Behind the Scenes - Meet Aura Parker

The SCBWI Sydney Conference 2016 aims to enrich and unite creators and industry professionals in meaningful and productive ways. One such vehicle for eliciting exciting opportunities is the ever-popular Illustrator Showcase. This event aims to display the talent of SCBWI illustrators in situ so that a veritable army of publishers, designers, and editors are exposed to it often resulting in contracts for work.

This year, one of our own SCBWI success stories, Aura Parker was solicited to provide the 2016 Conference Showcase logo banner. Here is her delectable design.

If you are attending the Conference this year, keep a look out for her. If not, why not brew a cup of tea and get to know her better, now.

Aura Parker is a Sydney based author, illustrator and designer who makes prints, textiles and children’s picture books. Her work is joyful, imaginative, and brimming with details to explore. Aura also designs and exhibits screen prints and handcrafted textiles at Studio Bonnie. She has a background in graphic design and a passion for children's literature. Aura’s books Twig and My Magnificent Jelly Bean Tree will be out in 2016.

Are you attending the Sydney Conference in September? Is this your first SCWBI Conference? If not how many have you attended, where? 

Yes, this will be my second Sydney SCBWI conference.  

What is the most memorable conference experience you’ve had to date, or hope to have?

 At a SCBWI Conference, you'll find all the book nerds who never grew up hanging out together in one place - and what a lovely bunch they are! The thing I enjoyed most was the conversations. I met writers and illustrators who have since become friends, which is great because most of my work is solitary and it's inspiring to be connected to other creative people and hear what they are up to. 

You were chosen as the illustrator for this year’s Illustrators’ Showcase. Please describe the theme. What are you hoping to convey? 

The theme is 'tea and talent’. I was trying to portray a sense of fun at an under-the-sea tea party. I imagined these little characters as children being playful and creative.

Why do you think it’s important to include Portfolio Showcases in Conferences like this one? 

The Showcase is an excellent way to have your work seen by publishers and art directors and especially useful for new people trying to break into the industry.

As a creator in the Kids Literary Industry, what do you want to be best known for? 

As an author/illustrator of picture books that kids will come back to, spend time with and pore over the details.

Name one thing you cannot live without.


Aura, from one book nerd who is still struggling to grow up to another, I couldn’t have written it better! Thank you. View Aura’s beautiful tea and talent inspired illustrations, here.

Don’t forget to visit again as we introduce you to even more of our terrific Roving Reporters team.

Till then, Rove ya later!






Productivity Commission Update


SCBWI officially joined the campaign to save the Australian publishing industry. Susanne Gervay has been involved in strategic industry meetings with the ASA, APA, CAL and key organisations. Sheryl Gywther presented on behalf of SCBWI at the Productivity Commission (PC) hearing together with Angela Sunde and other authors. Susanne attended the PC hearings in Sydney and has been in discussion with the government. Authors have presented at all the hearings.

The key issues:-

Over the past 10 years the Australian Publishing Industry has become competitive as it faces globalisation and competition. It brings in $2 billion to Australia, publishes Australian authors and is self-sufficient. Publishing is risky but with territorial rights in ANZ, the industry continues to publish Australian books. 

Only NZ, HK and Canada have given up their territorial rights with disastrous effects. The US, UK and Europe maintain their territorial right to protect their industry.   

The PC also want to move to ‘fair use’ for copyright which, in effect, means that creators have to go to court to retain what is fair. Currently there is a good system where institutions pay $17 per students to CAL for copyright usage with very specific rules. It impacts on our ELR and PLR and works.

The PC are arguing that the publishing system should change to a grant system – where it is no longer self-sufficient but dependent on Government handouts to publish Australian books. With the history of Arts cutbacks, this would result in the reduction of ANZ books.

What is the reason for the PC recommendations? To give consumers books that are 10% lower in price. Currently any consumer can buy online and at discounted prices. There has been a 30% drop in cost of books in the last decade. The PC is using statistics from a decade ago and have not acknowledged the changes in the industry.

CAL told the PC that their recommendations and reports are hostile to creators. They fumbled around and did not really respond. Their recommendation of reducing copyright to 15- 25 years is not possible under our international treaties. However it is the flavour of the PC. They admitted that they were working out a transition to parallel importation and fair use.

If you would like to show your support for the campaign, there are a number of things you can do:

·        sign the petition on the website

·        tweet using the hashtag #bookscreate

·        like the facebook page, Books Create Australia

·        you can also encourage your networks to get involved

You can also keep up with the latest news at:

·        Facebook: Books Create Australia

·        Twitter: @bookscreateaus

·        Instagram: @bookscreateaus

Or alternatively, please write to your local Member of Parliament to voice your concerns.

You can read more about the issue and campaign and find letters written by SCBWI members Deborah Abela and Wendy Fitzgerald to use as a guide here.


Expression of interest for SA Story City

Expressions of interest (EOI) are now open for a new Story City project in Adelaide, thanks to the City of Port Adelaide Enfield.

We are looking for an Adelaide-based writer to join our production team this year to create a new choose-your-own-adventure-style story in Port Adelaide.

The writer will be paid between $1500-$1600 (depending on which EOI you apply for), and all short-listed writers will be invited to attend a PD workshop on digital writing and locative literature. This professional development workshop will provide you not only with training in writing for apps and the digital space, but is an incredible networking opportunity to create your own projects outside of Story City with like minded creatives (which often get promoted via the Story City network).

To download an EOI application form for the City of Port Adelaide project, please go to:

Applications close for the City of Port Adelaide Project on 5pm Monday 4th July 2016, so hurry and apply now!

This is an unique opportunity to challenge yourself and your writing as a couple of other SCBWI members can already attest. See the blog posts here:

We look forward to your applications. We hope to have more EOIs due to go out in the second half of the year so stay tuned.

Dimity Powell