Thursday, November 19, 2009


I have a little manuscript, an urban fantasy for 9-13 year olds, which I submitted to four Australian publishers this year. Three of these actually invited me to submit. How do you get an invite? Simply attend as many conferences and workshops where publishers are present. I've found the publishers at these events are very approachable and also looking for the opportunity to meet new authors like me.

The CYA conference has the 'Pitch' sessions each year, where you may pitch your manuscript to a publisher or an agent for a fee. This is really worthwhile, as through the CYA pitch I have met a leading children's publisher and a literary agent, both of whom were interested in my work. Hopefully this may lead to future opportunities. An editorial consultation at the Queensland Writers Centre also helped me to fine tune my approach to being published. The consultant has since introduced me to publishers and even obtained on my behalf an invitation to submit to one of these.

And then there is the slush pile for unsolicited manuscripts. Many publishing houses do not accept these; others only have their slush pile 'open' at certain times of the year. My little manuscript found itself on one of these slush piles where it was waiting up to six months to be read. Luckily an industry contact (through conferences and workshops) enquired on my behalf and my manuscript found itself being fast tracked to the editor's desk.

Yesterday I received an email from this publishing house, informing me my manuscript has potential and I will hear from them 'in the near future'. Now that is something to celebrate.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Battle is Won! And what did I learn?

Parallel Import Restrictions on books in Australia are here to stay.

Today the Australian Labor Party Cabinet and Caucus decided not to accept the Productivity Commission’s recommendations. This decision shows their support for the Australian book industry and the people who work in it. I applaud them for understanding the complexities of this issue.

As a member of Saving Aussie Books action group I have learnt a great deal about the impact standing up for what you believe in can achieve. I know now I have a voice and that voice can be heard. Through this campaign I wrote my first letter to a Prime Minister, a Premier, many Senators and politicians both federal, state and local. I spoke on radio and left my very first comments on local and international digital media sites. I had my first letter to the editor published in the Courier Mail and hand painted my first protest placard. My voice could be heard loud and clear at my first street rally outside the Dymocks store, Brisbane and I answered my first live interview by a national journalist in between handing out leaflets. And then there was the petition. It is a wonder my friends are still speaking to me. At BBQs, birthdays, school fetes, evening classes, P & C meetings etc the petition was always being passed around.

I’ve learnt so much on this journey. I’ve learnt we all truly have a voice and an opportunity in this great country to be heard. Thank you to the politicians who listened and understood. Thank you to everyone who posted, emailed, wrote, phoned and spoke in support of our cause. I am elated. It was indeed a privilege and an honour.

But best of all I have made some life long friends.

Three cheers for the Warrior Women of the Book.

WWOBs rule!