Monday, July 9, 2012

Photos of SCBWI Conference Sydney 2012

US literary agent, Jill Corcoran's keynote speech
Lunch time at the NSW Writers' Centre
Pamela Rushby, Claire Sax and Sheryl Gwyther
Historical Fiction Panel
Illustrators' breakfast
Evening sing-along at the Hughenden


Chilling in the lounge
Ukelele chorus


Illustrators' Showcase SCBWI Australia and New Zealand Conference


The Hughenden Hotel

Excitement bubbles over as anticipation meets reality. I am at Sydney airport, waiting for a taxi together with four other delegates from all over our vast continent. We already know each other. In Australia living 1,000's of kilometres apart is no obstacle with online networking, Facebook and Yahoo groups. We've shared a lot in the past: successes and rejections; family problems and ill health, and now we're here to celebrate with the community that is The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (downunder).

A maxi taxi drops us off at the Hughenden Hotel in Woollahra, a grand old lady of history and literature. There's a photo of our arrival, all excited and eager, on the official SCBWI Conference blog.


Within 15 minutes of my arrival I'm sitting in a small office with visiting US literary agent, Jill Corcoran. Her critique of my portfolio is honest and helpful. She's genuinely interested and engaged. I like her straight away. But there is no time to stop for a cuppa and chat; the Illustrators' Showcase is awaiting my portfolio and I am whisked away to a large room with rows of tables covered in white cloth. Some 46 portfolios are entered in the showcase and mine is the last to arrive. Quickly I place it in its spot - number 4 (a good pozzy) and arrange my business cards and postcards beside it.

There it is 4th from the right in the front row.

And here are Frané Lessac and Sarah Davis, our legendary SCBWI Illustrator ARA's and award-winning illustrators, awaiting the onslaught of publishers to the showcase. Note the little red pencils; the publisher who left the highest number of written feedback slips would win a bottle of Moet. The good news is for this inaugural Illustrators' Showcase 37 publishers (yes, that many) spent more than an hour perusing the portfolios and walked away with handfuls of postcards. And it wasn't just the Moet that had them entranced!

I received some lovely feedback from publishers that has given me the confidence to keep chipping away. I am on a path with heart; my passion lies with writing and illustrating for children and the bonus is the beautiful people you meet along the way.

Here's the first page of my portfolio with Dummy Book.

And the final part to day one of the conference was a cocktail party with lots of mixing and mingling.