Winners of the CYA Writers Conference

cya-alligatorToday I celebrated the ultimate event in my writer’s year. The Australian CYA children’s and young adult writer’s conference at St Laurence College, Brisbane. Its a one-day action adventure retreat for writers. Refreshing. Exhilarating.  Exhausting.

I shared this stimulating day with my real & online writing buddies and colleagues, participating in writing courses, scribbling down blueprints for my next writing projects, revitalizing my creative brain to the max.

Who WON the first places in the CYA Writing Competition?


Picture Book Preschool … Lynda Davies

Picture Book Primary School … Jodie Wells-Slowgrove

Chapter Book … Marian McGuiness

Young Adult … Nicola Alter

Graphic Novel/Illustrated Picture Book … Renee Treml

Illustrations … Gay McKinnon

Published AuthorChris Bell ( HUGE YAY! to my online friend)

A special congratulations to two dear friends:

Dimity Powell, Charmaine Clancy and Renee Taprell

Writer Friends: Dimity Powell, Charmaine Clancy & Renee Taprell

Renee Taprell for 3rd Place in primary picture book and Kelly McDonald for 3rd pace in the illustrations category.

I’m so proud of you all!

What brilliant ideas did the Author Presenters teach me?

Brian Falkner … shared his amazing expertise on constructing an imaginative and suspenseful story and developing 3D characters that readers truly care about.

Michael Bauer … divulged how he injects humour into his scenes by digging up dramatic personal experiences, connecting with those intense emotions of tragedy and comedy.

Karen Robertson … shared her expertise and experience on how to create and publish eBooks and interactive picture books on iPad APPS.

Amanda Ashby ... revealed her secrets on how watching TV shows teaches you about writing action as the camera rolls and getting to the emotive heart of the character.

CYA Success Stories Winners

Including Alison Ashley, Katherine Battersby, Peter Allert, and Julie Fison shared their passionate, surprising  and truly inspirational  journeys on how they became published.

Everyone who attended today were Winners.

Leading publishers, agents, editors and authors shared their precious knowledge, experience and inspiration to aspiring writers.  CYA participants were all partakers of an unique opportunity, that could shape our writing lives and craft us into the writers we could be. Only if we believed.

What was the Highlight of my Day?

Five precious minutes chatting with the Publisher who requested and is considering my kids sci-fi novel, JOSH AND THE IT for publication. Finally making face-to-face contact with her was an absolute writer’s dream.

Enough to keep my focused on what could be, if I truly believed.

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22 comments to Winners of the CYA Writers Conference

  • Thanks so much for posting this Karen. I wish I could have been there, it sounds like a fabulous experience.

  • Hi Jo, I knew you would be very interested in finding out the results. CYA is one of the most exhilarating experiences in my year.Congratulations in your short listing. Good luck for next year.

  • Belladonna Took

    I wish I could have been there, too, Karen! Oh well-maybe next year! A BIG congratulations on having that all-important talk with your publisher-all the best with that and I hope we hear details of your book launch soon!

  • Thanks for the update Karen. Sounds like it was a wonderful day. I wish I could have been there. Good luck with your sci-fi book. I’m a huge fan of sci-fi so I hope it gets picked up for you and I get to read it one day.

  • Thanks Belladonna,
    You would have LOVED CYA yesterday. It was very surreal chatting with the publisher who I’d only conversed via email. I’m crossing my fingers our chat could lead to something exciting :))

  • Congratulations for your win in the primary school picture book. I wish you every success with it.

    Thanks too for your fabulous support for my Sci-fi book. I really appreciate that :))

  • Joanna

    Great you enjoyed the conference, Karen. I would have liked to hear Michael Gerard Bauer’s views on injecting humour into his writing, and the flip sides of humour and personal tragedy. Humour often comes out of bad sitations. Have started writing again, Karen, after not writing a thing for over a year… only a little bit daily but it’s better than not writing at all.

  • Joanna,
    You would have LOVED Michael. He is a true master… an entertainer, a comedian, a presenter and a teacher.
    So glad you’ve started back with your writing. writing a little every day is the best way to train your brain back into the routine. Good luck :))

  • Oh look, there’s us girls!
    It was wonderful meeting you in person Karen. I’ve come away fully pumped and ready to get on with my work – looking forward to getting a little more time away from school work to get it all done!

  • Hi Charmaine, we really had a fabulous day yesterday, didn’t we? Love that photo of you, Dimity & Renee. Good luck with your next steps with your Zombie Dog book.

  • Karen, that’s wonderful news and well deserved. Thoroughly enjoyed me day yesterday and tickled pink to meet you in person. Yeah I guess we scrub up ok. Cool post and nifty synopsis on a truly brilliant occassion. Cheers!

  • Hey Karen,
    Thank you for your lovely comments. I had such a great day at CYA yesterday! You’ve shared the days events perfectly. I can’t wait till next year.

    I love the spunky photo of us by the way xox

  • Glad you enjoyed it, Karen. I’m aiming to attend next year.

  • Thanks Dimity for your support and encouragement. Fabulous meeting you yesterday in person and hanging out with you :))
    Glad you enjoyed the post … I wrote the blog from my deepest impressions of the day and later scanned through my notes for confirmation.

  • Hi Renee,
    I loved witnessing that special moment when Tina called out your name. I had to give you an honourable mention :))
    The day was really magic, wasn’t it?

  • Hi Sharon,
    CYA was beyond enjoy! … Energizing, Refreshing, exhilarating, Stimulating … comes much closer. You MUST come next year :))

  • Kaz Delaney

    Hey Karen, great to catch up for that hug yesterday. No wonder you were beaming and floating when we caught up! I had a great day as well – and also have a great pic of you and Michael Bauer that I’ll get up on my blg as soon as I’m done with tese edits. Today! “Today wil be the day the edits go away.” It’s my mantra for today. Hugs and fingers crossed for ‘Josh & the IT’.

  • Hi Kaz, fabulous meeting up with you for that wonderful, warm hug. I would have loved to chat longer.
    Thanks so much for your crossed fingers & hugs for Josh and the It.
    I’ll look out for your CYA blog and my pic with MGB. Hope you can catch up with your sleep very soon :))

  • Hey Karen

    So glad you enjoyed CYA, and wow – what a complement: “Today I celebrated the ultimate event in my writer’s year. The Australian CYA children’s and young adult writer’s conference.”


    Keep on writing!

    CYA next year 6th (Hatchlings) and 7th (Alligators) JULY 2012 !

    CYA later!
    CYA Conference coordinator

  • mmm should put my glasses on:


  • Hi Tina,
    Thanks for dropping by. CYA is the most inspiring writing event of my year. Its the day I’m immersed in and learn new writing strategies to improve my writing.
    And the day I get to meet talented authors and writers and become inspired by them.
    Thanks Tina for organizing and presenting this fabulous event for Children & YA writers. CYA Rocks!

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