Winners CYA Conference 2021

Winners CYA Conference 2021: I reveal my exciting news, celebrating the ultimate event in my Writer’s year!

The CYA All Stars Conference broadcasts via zoom from Brisbane, Australia celebrating its 16th birthday. An action-packed creative retreat for writers. Refreshing. Exhausting. Exhilarating.

From 2nd to 25th July, I share this amazing month with my writing buddies and colleagues, participating in writing courses, assessments and competitions. My goal is to create blueprints for my writing projects, revitalizing my creative brain to the MAX.

Winners CYA Conference 2021

Winners CYA Conference 2021 Success Story

Eight successful authors divulged their inspirational and surprising journeys on how they published their books.

Congrats to Wenda Shurety, Brooke Graham, Inda Ahmad Zahri, Alison McLennan, Rory H Mather, Amy Adeny, Liz Duthie and Christian Bocquee.

So proud, 5 success stories winners come from Write Links, my writing group!

Winners CYA Conference 2021

My CYA Success Story

In 2014, I shared my own Success Story on how I published Bailey Beats the Blah and STOP the Bully. Both resilience books won endorsements from Kids Helpline and a mental health achievement award.

Since then, I launched, Harry Helps Grandpa Remember, winner of a RADF grant. Plus, I published Super Space Kids series, Ready Set Discover Logan and the Song Bird series with an Arts Queensland grant. 

In 2016, Tina Clark invited present and past Success Story winners to receive their 10th Anniversary Gold badge… That’s ME on the bottom left next to Tina. Who do you recognise?

Winners CYA Conference 2021

Presenters share WINNING Writing Tips

Kat Apel & Renee Tremel

The importance of patience, endurance and resilience in getting published.

Deborah Abela

The secrets of diverse and exciting middle grade novels – How to keep kids reading                                        

Kristina Schulz

Getting ready to be an author. Business & pathways to publishing.

What’s your manuscript’s point of difference?

Bren MacDibble

Trials and tribulations of writing for multiple age groups. Bren showed us how to write in a minimalist yet an engaging, immediate way.

Lisa Fuller:

First Nations representation and permissions.

Winners CYA Conference 2021

Deborah Abela

 Pitching to Publishers & Agents…

My writing buddies and I from Write Links pitched our stories to editors and publishers, receiving positive feedback and encouragement.

Good luck to all my writing buddies!!

A special shout out to Anna Byrd, Joanna Wisbey, Wenda Shurety, Steve Tyrrell, Liane McDermott, Ayesha Uddin and Brooke Graham.

Winners CYA Conference 2021

Ayesha Uddin, Joanna Wisbey, Anna Byrd, Karen Tyrrell, Steve Tyrrell, Wenda Shurety.


Winners CYA Conference 2021 Writing Competitions

AO1 Picture Book Preschool …

1st Kerri Day 2nd Marg Briese 3rd Rebecca Ralfe.

AO2 Picture Book Primary School …

1st Gabrielle Cardwell 2nd Jessica Horn 3rd Anna Quinlan

AO3 Picture Book Non Fiction …

1st Javita Nilson 2nd Deborah Frenkel 3rd Kathy Weeden

AO4 Chapter Books – Younger Readers

1st Brooke Graham 2nd Liane McDermott 3rd Carla Fitzgerald                                   

AO5 Chapter Books – Older Readers

1st Joanna Wisbey 2nd Annaleise Byrd 3rd Marion McGuinness 

AO6 Young Adult

1st Ali Stegert 2nd Beverley McWilliams 3rd Dianne Taylor

Winners CYA Conference 2021

CYA Published Picture Book

Highly Commended: Kaye Baillie, Dhana Fox, Lana Spasevski

WINNER Published CYA Book

Lachlan Pollard

CYA Published Junior Fiction/MG/YA

Highly Commended: Jacqueline De Rose-Ahern, Karen Tyrrell (that’s me below)

Winners CYA Conference 2021 Karen Tyrrell


One of the publishers who gave me positive feedback, requested me to send GHOST BOY plus another middle grade novel.

With ‘Highly Commended’ award for GHOST BOY , I now have three manuscripts in progress.

What’s my plan to make them the BEST they can be?

  1. Analyse and embrace publisher feedback and presenter notes
  2. Work out a doable plan of action
  3. Rewrite manuscripts, query letters, synopses and pitches
  4. Research compatible publishers
  5. Submit to publishers

Karen Tyrrell at CYA Conference with Tina Clark

Who were the REAL Winners of CYA?

We who attended, who were willing to embrace the wealth of experience, knowledge and inspiration from TOP publishers, agents, illustrators, editors and authors.  CYA Conference delegates shared a unique opportunity, one which could shape our writing lives and craft us into the writers we could be.

Only if we believe!

What was your favourite experience at CYA?

How were you INSPIRED?

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2 comments to Winners CYA Conference 2021

  • Steve Tyrrell

    Congratulations Karen on your achievements. The literary world has been very good to you and you to it. Keep writing and never give up.

  • Thanks Steve, for being my #1 supporter and beta reader. I’m excited what the future may bring.
    Congratulations Steve on the constructive feedback you received on your manuscript! Keep writing! Keep believing!

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