Fun Facts - Getting inside the Sydney Conference

It takes more than just mere wind to set ships in motion. Soon many of the Roving Reporters you’ve met over the past few months will be recording all the wonders, wisdoms and wit of the SCBWI Sydney 2016 Conference for you rather like the bold explorers and navigators of old, albeit now armed with iPads and Androids in lieu of parchment and quill.

But what of those behind the scenes who organise, program, coordinate, provision, negotiate, book, agonise, encourage, and ultimately create the wind that keeps the whole Conference forever afloat and moving forward? This committee, helmed by the indomitable, Susanne Gervay consists of Margaret Roc, Caz Goodwin, Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, Sarah Davis and Deb Abela. Together they more than ably navigate every conference detail, whim and worry with infinite professionalism and patience. Over the years, they have amassed a staggering amount of Conference highlights; fun facts and figures, some of which are too irresistible not to share. Here are but a handful to set your Conference jive alive.

  • In 2014, 47 publishers, editors, designers and other leading industry peeps attended the Portfolio Showcase to view the 50 portfolios being exhibited - that's almost one publisher per folio! Great odds of getting a receptive audience for your work. 
  • The SCBWI Conference supports Room to Read. The Illustrator Duel was a highlight in 2014 with Bruce Whatley and Stephen Axelson and the HUGE PICKLE!!!!!! The auction raised nearly $1000 for Room to Read!!!
  • Including the Committee, there are over 60 volunteers involved, helping to make our SCBWI 2016 Conference to be the most amazing and the best ever.
  • The Beatniks will once again appear at the SCBWI conference—by popular demand.
  • The six-piece band The Beatnickers will be led by veteran SCBWI members Scott Chambers (lead guitar) and Meredith Costain (keyboards) and feature guest vocals and flute from first-time attendee Karen Collum. 
  • They’ll be playing two sets of ‘get up and dance’ rock and blues classics, ranging from Nutbush to Wild Thing. Prizes will be awarded for the best dancers on the night. So don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes!
  • There are over 150 delegates booked which includes a wealth of experience in Children’s Publishing: around 30 Publishers, editors, art directors or agents, and the major proportion are published (and award winning!) authors and illustrators.
  • We have organised approximately 130 critiques with top Australian and International publishers, editors, art directors and agents
  • Just a reminder.... it is compulsory to dance and sing loud and karaoke-style as the band plays up a storm at the party.

If that doesn’t make your heart race with excitement, then I think you need a bigger boat!

So as I prepare to steer my ship of reporters into Sydney Harbour spare a thought for those who have brought life and breath into this Conference and given us something so exciting to report on.

Rove you from Sydney, soon!