SCBWI VICTORIA September Meeting

Date(s) - 05/Sep/2015
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Di Mattina's Restaurant
306 Lygon St - Carlton, Victoria

Join us for an inspirational afternoon where author/teacher/creativity expert Simmone Howell will explore various creative techniques including journaling and mapping to generate story ideas and stretch creativity boundaries (suitable for both writers and illustrators).

Simmone specialises in leading creativity workshops, finding the intersections between art, everyday life and writing.

Discover new approaches to tackle creative blocks and ignite your imagination, creativity and innovative thinking.

Bring along your preferred creative utensils and get ready for a special event.

Simmone Howell is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and screenwriting. She also teaches Young Adult (YA) writing at RMIT as part of their Associate Degree of Professional Writing and Editing.

Notes from the Teenage Underground won the Victorian Premier's Prize for YA literature and the inaugural Gold Inky Award. It was also a CBCA notable. Everything Beautiful was a finalist in the Melbourne Prize for Best Writing and shortlisted in the Inky Awards. Girl Defective was shortlisted in the Inky Awards and the Prime Ministers Literary Award. It was also a Kirkus best YA book of 2014 and selected on the best YA lists for LA Public Library and Toronto Public Library.

Simmone specialises in literature for young readers and her YA fiction has been published in Australia, USA, UK, Germany and Amsterdam.

Show and Tell   
As usual, we will have a brief ‘Show and Tell’ segment, so if you have a recent publication to show us or news of a recent success to share (such as an award or grant) we’d love to hear from you. 

Meeting Details

Date: Saturday 05 September, 2015
Place: DiMattina's Restaurant (upstairs room), 306 Lygon St, Carlton
Time: 2pm—5pm (all are welcome to stay on afterwards to chat and drink downstairs)
Cost: $25 members, $30 non-members (includes afternoon tea)

Payment Details

To reserve your place, payment must be received by Wednesday 2 September. You can pay in one of the following ways:

1. Direct Deposit to: 
            National Australia Bank
            Account Name: Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
            BSB: 082 187
            Account Number: 82 863 8450

Please be sure your name appears with the deposit amount on your payment statement. Please also send a follow-up email to Caz Goodwin ( advising when payment was made. 


2.   Cheque made out to SCBWI and posted to:
             Caz Goodwin,
             37 Auburn Road,
             Hawthorn East Vic 3123.

Victorian SCBWI Committee Members
Caz Goodwin - Assistant Regional Adviser
Chris Bell - Assistant Coordinator and CBCA Liaison
Serena Geddes - Illustrator Coordinator
Betty Sargeant - Technology and Social Media
Jo Burnell - Membership Coordinator, Newsletter Editor

Gatherings for 2015
Our remaining two meeting dates this year will be on:
    5 September 
    21 November 


We had a wonderful VIC SCBWI event in Melbourne on Saturday 13 June, with three industry professionals sharing their experience and expertise: Publisher for young children at Penguin, Jane Godwin; author and illustrator Judith Rossell and author Corinne Fenton.

Our first speaker, Judith Rossell, used PowerPoint to show what led to her multiple award winning novel, Withering-by-Sea. After a brief introduction to her early work, she talked about her interest in ‘Victoriana’ and how many of the amazing inventions that appeared in 1885, formed the background to her novel. Think telephone, electric light bulb, typewriter, bicycle, chocolate bars, compulsory schooling, heritage buildings and hotels, to name just a few. Her advice, which echoed throughout the afternoon, is to write about whatever sparks your passion, and to trust the process, because you might not come up with all the answers immediately. Above all, she emphasised the importance of careful research and well developed characters.

Our next speaker, Corinne Fenton, is known for her prize winning picture story books. However, this time she was speaking as a judge for the Primary School Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. Corinne talked vast numbers of entries; some six thousand poems turned up in 2014, a large percentage coming from NSW and Victoria. This year the numbers seem to have fallen, but that may still change. We agreed that being asked to judge these awards is only for the brave hearted and thanked her profusely.

Our final speaker, Jane Godwin, is a multiple award winner for her books and also a publisher of books for young readers at Penguin Books Australia. She outlined twenty nine things she has learnt in both roles, claiming each new book presents another challenge. To condense these a little:

·      Every new book ultimately reflects one’s taste.

·      The book is the result of a relationship between creators and publisher.

·      A schedule must be established between author and illustrator.

·      People have very different ways of reading.

·      She likes books to be inventive and take risks.

·      Publishers and creators can’t control everything, no matter how hard they try.

·      Both creators and publishers should enjoy the process.

·      Know your market: education, bookshops, discount stores etc.

·      She is never elated at the end of a project, always thinks it could be better.

·      The writer and the publisher wear different hats.

·      A book can be published in many different ways.

·      No matter what the future holds, there will always be a place for paper books.

·      Writing and illustrating is always hard. We are ‘compost heaps’ who use all our experiences in our work.

·      Constructive criticism can be helpful. Mistakes will still happen.

·      Writing what you don’t know encourages research and imagination.

·      Character is everything. Without convincing characters a book will fail.

·      It is important to find your own voice.

·      Don’t be obsessed by markets.

·      Don’t see children as all the same.

·      Keep an idea or character in your head even when you aren’t creating.

All this information was appreciated by both established and emerging creators.

The Business of Illustration—Melbourne

Are you constantly sidetracked and hindered on your path to becoming the best illustrator ever by the piling of collateral activities (contracts, negotiation, finances, self promotion, etc.) that seem to incessantly leech your creative energies,

Or have you lost clarity and sense of purpose and are struggling to balance artistic and financial goals to further your career - you feel like your head is spinning due to a seemingly unsurmountable amount of management problems draining your time and stamina, THEN this short yet powerful seminar is designed to bring you some much needed clarity!

Topics to be covered:

  • understand your value and that of your work
  • learn to visualise your long-term goals and put yourself on the path to achieve them
  • manage your time with purpose and understand that time is the only currency that really matters
  • be flexible and open to opportunities, think out of the canvas
  • promote yourself by focusing on what matters, skills, presentation and networking
  • negotiate like a professional, don’t get lost into the legal jargon and focus on obtaining what is most important to you

When: Friday May 8th, 6.45pm for a 7pm start (finishes at 8.30pm)

Venue: Billy Blue College of Design in the heart of Melbourne city

Deadline for booking 5pm Thursday May 7th - limited seating so be quick!!


$35 Non-Member, $15 Student, $10 IA Student (Billy Blue & MDC students)



Vincenzo Pignatelli

Vincenzo Pignatelli

Vincenzo Pignatelli is a neuroscientist by trade, and entrepreneur at heart.  Starting from scratch, animated by a personal passion for technology and storytelling and with no previous knowledge of the AppStore ecosystem, he has founded Blue Quoll Digital, a studio creating interactive (and gorgeous) picture books for the Apple devices.  Vincenzo has been managing Blue Quoll since coordinating the work of illustrators, designers, and developers, and curating the quality of Blue Quoll book Apps in every detail.


Presented by Illustrators Australia