More Portfolio Critiques—by Popular Demand!

As a special option for Illustrators who are attending the Sydney Conference 2014, Bruce Whatley and Stephen Axelsen are providing an opportunity for delegates to have a top professional critique of their work. By popular demand we have opened up additional time slots but places are limited so Book Now!

Bruce Whatley


Bruce Whatley spent the earlier part of his working life in advertising as an art director and illustrator but since 1992 he has written and/or illustrated over 60 children’s picture books published both in Australia and overseas. The award winning titles include The Ugliest Dog in the World, Looking for Crabs, Detective Donut and the Wild Goose Chase, Diary of a Wombat and Baby Wombat’s Week which took out the Australian Book Industry Award in 2010Flood and The Little Refugee both were CBCA Honour books in 2012 and Nog and the Land of Noses a Notable book. His main inspiration has been his family, who feature in several of his earlier picture books. He uses a variety of illustration medium including gouache, pen and ink, pencil, oils, watercolour and more recently CGI software. He aims to entertain and surprise the reader with illustration styles that vary considerably depending on the text and the age group of the audience.

Stephen Axelsen

Stephen Axelsen was born in Sydney, Australia. He grew a lot of hair and went to university where he drew cartoons on folder dividers and earned a degree in Social Sciences. After university he fell into books and publishing more or less by accident. His first book was published in 1975 and he has worked in children’s book publishing ever since. He lives with his wife Jennifer, Waldo the dog, and Pippi the budgie. He used to have babies but they grew into great big people and went away. Stephen mostly writes and illustrates humour because he is a moderately funny person, in a serious sort of way.

Snap up a Prize—courtesy of Walker Books Australia!

You could win one of three prize packs consisting of a copy of The Croc and the Platypus as well as a limited edition Croc plush courtesy of Walker Books Australia! Look for The Croc and the Platypus flyer in your SCBWI conference bag. If your flyer’s unique code is called at the Walker Books SCBWI panel—From Submission to On the Book Shelf— you’ve won!

The Walker Books Group is one of the world’s leading independent publishers of books and content for children. This vibrant international group includes Walker Books UK, London; Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts; and Walker Books Australia, based in Sydney and Auckland. Renowned for its truly original publishing and outstanding quality, the Walker Books Group is home to books for readers of all ages. Award-winning authors and illustrators for the group include Kate DiCamillo, M.T Anderson, Patrick Ness, and Jon Klassen, and major brands for the group are Maisy, Guess How Much I Love You, Tilly and Friends, the widely acclaimed Judy Moody and the bestselling Where’s Wally/Where’s Waldo.


Packed, Professional and Inspiring—The Sydney Conference Program

The SCBWI Sydney Conference is zooming ahead and it’s going to be packed, professional and inspiring. The Conference only has 5 places left, so you need to get on board!  

Accommodation at The Hughenden is full with a waiting list. One recommendation for alternate accommodation is The Arts Hotel on Oxford Street (which is a 20 minute walk or a 5 minute bus ride.)

The Illustrators Showcase is open to all SCBWI illustrators delegates and non delegates. There are only a few places left and it cannot be extended once full. 

Please submit your pitch for a chance to Pitch to Publishers—it’s fun and good practice! 

Bring your latest book and business cards for the Author delegate book showcase.

The Conference Program is a mix of industry information including inside grant applications, publisher acquisitions, the impact of the Australian national curriculum and the US core curriculum on publishing. There will be book launches, pitching ideas, critiques, master classes, networking across Australia and New Zealand and the fabulous conference dance party. The Conference focuses on the industry, seeking to foster professional relationships and friendships within the community of authors and illustrators.