On Saturday 6th July I attended the CYA (Children’s and Young Adult Writers and Illustrators) Conference in Brisbane and it was so huge that I thought I’d write two (or maybe even more) posts about it! It was absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance (next year it’s on the 5th July, so pencil it in your diary!)
Every year the CYA team run a writing and illustrating competition (opens early Jan and closes at the end of April) and there are about 8 different categories that you can enter. Last year I didn’t really know much about the conference but I entered two of my children’s picture books (one in the preschool category and one in the primary school category) in the writing competition. I wasn’t placed anywhere but the feedback I received was awesome. Two pages of comments and scores with very helpful ideas and suggestions that inspired me to keep on writing.
This year I entered two stories again – one in the primary school children’s picture book category and the other in the chapter book (for younger readers) category. Well, when I received the email telling me that my chapter book entry had been shortlisted I was very excited and thought that I should definitely go to the conference and find out what it’s all about. And I’m so glad I did!
As well as meeting other emerging writers and hearing about their highs, lows and success stories and listening to published Authors and Illustrators speak (great tips and inspiration), another plus for attending the conference is that you can book in a time to “Pitch your manuscript” to an Editor or Agent. At the conference there were Editors and Agents from Random House, Macmillian, New Frontier Publishing and Wombat Books to name a few.
Unfortunately I wasn’t quite on the ball this year and only decided to attend conference on the 2nd July, whereas if you wanted to “Pitch”, your manuscripts had to be sent in by, I think, the 14th June! I’ll know for next year. How exciting to actually be sitting face to face with an editor hoping they will love your story as much as you do!
Do tune in to Part 2 later in the week where you’ll hear about some of the wonderful Authors and Illustrators that presented at the conference.
Also, if you’ve attended the CYA conference before I’d love to hear what you thought about it and if you have any success stories. 🙂