Monday, November 2, 2009

More Congratulations...

Congratulations to Di Menefy and Adele Broadbent...also successful Pitch Slammers.

Well Done and may there be many more....

Thrilled Spinning Gold Team.

Friday, October 23, 2009

News and writerly things to mull over.

CONGRATULATIONS to Sandy Nelson who pitched a book in the Pitch Slam to Harper Collins and found out yesterday it will be published!

The first of many success stories we hope....

(the Spinning Gold team are very excited for Sandy....)

Kate De Goldi asked us to pass on her thanks to everyone for the kind words about her keynote. She wants to hang on to her speech for a while....However in the spirit of Kate-isms

Here is her report for the 2009 BNZ Katherine Mansfield Novice Writer Category which she has recently judged.

Kate De Goldi’s short fiction craft checklist.

*technical accuracy in both subject and form (I like to think grammatical inaccuracy is not a fatal flaw, but the horrible fact is that it often does diminish a story’s effectiveness, it prevents it communicating)

*story architecture – a shapeliness to the story’s development

* an avoidance of cliché, in either language or ideas

* imaginative use of language – fresh, startling imagery, muscular nouns and verbs; ways of describing and characterising that make me pause and re-appreciate, think anew

* believable characterisation

* credible dialogue

* a variation in sentence length and rhythm – sentence-making that has music

* writing that shows rather than tells

* a sense of place

* a narrative ‘voice’ that commands attention, that persuades, that makes me want to read on and on, no matter what is – or isn’t – happening…

All these words from Kate just goes to remind us about the most talked about quote from her keynote speech....knowing your own bone and chewing over it....

Spinning Gold Team

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The debates continue

Melinda Szymanik's blog is well worth a read as she grapples with some of the issues the conference raised for many of us. (To promote or not to promote? To write for a market or write from the heart?)

Meawhile both Maureen and Fifi have managed to recover sufficiently to blog their impressions of and reactions to the Spinning Gold experience.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Virtually Visiting - for authors and illustrators

A message from Spinning Gold committee member Adele Jackson:

Those of us who attended the Educational Publishers Panel discussion at Spinning Gold heard from Derek Wenmoth that there are schools out there who would love to Skype an author or an illustrator.

There's a brilliant website set up in the US that does just this. Have a good look at it here:

If you would like to talk to schools in classrooms and libraries virtually on the Skype network (free from your own computer and in the comfort of your own studio or study) why don't you add your name here and we can begin a list of authors and illustrators who can virtually visit.

We could look at a similar fee structure as they have. (Meet the author 10 -15 mins free, or in-depth visits for a time and fee determined by each author.)

Derek has offered to work with us and look at how we can create a point of contact for schools and link them with the authors/illustrators they want to talk with.

So what do you think - shall we increase our reach ? Who's keen?

Add your name in the comments below if you're interested, or email adele at adelejackson dot com ...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A few pictures

We are keen to get pictures up for you to see, so please send us your photos when you can. In the meantime, see if you can spot yourself in the ones on Fifi's facebook page.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A fantastic weekend!

Wow - we're completely thrilled with how it all went, and we hope you are too. Now bring on the debriefing process ...!

Committee member Adele Jackson somehow managed to muster up some final reserves of energy last night to blog her thoughts on the conference.

Conference attendee Melinda Szymanik did likewise.

And we love this thought-provoking post about the conference from Derek Wenmoth, who was on Saturday's 'Educate the Future' panel.

More soon ...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Urgent Pitch News:

Gecko Press, from 2011, will be looking to publish 2 or 3 NZ junior and mid-grade novels.
Please note: they are looking for Curiously Good fiction - see
If you've got a cross-over novel they'd be interested in that as well.
Let us know asap if you would like to pitch to them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Keep your websites coming in ...

Two more writers who will be at the conference - two wonderful Jenni's in fact - Jenni Carlton and Jenni Francis!

And be sure to take a look at our sponsors page - we are extremely grateful to all these organisations.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New links - and meet the committee

We're delighted to have four more links to conference attendee websites:

Moira Wairama - writer and storyteller

Jillian Sullivan - author of novels, picture books and short stories

Frances Cherry - novelist, short-story writer and writing teacher

Alex Shinae - writer/illustrator

Plus - now seems like a good time to introduce the committee that has been beavering away to make Spinning Gold happen ...

The two driving forces behind Spinning Gold are:
Maureen Crisp - author, teacher and busy mother
Fifi Colston - illustrator, author, crafter and past NZ Post Awards judge.

Maureen and Fifi both happen to be past convenors of the Wellington Children's Book Association (which has incubated the conference). They have an enthusiastic committee working with them on Spinning Gold, and it includes, alphabetically:

Fleur Beale
– writer and manuscript assessor

Margaret Cahill - editor at Learning Media, past WCBA convenor and occasional writer

Louise Davies - present WCBA convenor, children's song writer and WCC Community coordinator

Helen Fletcher - award-winning short film maker and budding writer

Holly Gooch - fledgling writer, teacher, mother and children's book addict

Eirlys Hunter - writer; teacher of Writing for Children at IIML, Victoria University

Adele Jackson - Storylines Wellington coordinator '08-'09, illustrator and designer

Johanna Knox - freelance writer, editor and researcher; homeschooling mother

Pippa Werry - author; contributor to School Journal and other educational publishers

Everyone on the committee is very excited about the conference!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Which writers are attending Spinning Gold?

Thanks to all the writers who have sent in their websites and blogs. Here's the list of writing attendees who are online:

Lorraine Orman - author, reviewer and librarian

Maria Gill - author of picture books, non-fiction books, readers, and more

Candice Paewai Reading - author and publisher

Vicki Simpson - whose Yo, Shark Bait won the 2006 Tom Fitzgibbon award

Susan Brocker - prolific author!

Tania Hutley - whose first children's book, Tough Enough, was published by Scholastic this year

Melinda Szymanik - entertaining blogger and author of 5 books including The Were-Nana

Barbara Murison - librarian, manuscript assessor, reviewer, and editor of Around the Bookshops.

If you have a blog or website, and haven't sent it to us - please do.

Next we'll try to gather up the websites of the Spinning Gold committee members, and post those. We'll also add links to the NZ book council pages for those conference attendees that have them, but not their own websites.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Which illustrators are attending Spinning Gold?

Thanks to everyone who has sent us links to their websites and blogs. We'll be adding them all to the Spinning Gold blog over the next few days. (And if you haven't sent yours yet - please do! Send it to

Four illustrators have sent us their addresses:

We have the prolific and highly experienced Philip Webb who has illustrated shelves full of picture books and educational publications.

There is Nikki Slade Robinson, illustrator of over 60 titles, and more recently author-illustrator of That’s not Junk!

We have Thaw Naing - freelance illustrator/comic book artist and concept artist.

And, last but most certainly not least, Wellington author-illustrator Ruth Paul, whose The King's Bubbles is a past NZ Post Children's Choice award winner.

You can go to these illustrators' links from this post, and we're also adding a new sidebar containing a growing list of conference attendees' wesbites.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Send us your websites and blogs

Have a look - we've just added a new panel (to the right, and scroll down), containing links to the websites and blogs of Spinning Gold presenters and panelists. Where the presenter doesn't have a website, we've added a link to their page at the NZ Book Council.

Next, we'd love some links from conference attendees. If you have a website or blog, please send us the address and we'll put it up here on the Spinning Gold site. It's one way to start getting to know each other a bit before the conference starts.

Send your links to us at or let us know by leaving a comment here on the blog.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

28 days to go and homework is being set

Hi Spinning Golders,

There are 28 days to go and some people are getting homework.

If you are in Mining The Gold -Writers Intensive Classes, you should have received an email from Fleur Beale with your homework instructions.

If you are in Finish It Intensive should be nearly ready to send your homework into Erylis. (a synopsis and two pages of writing by September 1st.)

If you have no idea and missed the emails and you are in a Writers Intensive class please contact us at

If you are in an Illustration Intensive Class.....rub your homework yet...but be prepared to work hard in your class when you get to the can relax on your super cool mystery trip....

Thankyou to all the Illustrators who have taken up our offer to have some of your work for sale at the conference. Remember to include some packaging so people can take the art home with them at the end of the conference.

Don't forget Business Cards....They are handy for sticking up next to art work with prices/sold on them, giving to agents and publishers, writing notes on to hand to for raffles...etc etc..

Start saving some ready money. to bring...It will help....after all the cocktail party is at The Children's Bookshop...we have two book launches....There will be some marvelous art work for sale by some amazing Illustrators and if you are wanting to Pitch...the cost is $10 (pay us at Registration to confirm.)

Don't forget to check back for updates on this blog and on the Individual Writers and Illustrators pages.

We are looking forward to seeing you all in 28 Days...some earlier as they arrive for events around Spinning Gold.

Kind regards

The Spinning Gold Team

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fantastic Voyages in Wellington ...

Thornspell author and Spinning Gold panelist Helen Lowe is coming to Wellington in advance of the conference to join forces with local author Tim Jones for what promises to be a fascinating discussion on speculative fiction.

Helen says, 'Given the rise of speculative writing for younger readers in NZ ... this might be of interest to some who are attending Spinning Gold, although the focus is on speculative fiction rather than children's/YA writing.'

Here are the full details:

Fantastic Voyages: Writing Speculative Fiction—

An Evening with Tim Jones & Helen Lowe, chaired by Lynn Freeman

7.30-9pm, Thursday 17 September

Upper Chamber, Wellington Arts Centre/Toi Poneke

61 Abel Smith Street

Free admission

Supported by Unity Books

Tim Jones (Transported; Anarya's Secret) and Helen Lowe (Thornspell) are both successful speculative fiction authors with national profiles. At this event, Tim and Helen will share their love of writing science fiction and fantasy, the challenges and rewards of being a New Zealand speculative fiction writer, how they've gone about getting published, and how they see the future of these genres. Lynn Freeman, host of Radio New Zealand's "Arts on Sunday" programme, will keep the discussion flowing and the questions coming. Both Helen and Tim will be available to sign books after the event.

For more information, contact 027 359 0293 or timjones at

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The conference just keeps getting better and better....


During the Conference weekend we have two book launches.

Mandy Hager and Random House will be launching Mandy’s new book, ‘The Crossing’ on Friday night after Martin Baynton’s Keynote speech.

On Saturday night Fifi Colston and Scholastic will be launching ‘Glory’ at The Children’s Bookshop.


We are leaving Saturday night after dinner free for everyone to have a catch up... and browse The Showcase. This is a dedicated room which will be full of things to look at, collect, buy and order copies of.

If you are among theBold group who are interested in Swops will take place then. Swops Table info on the writers page....Illustrators, you too can join in on this one...go to the writers page to see what is involved.


If you were among the 46 people who indicated that you would like to pitch, this notice is for you.

Do you have something to pitch?
If you have changed your mind about pitching, and we hear some people have, can you let us know, so we can manage numbers.

If you still want to pitch, Please look at the list of publishers who are taking pitches.

Go to their websites and check out whether your story is right for them.

Contact us with your first and second choice publisher. Subject line: Pitching

This will help us to allocate numbers times etc...
Payment of $10 will still be on registration if you are taking up this offer....answers to these questions please by September 13th (the weekend before the conference.)

Email address for this is

Finally we would like to say a huge Thank you to all of you who have responded to requests, answered questions or sent through information.

Your help is most definitely appreciated, and you are doing your part already to make Your conference the best it can be.

Kind regards,
The Spinning Gold Team

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How to get the most out of YOUR Conference?

Hi Spinning Golders,

This week the topic is ‘getting the most out of your conference.’

One of the most important activities you will be doing at the conference will be Talking!

Talking to your peers, editors, publishers, bookshop owners, librarians, agents, students etc

So what to bring to support this activity besides cards...copies of your work if published...(Illustrators check out your page for items of interest to you.)

If you are on the way to being published you can still bring a business card...It is a quick way to exchange contact information...also it’s a useful ticket for raffles and door prizes and displays and....Spinning Gold Convenor Maureen Crisp has a blog post on business cards that might be of interest.

The other activity that is important is to Get Involved....

Two weeks ago we posted a request from Maria Gill (scroll down to read it or click on the highlighted words.) Maria is an enthusiastic promoter of Kiwiwrite4kids. She is organising an event in Wellington the night before...which is all about promotion of your work.

Author promotion is a hot topic in the children’s lit world as authors and illustrators wrestle with learning how to promote their work themselves.

If you will be in Wellington the night before, get involved. If you know someone who would benefit from this event, tell them!

We are hoping that all the people coming to Spinning Gold will take advantage of this website to keep updated and to interact with others. It is not hard. Just click on the comments line at the bottom of the post...follow the instructions and join in the conversation.

Spinning Gold Team

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Conference networking...

Hi Spinning Golders...

We are moving into countdown mode to the Conference weekend and the team is busy with lots of little details to make the conference a great experience for you.

The conference blog will be updated at least once a week so make sure you check in regularly.

Don’t forget to check in on your specific pages in the sidebar. Specific Information and intensive group news will be posted there as well.

The following blog post was posted last week on Anna DeStefanos blog about attending conferences. It is well worth a read and a think about...

Below is a snippet from the post but you can go here to read the whole post.
Anna lists some great tips and ideas for writers and illustrators attending conferences.

Kind Regards
Spinning Gold Team

Conference/Networking In A Bottle…

Preparing for big events involves several rituals I’ve come to take for granted.I speak at events so frequently as a fiction author, and before that travelled at one time something like 90% of the year as an IT project manager and consultant. The whole “organize my life, pack it up, schedule the event, hop on a plane or drive, 1-2-3 immerse myself into a temporary other world” thing has honestly become something I can do in my sleep.

Except…It’s actually a lengthy, detailed process to pack up my tent and move my often introverted “business” onto a public stage for a week. I’m more efficient at it these days, have gotten better at getting the most out of each event, and rarely forget anything important now. But looking back over the last few days (weeks, actually) of prep for RWA’s National Convention in DC, the items I’ve mentally checked off my “fleeing my life” list can seem sizable (and exhausting) when viewed all together.

Wouldn’t it be nice to bottle all that work/energy? So next time I can just shake, uncork, pour, sit back and watch as the prep work takes care of itself since I do basically the same things for each event… Except each event, just like each day of my publishing life, is different even while it’s the same, so each new conference and day requires its own special attention and planning time.

Still, I’m endeavoring to make a list of the prep work to share (and to save for myself to help in the future). And also, while I’m thinking about it, to inspire those not venturing into another world this week to claim some of the same benefits by reaching out and doing a little conference/networking “work” in their stay-at-home lives. So, here’s to planning to get the most out of attending a writing conference AND the most out of staying home…

1) It’s all about networking–whether you go or you stay home. Some of the best things I’ve brought home from any event happened in the lobby of the event hotel. I hook up with peers and friends I only get to see once or twice a year. I stumble across new friendships and relationships I’ll nurture for the rest of my life. I hear about events I wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t put on my “I don’t write alone in my office for days/weeks/months at a time, I am an extrovert when I choose to be” hat and mingled into the masses. Literally–masses of people. It pays to smile and be friendly, and when you see someone you think you know reach out your hand to shake and introduce yourself again–even if it’s someone you WORSHIP.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

78 Days to Go...

And plans are afoot to capitalise on this gathering of the Children's Book Community.

Maria Gill of Kiwiwrite4kids has asked us to put the word out to all the conference attendees about an event being organised on the Thursday night before conference starts. (17th September)

Authors and Illustrators attending the conference and arriving a day early – how would you like the opportunity to speak for 5-10 minutes about your books to a captive audience of teachers and librarians? Time and venue to be confirmed but most likely early evening. It would be a golden opportunity to market your book to a target audience! If available, please contact: In association with The Children’s Bookshop Wellington and New Zealand Book Council.

Thanks to all who contributed textbook titles for the bookshop to source. There are some very interesting books among them. If you have been thinking about sending in a title to us... jump to it as we only have 78 days to go untill the big weekend!

Spinning Gold Team

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Monster Leashed...

Hi Spinning Golders,

We have looked at many tricky ways to accomodate everyone who wanted to be in this workshop but as Jo Randerson is pressured for time (in the evenings she is appearing on stage,) we have made the decision that the first people to register for her class up to Jo's limit will be in the workshop. Everybody else will get their second choice.

This means that Gavin's monoprint workshop is now fully subscribed too.

For all other workshops during the rest of the conference everyone will get their first choice.

We know that there will be some disappointed people out there, we did try but in the end we had to make the hard decision.

However you can take heart in the fact that you have all got your first choice in the other workshops...(and there were some tricky moments there too...)

We are hoping to be able to give everyone at the conference, upon registration, their own personalised hold those emails back about all the timetable queries please.

We have had some good replies on our textbook wants list...Thankyou for those.
If you have any suggestions or have no idea what I am referring to, please check your individual pages...Writers to the writers page in the sidebar...Illustrators to the illustrators page in the sidebar. You have untill the end of June to get in your picks.

If you are feeling cold and blue and you want to read about somewhere warm and feel green...Fifi has posted some lovely artwork on her blog from her recent holiday in Vanuatu, where she fled the monsters (southerlies of wellington and conference planning) and relaxed on the beach. I think that she should share the recipe of her favourite tropical cocktail with us at the conference...something to look forward to.

for The Spinning Gold Team.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Intensives Now Confirmed

Hi Spinning Golders...

A big thankyou to everyone who responded to our numbers problem. We have now confirmed the Intensive classes and everyone involved in these has received an email. If you have not received one and you know you put yourself down on the list, can you email us at so we can check our records.

There is a new blog called The Quiet World Project on the blogosphere. The owner interviewed the convenors of the Spinning Gold Conference last week about the conference. If you are interested in how the whole conference came to be... go to The Quiet World Project to read all about it.

Over the next few weeks we will be working on resolving workshop numbers.
In the mean time hop over to the Writers and Illustrators pages and add your favourite textbook to the list.
If you want to make a comment just click on the comments links and follow the instructions.

Kind regards,
Spinning Gold Team

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A quick update for you...

Hi Spinning Golders....

Thankyou for the prompt replies to our little numbers at Thursday 2.30pm we have 11 people who can switch to the morning class....that's great but we need 16. So if you are down for Fleurs class and you haven't replied can you do so as soon as you can. There are some wonderful people out there who need to know before they book flights....

We have some new info on our writers pages and illustrators pages...

If you want to make a comment to the whole conference group you on comments below... a pop up box will appear. Write your comment, follow the instructions...if you haven't got a blogger account or gmail, just tick anonymous and your comment will appear.

(For those who are interested in blogging...the two convenors each have blogs. You can get to them by going to the WCBA homepage in the top right hand corner.)

Spinning Gold Team

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Numbers.. numbers...can you help us?

Hi Spinning Golders....

It has been a busy week for us since you all sat poised in front of your keyboards ready to submit your registration to the conference.

We have been matching payments to people....taking time out to cheer on the NZ Post Book Awards winners and finalists....many of whom will be presenting at the conference....and scratching our heads as to how we will be able to give everybody a chance to attend the intensive class of their choice.

By now you all should have received a confirmation email as we have received nearly everyone’s money in our account, which is good for us, as we have some bills to pay.....

If you have not received a confirmation email, can you reply to us as soon as we can check your email address with our records. We have come across some email address changes from the initial group of interested mailing list people compared to the email address entered on the registration form.

If you registered for the Mining The Gold Intensive class with Fleur Beale...we have been completely overwhelmed with numbers for this class.

Fleur is very gratified that you would all like to do this workshop with her. To accommodate everybody we would like to split the numbers of people who registered for this class in half.

Fleur is able, on Friday 18th September, to fit in a morning Mining The Gold intensive as well as the afternoon Mining The Gold slot.

We are incredibly grateful for Fleur’s generosity in this, as it enables everyone who has registered for this class a place.

Now what we need to do is find out from these lucky people who can come in the morning to do the class. Friday 18th September 10am-noon. Normal conference registration is at 2pm with the next Mining The Gold class starting at the programme time.

If you do the morning class you will have the afternoon to do the Digital Publishing workshop (which is free) or have the time off to do something else (explore Wellington perhaps) before meeting up with everyone for dinner.

Could all the people who registered for Mining the Gold please email us their preference at
Subject: Mining the Gold (morning) or (afternoon ) class please.

We will cross reference it with our spreadsheets from Monday night. Fleur only wants 16 in the class so if we can’t get 16 people to commit to the morning option, we will have to close off numbers to the first 16 that registered on Monday night.

Eirylis’s Finish It class is fully subscribed.

Jo Randerson’s Unleashing Monsters workshop is oversubscribed and we are calculating numbers and trying to find ways around this also....

We understand that you are keen to find out which classes you have got into. Please bear with us as we try our best to give everybody what they want for their first choice.

Keep checking back here every week for news and updates.

keep warm,
The Spinning Gold Team.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Wow that was fast!
If you missed out and you would like to go on the waiting list please email us with the waiting list in the subject line.
Spinning Gold Team

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spinning Gold Programme

Click on the timetable to bring it up at full size in a new window.

Programme Notes.
All green and yellow coded sessions are for general attendance.

Friday 18th

Writing intensive: Mining the gold (for advanced writers)
Moving out of the comfort zone, going deeper, going sideways. This advanced novel writing master class, conducted by Fleur Beale, will look at point of view, the emotional plot-line and a few other tricky beasts.
Fleur has written 30 novels for children and teenagers, an adult non-fiction book and various readers for the education market.
Limited to 14 people. (Further details will be sent separately to class participants.)

Writing intensive: Finish it! (for practising writers)
Are you having trouble finishing that novel? In this workshop Eirlys Hunter will discuss how to keep the momentum going to the end, and the joy of second drafts.
Eirlys has written six books for children, including The Quake and the Finn's Quest trilogy, as well as a novel and many short stories for adults. She convenes the Writing for Children workshop at the International Institute for Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington.
Limited to 16 people. (Participants will be contacted in advance about where to send a synopsis of their novel-so-far [max 250 words] and the first two pages [max 700 words].)

Illustration intensive: Mystery tour & dynamic drawing (for practising illustrators)
Stephen Fuller's years in the advertising industry as an art director, conceptualiser and illustrator have made him a versatile expert in the production of quick, dynamic illustrations.
Discover Stephen’s secrets to creating tight, exciting compositions by hand and digitally – and uncover the potential for your own work in complex software such as Corel Painter.
The Mystery Tour will be conducted by Martin Baynton.
Limited to 20 people.

Digital publishing and the rise of the un-book
With more than 20 years’ experience in publishing and technology, Martin Taylor is now director of the newly formed New Zealand Digital Publishing Forum – and passionate about the development of a digital publishing industry in this country.
Hear Martin speak about what’s in store for digital publishing, locally and globally, and get to grips with the possibilities it may open up for you.

Keynote speaker: Martin Baynton
Exploiting baby
Acclaimed writer-illustrator and creator of Jane and the Dragon Martin Baynton says, ‘Our creations are our babies …’
In his keynote speech he will own up to his good, bad and ugly parenting skills, and argue that as parents of our creations, many of us need to become more aggressive and hands-on!

Saturday 19th

Keynote speaker: Lawrence Green
Creating it – your work as a business

Lawrence Green helps people make the most of their talents. He is especially interested in creativity and regularly works with people involved in the arts. He is very aware of the problems we as writers and illustrators face and has innovative strategies for solving them.

Unleashing monsters
The Arts Foundation describes Jo Randerson as ‘a unique theatre-maker with extensive experience in comedy, poetry, literature and theatre.’
Jo’s workshop will look at dialogue and making the most of your characters.

Make a mark
On his numerous school visits, Brian Falkner is a hit with children and adults alike. Here, the popular author of books such as Superfreak and The Tomorrow Code will offer practical advice on engaging and winning over an audience in person.
Whether you’re a confident presenter already, or more unsure, Brian’s workshop will inform and inspire.

Magic monoprints
Join pre-eminent author-illustrator Gavin Bishop to experiment, hands on, with the time honoured medium of monoprinting. Expect to leave this workshop with at least one new creation.
While illustrators will enjoy the tips from a master, those with no illustration skills are also very welcome to explore the possibilities.

Keynote speaker: Fiona Inglis
Today’s story – tomorrow’s picture

Fiona Inglis joined Curtis Brown literary agency, in Sydney, as an agent in 1993. She became Managing Director in 2002.

Publisher’s panel (trade)
Editors from our major trade publishers in New Zealand will answer the questions you want asked. (Please email questions to by September 1. Subject line: Publishers Panel Question)
Participating publishers are
Random House
Longacre Press
Mallinson Rendel
Gecko Press

Educate the future: education publishers panel
New Zealand has earned an outstanding reputation internationally for our educational publications. Some of the best and most innovative are here to show what they do and talk about where they see educational publishing going in the future.
Participating publishers are
CORE Education
Learning Media
South Pacific Press
Gilt Edge

Sunday 20th

Keynote speaker: Kate De Goldi
Kate De Goldi has an encyclopedic knowledge of children’s literature, and has won awards for her own writing in both the picture book and the young adult categories. She has regular slots on television and radio where she discusses and reviews books. Her depth of her literary knowledge, coupled with her skill as a facilitator and speaker, means she is often called on to chair at literary festivals and events.

Laying it out
What are the newest trends in picture book design and illustration? Examine them with Dylan Owen, using recent books from the National Library Schools Collection that are not commonly available in New Zealand.
Dylan is the National Library’s National Advisor for the Schools Collection. He reviews picture books for The Dominion Post, and was a judge in the 2007 NZ Post Book Awards.

Make money and keep it
A representative from BDO Spicers will offer frank and informative advice on the accounting, tax, and finance issues that writers and illustrators face.
BDO Spicers is a leading supplier of chartered accounting and advisory services to small and medium sized businesses, with fourteen offices between Kerikeri and Invercargill.

Virtually there
Look deeper at making the most of your creative business with our keynote speaker Lawrence Green – who has lots of innovative strategies for authors and illustrators.

Stretch your legs
Had enough of sitting? Brain on overload? Use this time to stretch your legs, on your own or with a group.
Walk down to the zoo (admission charge is $20 if you want to visit), or explore one of the paths of the Green Belt. A wet weather option is also being devised.

Poetry verses doggerel
James Brown is the award-winning author of four poetry collections, and has written children's poetry for Learning Media publications.
In this workshop he will suggest strategies aimed at writing poetry for the very young through to teenagers, considering rhyme, rhythm, free verse, point-of-view and subject matter. You’ll also begin poems of your own, using exercises designed to kick-start your imagination.

Look at me!
This workshop panel will talk about and answer your questions on author and book marketing. On the panel are –
John McIntyre: Reviewer of children’s books, member of the Board of Directors of Booksellers NZ, owner of The Children’s Bookshop
Noel Murphy: CEO, NZ Book Council
Frances Plumpton: agent, Richards Literary Agency
Helen Lowe: A Christchurch author who arranged publication of her books via an American agent she found for herself. and

What’s next?
Renowned author Tessa Duder will facilitate this panel discussion based on issues that have arisen during the weekend. It will be an opportunity to look together at the future of children’s book publishing in New Zealand and worldwide – and to plan and engage for success.

Fast fives
Special interest groups will inform you about what they do:
Tessa Duder, author (subject: Storylines)
NZSA representative (subject: the benefits of belonging to NZSA)
Gavin Bishop, author-illustrator (subject: Te Tai Tamariki project)
Sarah Forster, NZ Book Council (subject: info about the Council)

Pitch slam
This is your chance to talk to a captive editor or agent. You will have three minutes, in a one-on-one interview, to pitch your fabulous idea/finished book/partly finished book.
Cost: $10 to participate, pay at the conference. (Note: this fee gives you the chance to make several pitches to different editors/agents). Pre-book on the registration form so we have an idea of numbers.

We hope you are as excited as we are about the conference.

Bookings open Monday 18 May at 7:30pm on this site; a link to the registration form will be made available at that time.

Kind Regards

Spinning Gold Team of the
Wellington Children's Book Association