Books:

More, More, More! : Purple Puppies : Kara T Kidd: Karate Champion - Penny Morrison

Horrie the Hero – Neridah McMullin       

Once Upon a Sacred Site : Paper Cranes : The Perfectly Proper Grand Pet Parade – Coral Vass


YA Novels & Chapter Books:

Gone Daddy Gone; Book 1 in The Hartley Girls series – Jess Black

The Hatch - Karen Collum

Fangus Fearheart ... Truth seeker  - Sheryl Gwyther


Illustrations: Illustrated Picture Books. 

All illustrations have been seen by the editor and are under review. Anyone making it into the final line up will be notified.


Congratulations everyone on the short list! 


Thank you to all our Final Editor Judges. It’s a big task to put your own time into this style of judging, so THANK YOU!

Clare Hallifax, Publishing Manager –  Scholastic Australia

Kate Stevens, Commissioning Editor, Hachette Australia

Katrina Lehman, Senior Editor for  Penguin Random House

Lisa Berryman, Children’s Publisher at HarperCollins Publishers 

Suzanne O’Sullivan, Publisher for Lothian Children’s books, Hachette Australia


If you are in the above shortlist - you will all have received an email this morning. 


Our Twitter name is:@CYAConference and we are using the tag line: #CYA2017, if you choose to tweet about it!


Quick reminder that if you can’t attend conference or you are wanting to know the up to date happenings at CYA Conference during the day, we will be tweeting results on our normal @CYAConference and also #CYA2017. Note that the web site will not be updated until late the next day. 


Until next time, keep writing, keep illustrating and keep smiling!


CYA later!

Tina & The CYA Conference Team


Julia Ferracane joins the presenters

Today we announce a program change. We say fairwell to Felicity Valence who will be flying to New York to take up an oppertunity of a life time in employment in PR in a publishing house. We wish her every luck! 

And we welcome PR guru Julia Ferracane from Saint Copy PR & Communications as a presenter for 2017. 

Julia will be taking the workshop ~ Marketing for the creative mind ~ Explore strategies on creating a genuine voice on our social media and branding as an author, and enjoying engaging with your audience.

Former Arts and Publishing Publicist for The Australian Ballet and Penguin Random House Australia, Julia Ferracane established Saint Copy PR & Communications in 2015 with clear intentions - To make PR expertise more accessible to creative women in small business, not for profits and self-published authors. 

A champion for those bold enough to pursue their creative endeavors, Julia could see the leverage that targeted PR coverage can have for small business. With a broad range of clients across the arts, fashion, kids publishing and not for profit scene, Julia has helped get her clients the right coverage from digital to traditional PR, to be seen, heard and felt by their ideal audience.

So give a big warm CYA Confrence welcome to Julia! 

Dont forget that the editor appointents are closing soon, and youneed to shake a tail feather and get your conference regestrations in too. 1st July is now only a month away! 

CYA later!

Tina and the CYA Conference team!

Barrage of news updates…

A few updates have been going on on the CYA Conference site.

Obviously - we sent an email about the all important program change - and how that would impact you, and we have been flooded with good wishes for the new redesign and how everyone loves it and is just as excited fo this one. That is such great news!!! 

We had an editor and an agent shake up to: 

Editor: Kristy Bushnell went independent - and we will keep her booking open till 14th June to give people time to book in with her.

Agent: We welcomed into our on site professionals  - Danielle Binks, from Jacinta di Mase Management. And we will keep her booking open till 14th June to give people time to book in with her too.

A few editors/agents now are avaialabe on Friday, and a few will also now be joining us on Saturday - so make sure you look carefully for their avaialbility on the online booking form where you will see the number of booking left with each professional onsite.  See the Editor Appointments Page for details. 

We have been adding the CYA Successes to our precious archive, and belive me, keeping track of all these is proving really interesting. So many people to give beautiful gold badges to at conference.. I’mso happy for each and every book baby that comes along becuase of each of thier successes.

Our latest are: 

Emma Middleton

Catherine Pelosi

Kelli Byrnes 


Taryn Bashford


Did you look up their sucess stories - each journey is so different! 

Networking Evening Bookings are now open - and with an awesome menu and a new way to bring down the drinks bill, we are super excited already for this fun evening at 35 Bar & Bistro, 35 Peel St, South Brisbane QLD 4101. (Yip same place - different name.) 

I think that about brings every one up to date - don’t forget that editor/agent assessment bookings will close on 7th June, so get in there and book if you haven't already, and your work needs to be sent in by the new online system too. (Except for Kristy and Danielle who will close  on 14th June instead.)

CYA later!

Tina and the CYA Conference team!



Change of program

CYA Conference would like to advise of a conference program change.

Jackie French is no longer able to join us in 2017, but the good news is she will be returning  in a future year, so stay tuned for that.

Owing to this change we have had a little program shake up – and we really love what we have come up with, and we hope that you do too.

jacqueline-harvey-author-pic-200x280-e1444970167614 The amazing Jacqueline Harvey will now be the opening session with an awesome - Ask me anything talk. Jacqueline puts it all on the table. How she celebrated selling her millionth book recently. This is also an interactive session where Jacqueline will take any questions off the floor. That’s quite an amazing opportunity to get to speak to someone of this calibre about anything writing related.

Jacqueline will also now take the 3 hour writing master class - Junior and Middle Grade Fiction: How and why I write for children in the ‘golden ages’ of reading and how you can too. She will workshop during this time with you,

• Why write for this age group?

• The enduring appeal of middle grade

• Ideas that work and where do they come from?

• Creating memorable characters

• Perfect plots

• Knowing your market

Jacqueline also will touch briefly on the business of being an author

• Knowing your market ( Yip this is repeated on purpose as its two fold!)

• The importance of covers and illustrations

• Building a Brand

So, when you come out of this class, you will all be ready to go home, put what you have learnt into practice and we hope to see many many beautiful book-babies because of this!  Remember that it is recommended that you attend the whole master class, that way you benefit the most from this

Pam1Pamela Rushby is will be speaking on Education VS Trade? Which one should you aim for?

Explore these two diverse publishing routes, and how they can have a symbiont relationship for the creators. With expensive knowhow and an amazing career path, be sure to bring your note pad to this session!

Michelle WMichelle Worthington will have a workshop on Creating dynamic and vibrant picture books, and share her extensive knowledge about how Picture books are a unique and complex genre, and writing a story that will not only appeal to children, but also the publishers, is a refined art.

jake face1Jake Harris’s workshop will be a basic crash course to writing in the electronic games industry, as he gives you the quick 101 to writing for the gaming industry, what is required, and how you go about actually doing this in real life. The basics of what the job of a Narrative Designer (games writer) is. How to plan acts for characters. Telling the story, and experience of the characters. Collaboration with your design team, implementing how your story works into the whole games environment, editing to fit into schedules and fill holes in the game, being the designer of the players' overall experience.

We hope that you will find this sparkly new program just as wonderful, even perhaps a little more interesting and flexible for you.

If you have already booked in for the conference –  you will be receiving an email shortly.


See ya at CYA!

Tina and the Team!

Success Panel

We are so excited that we have begaun to put the success panel together for 2017. 

Congratulations to Ben Long, Elizabeth Kasmar, Emily Larkin, and Jo Sandhu, who will be on the success panel in 2017.

So excited that between these lovely people, they have:

  • Attended a heap of conference. (CYA and otherwise)
  • Entered into the competitions. ( CYA and otherwise)
  • Places/won gained something from that competition.
  • Secured a publishing contract from that competition.
  • Attended editor appointments.
  • Secured a contract from that appointment. 
  • Met a publisher or an agent at CYA Conference, that has lead to more….

Proving once again that CYA Conference is the place to attend, hang-out, network, be involved and enjoy, becuase we are there to help you on your publishing jouney, that never really ends…

Have a fabulous week. Remember time is ticking to 30th April for your entry/ies into the 2017 competition. The editor appointmetns are still open. Book for conference, and look out for the news coming this week on the CYA Networking Friday Night  30th June! 

CYA later!

Tina and the team! 

Editor Booking suspended temporarily

10:17pm - Monday 27th March - Please note we have suspended booking on this form at the moment because of a technical difficulty - we will get this back up as soon as we can.. Thanks for your patience.

P.S. Tuesday - it's back on line - times slots are now not shown but you can still select the days and the editors. We will confirm all times in the week before conference. 

CYA later!

Tina & The CYA Conference Team.

Conference Bookings Open

So excited that today we would open our 12th CYA Conference bookings!!!! (Doing careful wheel spins in my chair!)

CYA Conference will be on: 1st July 2017

Where: TAFE Queensland Brisbane - South Bank Campus, 66 Ernest Street, South Brisbane. 

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 will be conducted by Felicity Vallence, Jacqueline Harvey, Jackie French, Nadine BatesNatalie HatchPhil Kettle, and Shaun Tan(via Skype). 

Our CYA success stories once again show cased that CYA Conference is making a difference in aspiring authors and illustrators in helping them on their road to publication.

On site editors include: Ann-Marie Finn - Yellow Brick Books, Clair Hume - Affirm Press, Clare Hallifax, Scholastic, Kate Stevens (Hachette), Katrina Lehman - Penguin, Kristina Schulz - UQP, Kristy Bushnell - UQP, Lisa Berryman - HarperCollins, Marisa Pintado - Hardie Grant EgmontRochelle Manners - Wombat Books & Rhiza Press, Suzanne O’Sullivan - Hachette. Agents on site: Alex Adsett, Alex Adsett Publishing Services, Grace Heifetz - Curtis Brown, Australia, and Jill Corcoran, Jill Corcoran Literacy Agency, USA (via Skype) and Self Publishing: Tadaa Children’s Booksmith.

Why not start at 2017 Conference events page and work from there to see the 2017 program.

See ya at CYA!

Tina and the whole CYA Conference Team! 

Editors Open

Big News Day! 

Hello all writers and illustrators.  

Agents and Editors bookings for the 2017 Conference.

The bookings for the first group of editor sessions open!

The registration for this year’s sessions is different in that you are able to pre-select your preferred time slots. So if you're having multiple sessions and want them back to back it's up to you to make it happen.

Bookings are open for the following:

Free one-on-one sessions with Tadaa Books.


And those Friday sessions?

We’re running a poll to see how many of you would be interested in Friday sessions with the Editors and Agents. If you haven't given your opinion yet and would like to please click on this linkIt’s anonymous and just asks Yes/No/Maybe. It only takes a few seconds to complete. We will keep the voting going for another week and then if there is enough interest, see who is available from the on site professionals.

This year's program

We’re in the final stages of setting up this years program and we hope you’ll love it as much as we do. We will send out another news letter once the program is ready for distribution.

Competition close date

We’re just 2 months away from the competition close date so get cracking on stories and illustrations if you’re entering this year. The end of April will be here before you know it.

If you have any questions about the rules please send us an email at and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Updating your profile
We want to start making our mail outs a little more targeted with the information we send you to keep the emails relevant to your interests so if you'd like to take a few minutes to update your profile details please click on this link

Well that’s about it for this week. Hope to see you at the CYA Conference and look forward to reading all the brilliant entries and receiving those wonderful illustrations in this years competition.

CYA later!
Tina and the CYA Conference team!

Published Competition: Final Judge Announced & Competition Open.

CYA Conference is pleased to announce that the 2017 published sections for Writing and Illustrating in the CYA Competitions are now open, and that the Final Judge for this section is: Suzanne O’Sullivan, Publisher for Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette Australia.


Opens: 23rd January 2017

Closes: 30th April 2017

 Entry Fee:

       Published:                                    AUS$ 38.30 including GST


1.     Picture Books

2.     Novels

3.     Illustrations



Published Authors and illustrators: Critique of winning entry by Final Judge, Suzanne O’Sullivan, Publisher for Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette Australia, and the winner will have a face-to-face/electronic communication (e.g. Skype) consultation for 15 minutes, at the CYA Conference on 1st July 2017 with the competition final judge who is attending/electronically communicating with the conference. (Only 1 winner across all categories.)

See the Published Competition page for details! 

Good luck to everyone!

CYA later!

Tina and the CYA Conference team!

2017 Competitions open

CYA Conference is pleased to announce that the 2017 unpublished sections for Writing and Illustrating in the CYA Competitions are now open…

Aspiring (Unpublished) & Hatchling Entrants:

Opens: 9th January 2017

Closes: 30th April 2017

Entry Fee:

     Aspiring (Unpublished):            AUS$ 20.50 including GST

     Hatchlings (8 – 18yrs):              AUS$ 13.60 including GST


Opens: 23rd January 2017

Closes: 30th April 2017

 Entry Fee:

       Published:                                    AUS$ 38.30 including GST

Final Judge for Published Author still to be advised on opening of competition.



1.    Picture Book – preschool aged children.

2.    Picture Book – primary aged children.

3.    Picture Book Non Fiction – primary aged children.

4.    Chapter Book – a) younger primary aged children 

5.     Chapter Book - b) older aged children (Middle Grade.)

6.    Young Adults.

7.     Graphic novels, illustrated picture books and Middle Grade illustrated novels.

8.      Illustrations.



1.     Picture Books preschool and primary aged children.

2.     Chapter book and Young adult.

3.     Graphic novels, illustrated picture books and Middle Grade illustrated novels.


1.     Picture Books

2.     Novels

3.     Illustrations

Prize for each section

Aspiring (Unpublished) Writing & Illustrating: $100.00 per category, and submission of short listed entries to at least one publisher of children’s books.

Published Authors and illustrators: Critique of winning entry by Final Judge to be advised, and a face to face editor/agent appointment at conference with industry professional of their choice attending for writing (both sections only 1 winner) and illustrating. 

Hatchlings: $100.00 per category, and submission of short listed entries to at least one publisher of children’s books.

See the competition page for details! 

Good luck to everyone!

CYA later!

Tina and the CYA Conference team!

       © QMSA Holding Pty Limited 2017