SCBWI June gathering

Our next meeting is on 18 June.

 Our special guest speaker will be Marisa Pintado, Commissioning Editor of Children’s and YA fiction at Hardie Grant Egmont. And we're delighted that our member speakers for June will be Bernadette Kelly and George Ivanoff

Marisa Pintado.jpg

Marisa Pintado: From Whoa to Go: The Acquisition Process

Marisa is Commissioning Editor of Children's and YA Fiction at Hardie Grant Egmont. Marisa was the founder of the Ampersand Prize for debut novelists and she's worked with a variety of emerging, commercially successful and award-winning writers. She recently spent a year in London with Egmont UK’s fiction team. 

Bernadette Kelly.jpg

Bernadette Kelly: Writing and Me – It's a Long Story

Bernadette has been a children's author for sixteen years and a member of SCBWI for eight years. Her published books cover a range of age groups and genres. Bernadette is a fellow of the May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust and a former council member and Marketing Coordinator for YABBA—Young Australians Best Book Awards. 

George Ivanoff.jpg

George Ivanoff: Engaging Kids as Readers

George is an author and stay-at-home dad. He has written over 90 books for kids and teens, including the RFDS Adventures, the You Choose series and the Gamers trilogy. As a kid, George loved reading interactive books, where he got to make decisions about the direction of the story. He has had more fun plotting and writing the You Choose books than pretty much anything else. Writing the RFDS Adventures has opened his eyes to the amazing work done by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. He's thrilled that You Choose: The Treasure of Dead Man's Cove won the 2015 YABBA for Fiction for Younger Readers. George will talk about Engaging Kids as Readers.

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.

 Please note change of venue:

 Date: Saturday 18 June 2016

Place: Building 13, RMIT University, 379-405 Russell Street (corner Victoria Street). When you enter the building, follow the signs to room 13.2.29.

 Time: 2:00–5:00pm

Cost: $25 members, $30 non-members (includes afternoon tea). For further details and booking info, please visit the SCBWI events page.

 Payment: Click here to make your booking via (Please don't hesitate to contact Caz if you experience any issues with this new system or you are unable to make payments using this method:

Caz Goodwin: Assistant Regional Adviser, Victoria
Chris Bell: Assistant Coordinator and CBCA Liaison
Serena Geddes: Illustrator Coordinator
Betty Sargeant: Technology and Social Media Coordinator
Jo Burnell: Membership Coordinator


20 August   

12 November

 We look forward to seeing you all there.

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.