Forest for the Trees is a one-day seminar that explores the state of writing and publishing in Australia. It brings together writers, publishers and industry representatives to discuss what is happening in 2018. The conversation will cover mainstream and independent publishing, as well as opportunities in the US market, book sales data and the challenges of navigating publishing deals. The day will end with a panel of industry experts shining some light on what the future holds.
The conversation will cover mainstream and independent publishing, as well as opportunities in the US market, book sales data and the challenges of navigating publishing deals. The day will end with a panel of industry experts shining some light on what the future holds.
Presented with the NSW Writers’ Centre.
$65/$45 Concession/NSWWC members, Bookings 02 9555 9757 nswwc.org.au
My Path Through the Forest
Julie Koh left a career as a lawyer to pursue writing. Her books Capital Misfits and Portable Curiosities have met with critical acclaim, and in 2017 she was named a Best Young Australian Novelist by The Sydney Morning Herald. A writer’s life entails much more than getting words on the page; for Julie, this includes being an editor, judge and founding member of writing collective Kanganoulipo, and writing the libretto for the satirical opera Chop Chef.
Staying on the Path
What does it take to get published and maintain a career as a writer? In conversation with Julie Koh, novelist and non-fiction writer Charlotte Wood (The Natural Way of Things) discusses the winding path she took to get her first book published and how she maintains her writing life.
11.45am – 12.45pm
Reading the Signs
Bianca Whiteley from Nielsen BookScan brings us data about the books readers are buying and the books that are likely to sell in the future. For the first time, she will be able to provide an update on e-book sales in Australia.
12.45 - 1.45pm
How does an author navigate the complex and, at times, obscure documents associated with publishing? Author Walter Mason (Destination Cambodia) delves into the confusing world of publisher websites, letters of offer and contracts. He’s offered a guiding light by Juliet Rogers, CEO of the Australian Society of Authors, and Alex Adsett, publishing consultant and literary agent.
Lunch 1.45pm – 2.30pm
2.30 - 3.30pm
Going Further Afield
The US has long offered opportunities for Australian authors to sell their rights. Wenona Byrne, literature director at the Australia Council for the Arts, and Dr Per Henningsgaard, an academic and former publisher, talk to a US publisher to explore which Australian books do and don’t sell in the US market.
3.30 - 4.30pm
The Open Road
The book world faces significant political and legal challenges, including parallel imports, the so-called ‘fair use’ definition of copyright and the arrival of Amazon on our shores. What do you need to be concerned about, what are the opportunities and who is protecting your interests? Writer and comedian Jennifer Wong talks with the Copyright Agency’s Rosanna Arciuli, author Annabel Smith (Whisky, Charlie, Foxtrot), the Australian Publishers Association’s Michael Gordon-Smith and Fiona Stager from the Avid Reader bookshop.
Julie Koh (Australian)
Julie Koh is the author of Capital Misfits and Portable Curiosities. The latter was shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, the Steele Rudd Award, and a NSW Premier’s Literary Award. Julie was named a 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist. Her short stories have appeared in Best Australian Stories in 2014 to 2017, and Best Australian Comedy Writing. She is the editor of BooksActually’s Gold Standard and a founding member of Kanganoulipo.
Charlotte Wood (Australian)
Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and two books of non-fiction. The Natural Way of Things won the 2016 Stella Prize and Indie Book of the Year, and was joint winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction.
Bianca Whiteley (Australian)
Bianca Whiteley started her career in publishing at Murdoch Books in 1999, and spent seven years in various roles including Inventory Management. She joined Nielsen Book in 2006 where her latest role is Senior Account Manager (Publishers). For the past 11 years she has helped publishers and retailers make the most of the data and is currently working on establishing Nielsen’s ebook sales tracking service across Australia and New Zealand.
Juliet Rogers (Australian)
Juliet Rogers is the CEO of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA). She has had a long career in publishing, including Managing Director of Random House (NZ and Australia) and CEO of Murdoch Books. Before joining the ASA, she ran her own small publishing and consultancy business, The Wild Colonial Company. She has chaired Booksellers New Zealand, the then joint industry association for booksellers and publishers, as well as the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and has been President of the Australian Publishers Association.
Alex Adsett (Australian)
Alex Adsett is a literary agent and publishing consultant. As a consultant, Alex offers strategic and commercial contract advice to authors and publishers, helping them negotiate the sometimes fraught landscape of publishing agreements. As a literary agent, she represents exceptional manuscripts for all ages, with a focus on science fiction, fantasy, romance, and crime. She has managed Alex Adsett Publishing Services since 2008, and represents authors including Jodi McAlister, Catherine Pelosi, Shelly Unwin, and Sasha Wasley.
Per Henningsgaard (Australian)
Dr Per Henningsgaard is a lecturer in professional writing and publishing at Curtin University. Prior to arriving in Perth, he was the director of the master’s degree in book publishing at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. His publications include 'Kim Scott’s Publishing History in Three Contexts: Australian Aboriginal, National, and International’ in A Companion to the Works of Kim Scott and ‘The Editing and Publishing of Tim Winton in the United States’ in Tim Winton: Critical Essays.
Kirsty Melville (International)
Founding publisher of Simon & Schuster Australia, Kirsty Melville moved to the US in 1994 as Vice-President and Publisher for Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, California, and led in its transformation from a niche publishing company into an internationally recognized, award-winning publisher. She departed Ten Speed to work as Publisher for San Francisco’s University Games, was appointed Publisher and Executive Vice-President of Andrews McMeel Publishing in 2005, and was named President and Publisher in 2009.
Anne Beilby (Australian)
Anne Beilby is the Rights Manager at Text Publishing. She handles and negotiates contracts relating to both acquisitions and international licensing, audio and film contracts for the Text list. She has been presenting at international book fairs for more than 10 years.
Rosanna Arciuli (Australian)
Rosanna Arciuli has worked in the publishing industry for over 30 years, starting off as a Sydney bookseller, moving to Penguin Books as a sales representative before working for an independent publisher in London. On her return from London, she worked with the merchandising divisions of ABC Enterprises and SOCOG. Rosanna then relocated back to London, working with three entertainment companies licensing media properties to publishers. She joined Copyright Agency in 2006 and is now the Member Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager.
Annabel Smith (Australian)
Annabel Smith is the author of The Ark, US bestseller Whisky Charlie Foxtrot, and A New Map of the Universe, which was shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Awards. She was one of five inaugural recipients of an Australia Council Creative Australia Fellowship for Emerging Artists, for her interactive digital novel/app The Ark. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Edith Cowan University.
Michael Gordon-Smith (Australian)
Michael Gordon-Smith is the CEO of the Australian Publishers Association. He has worked for more than 20 years in Australian media and communications industries, including as a director, a government regulator and the CEO of industry associations. Michael has led projects or policies from media ownership to mobile telephones, from copyright to digital television. He has been the CEO of the APA since 2013.
Fiona Stager (Australian)
Fiona is the co-owner of Brisbane’s award-winning bookshops, Avid Reader and Where the Wild Things Are. She has been a judge for the Vogel Award, the Stella Award and the Queensland Literary Awards. Fiona has been presented with the Johnno Award for services to the Queensland writing community and in 2014 the Australian Booksellers Association made her a life member.
Walter Mason (Australian)
Walter Mason is a writer, blogger, tour leader and creativity teacher. He has written acclaimed travel books about Vietnam and Cambodia, and has spoken at festivals, seminars and conferences across the world. Walter is the Vice-President of the NSW Dickens Society, and is a popular teacher of literary history.
Wenona Byrne (Australian)
Wenona Byrne is the Director of Literature at the Australia Council for the Arts. She has worked in publishing for 11 years, the past 9 years as Rights Manager with Allen & Unwin. While at A&U, Wenona worked closely with Australian authors, pitching titles to international publishers in North America, UK, Europe and Asia. Wenona worked on a number of industry initiatives including the Visiting International Publishers Program. Before joining A&U, Wenona worked at Australian Literary Management.
Jennifer Wong (Australian)
Jennifer Wong is a comedian, writer, and former bookseller known for her bookishness and love of wordplay. She’s performed at arts and comedy festivals around the world, and her interviews with writers and artists can be heard on ABC RN’s Books & Arts and seen on ABC iview's Bookish.