Children’s Writing in the Spotlight at Ballarat Festival

Writers, illustrators and publishers from the children’s and young adult industry will appear at the Alexandria on Lydiard for the Ballarat Writers and Illustrators Festival, September 2 and 3.

This year’s festival will have a theme of ‘Words and Pictures’.

Festival attendees are invited to submit the first page of their unpublished work for critique by representatives of three publishers of children’s and young adult books.

The event has been organised by Ballarat Writers Inc. and will feature author Maureen McCarthy as the key speaker at the Festival dinner on Friday 2 September. Maureen’s novels for young adults have been shortlisted for numerous awards and include the In Between series, adapted from scripts Maureen co-wrote with Shane Brennan for SBS TV; Ganglands; Cross My Heart; Chain of Hearts; Flash Jack; and When You Wake and Find Me Gone. Her bestselling book Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude get a life was made into a highly successful four-part mini-series for ABC TV.

‘We are thrilled to have Maureen as our guest. I’m looking forward to hearing her advice on how to succeed in the competitive world of children’s and young adult writing,’ said Nadine Cranenburgh, one of the festival organisers.

Maureen will also give the keynote address at the start of the Saturday program followed by a full day of panel discussions about the picture book market, writing for older children and young adults and current trends in the publishing industry.

Panelists include Penni Russon, Kirsty Murray, Michelle Macintosh, Chrissie Keighery, Steph Bowe, Tim Pegler, Gabrielle Williams, Karen Tayleur, Kim Kane, Nic Brasch, Christopher Milne, Dave Hackett, Simon Swingler, Ananda Braxton-Smith, Karen Healy, Carole Wilkinson, Ebony McKenna, Kate Constable, Leanne Hall, Corinne Fenton and editors and publishers Maryann Ballantyne (black dog books), Natasha Besliev (Hardie Grant Egmont), Hilary Rogers (Hardie Grant Egmont), Catherine McCredie (Penguin) and Alison Arnold (Text Publishing).

‘Illustrators, picture book writers, poets and writers of books for older children and young adults will find plenty to be excited about at the festival. Aspiring writers and illustrators are catered for too – they will discover just how the industry works and what publishers and editors are looking for,’ said Ms Cranenburgh.

July Special: Book for the festival in July and save $60 off the full price.  For more information or to make a booking visit  Follow us on twitter @BallaratWriter.

Published by

Clayton Wehner

Clayton is the founder and managing director of Boomerang Books. In a past life, Clayton worked for 12 years as an intelligence officer in the Australian Army and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College Duntroon and holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science and a Master of Management Studies (Human Resource Management) from the UNSW. He is also a trained Indonesian linguist and served with the United Nations in East Timor as an interpreter/translator.