Conference Faculty 2019


Lisa Berryman has been the children’s publisher at HarperCollins Publishers Australia for nineteen years and publishes a wide range of titles from picture books to Lisa Berrymanyoung adult titles. Lisa has also worked in children’s television at the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and taught Editing and Publishing at RMIT in Melbourne.

Her authors include award-winning author and Children’s Laureate Jackie French, and Graeme Base, Rod Clement, Sue deGennaro, Emily Rodda, Susanne Gervay, Alison Goodman, Sheryl Gwyther, Kate Knapp, James Moloney, Jen Storer, Gabrielle Tozer, Pamela Rushby and Mitch Vane.  Plus the estates of May Gibbs, Norman Lindsay, Ruth Park and Dorothy Wall.

Following HarperCollins Publishers acquisition of Working Title Press, Lisa also now looks after that list and its many talented authors and illustrators.

Kristina Schulz has worked as an editor and publisher for over twenty years in Brisbane, Sydney, New York and London. Most recently she was the Children’s and Young Adult Publisher at the University of Queensland Press (UQP)  Kristina Schulz Chil

Kristina has spoken at writers’ festivals and conferences, contributed to industry boards and panels, judged writers’ prizes, and has helped authors and illustrators at pitching sessions and with manuscript feedback, structural work, editing and mentoring. She loves working with Australian voices and is always drawn to books with strong themes and stories with heart. She is passionate about getting books into the hands of readers and would love to see a teacher librarian in every school around the country. 

Over the years, she has been lucky enough to work with many award-winning and best-selling authors including Claire Zorn, Peter Carnavas, Samantha Wheeler, Rebecca Sparrow, Steven Herrick, Nick Earls, Nova Weetman, Linda Sue Park, Pip Harry, Megan Daley and many more.

Kristy Bushnell has worked in publishing for more than a decade. Since 2017, Kristy hasKristy Bushnell been operating as a freelance editor after previously working in-house at UQP. Her clients include Omnibus Books, Australian Standing Orders, Scholastic Press, Allen & Unwin, UQP, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Independent Ink as well as independent clients. Specialising in children’s and young adult literature, she has extensive experience in structural editing, copy editing, proofreading and assessments, and provides carefully considered and encouraging editorial advice to assist writers and publishers to achieve their aims.

Kristy has had the pleasure of working with award-winning authors and illustrators such as Peter Carnavas, Brian Falkner, Rosanne Hawke, Steven Herrick, Tamsin Janu, Lucia Mascuillo and Claire Zorn. She has arts and education degrees and a graduate certificate in writing, editing and publishing, and was selected for the 2017 Australian Publishers Association Residential Editorial Program.

Justine Barker is an agent at Mayfair Literary Agency. Her clients include Michelle Worthington, Yvonne Mes and Emma MiJustine Barker_resizedddleton. Mayfair Literary Agency opened in 2018 and is Australia’s first and only literary agency dedicated exclusively to children’s and young adults’ fiction. Mayfair’s vision is to discover exceptional authors and cultivate best-selling, long term writing careers. 

Prior to becoming an agent, Justine was a solicitor. Justine spent most of her legal career working in government. She loves contract and has worked as a commercial lawyer and also a contracts advisor in the procurement department (e.g. drafting, negotiating and advising on commercial contracts). Justine is a keen traveller and has lived in Sheffield, England. Italy is her favourite country – so far. In her free time, Justine loves to read (so much reading), play sport, laugh at her ridiculously terrible cooking and spend time with her husband and two young children.

Susanne Gervay’s passion is empowering kids and adults with story. Story that bringsScreen Shot 2019-09-08 at 3.09.23 pm hope especially to young people, as they navigate this complex world. It has been the driving force in her 20 year immersion in the children’s industry, as a writer, mentor, speaker, advocate for literacy and a voice for young people and their communities.

As Regional Advisor (head) of The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators in Australia East & New Zealand, Susanne has been dedicated to fostering the talent of children’s writers and illustrators across the many vibrant SCBWI chapters in her region.

Awarded an Order of Australia for children’s literature, Susanne was also nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Lifetime Literature Award for her body of works on social justice for children, by the International Literacy Association. Her other awards include the University of Technology Alumni Excellence Award, Lady Cutler Award for Distinguished Services to Children’s Literature, Winner of The Society of Women Children’s and Young Adult Biennial Book Awards, Notable Awards from Children’s Book Council Australia, winner of Family Therapy Children’s Book Award and others.

As an international and national speaker, Susanne has addressed audiences from New York to Delhi on her work to emotionally engage in diverse areas including disability, inclusion, multiculturalism, bullying, inclusion, and peace.

Alison Worrad is the Communications Manager at EK Books, a division of Exisle AlisonWPublishing. Based in regional NSW, EK Books is an independent publisher of quality picture books for children. Alison has a Bachelor of Mass Communication from Griffith University and a background in the advertising industry. Her mission is to make sure that books with heart on issues that matter find their way into the hands, and minds, of as many children as possible. She specialises in getting attention for EK titles in the Australian market and liaises with the international sales and marketing team to co-ordinate publicity around the world. She hopes to one day hide in a wardrobe and find herself among furs, surrounded by the scent of pine needles with soft, deliciously cold snow crunching beneath her feet. Alison wants nothing more than for today’s children to grow into adults carrying with them vivid images from stories that brought magic to their childhoods.

Megan Daley is passionate about children’s literature and sharing it with young and oldMegan BIO PHOTO1 alike. In daylight hours, Megan is a teacher librarian at a girls’ school in Brisbane and was recently awarded the Queensland Teacher Librarian of the Year by the School Library Association of Queensland, as well as the national Dromkeen Librarian’s Award, presented by the State Library of Victoria. A former national vice-president of the Children’s Book Council of Australia, she is currently on the Queensland chapter of the board of the Australian Children’s Laureate and is a judge for the Queensland Literary Awards. She blogs about all things literary, library and tech at and is the author of ‘Raising Readers’. She also thinks sleep is overrated.

Jenny Stubbs, Teacher-Librarian by profession, is passionate about children’s literature.Jenny Stubbs Jenny coordinates the Ipswich District Teacher-Librarian Network, including editing their annual Book Week publication; directing the biennial StoryArts Festival Ipswich/Brisbane; and coordinating a holiday writing camp for young writers and publication of their book. She is also President of Book Links (Qld) Inc. where Jenny works with the committee towards their goals of establishing a centre for children based around literature and story in all its forms. Book Links Qld Inc. organises literary events such as the Narelle Oliver Lecture and provides resources that service the state such as The Travelling Suitcases Project (Funded by Arts Qld).

In 2013, she and Yvonne Mes established Write Links to support emerging writers in Brisbane and help organise workshops and critique groups. As the Readers Cup Coordinator (Team Reading Competition) – Children’s Book Council of Australia Qld since 2008 – Jenny coordinates the registration of nearly 600 teams across Queensland and manages the state final competitions catering for winning teams from 18 regions. In 2016 she produced a short film to promote the reading competition.

Lori-Jay Ellis is the Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Writers Centre. Lori-J-pic-240x300Queensland born and raised, Lori-Jay embodies creativity and innovation; she brings an enthusiasm and thirst for new ideas as well as a firm belief in nurturing creative talent, and proven leadership success in both the arts and business sectors. Early on she produced and directed funded short films, and as part of her mid-life crisis she is a self-published speculative writer. She brings to the role a personal passion for the written word and a genuine love for all things indie.

Lori-Jay says she is empowered by the creative process and its vital role in leading with vision to enable sustainable organisational models. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Visual) from Brisbane’s QUT and has been CEO of a community arts studio in Sydney as well as managing a New York art gallery.

Karen Foxlee is an Australian author who writes for both kids and grown-ups. She grewKaren-Foxlee6
up in the outback mining town Mount Isa and still frequently dreams she is walking barefoot along the dry Leichhardt River there.

Her first novel The Anatomy of Wings (2007) won numerous awards including, the Dobbie Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. Her second novel, The Midnight Dress, won the Sisters in Crime Best YA Debut Crime Novel in 2014. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, Karen’s first novel for children, was published internationally in 2014 to much acclaim.  It was an E.B. White Read Aloud finalist that year.  Her second novel for younger readers, A Most Magical Girl (2016) won the Readings Children’s Fiction Prize 2017 and was CBCA shortlisted. Her much anticipated fifth novel, Lenny’s Book of Everything (2018), was awarded the CBCA Book of the Year: Older Readers 2019 Notable. karen

Karen lives in South East Queensland with her daughter and several animals, including two wicked parrots, who frequently eat parts of her laptop when she isn’t looking.

Michelle Worthington is an international award-winning author and business woman.Michelle W Two-time winner of the International Book Award and finalist in the USA Best Book Awards, Michelle also received a Gellett Burgess Award and a Silver Moonbeam Award for her contribution to celebrating diversity in literature.  Michelle was the recipient of the 2018 AusMumpreneur Gold Award for Business Excellence and the winner of the 2018 Redlands BaR award for Best Start Up Business.

​Michelle is also a real life book fairy. Her magic powers include turning coffee into award-winning books. As Founder of Share Your Story Australia, she waves her wand to coach aspiring authors and illustrators all over the world achieve their dreams of publication. Whether she’s a fairy, a mermaid, a pirate or an elf, Michelle celebrates empowering readers and storytellers to dream big.

Growing up Running wild as a child in far-north tropical Queensland; building treehouses in huge fig trees; fighting vicious pirates in the local jungle  rainforest (à la Swiss Family Robinson) inevitably led to Sheryl Gwyther’s love of storytelling. 

Sheryl Gwyther image resized Her published work includes novels for 10-14 year olds, Secrets of Eromanga (Lothian Books) and Sweet Adversity (HarperCollins Australia), numerous chapter books, and nineteen short stories and school plays in The School Magazine (a fact she’s still chuffed about). 

Sheryl’s awards include two Australian Society of Authors Mentorships, two May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Fellowships, a SCBWI International Work-of-Outstanding-Progress Grant and a CBCA 2019 Notables award both for her novel, Sweet Adversity.

Sheryl is the current SCBWI QLD advisor (ARA).

Jacqui Halpin, SCBWI QLD’s Assistant to the ARA, is a former registered nurse, tuckshop convenor, and now author. Herjacqui-halpin-australian-childrens-author passion for children’s literature started when reading bedtime stories to her children. They outgrew their childhood books but Jacqui never did. In fact, she was determined to write her own.

Jacqui writes picture books, junior fiction and middle grade fiction. Her short stories appear in The School Magazine and anthologies by Stringybark Publishing and Creative Kids’ Tales. Parmesan the Reluctant Racehorse, Jacqui’s first picture book, (Little Pink Dog Books 2017) is illustrated by John Phillips. Her second, Where’s Lucky? (Little Pink Dog Books 2019) – based on an orphaned swamp wallaby at a wildlife shelter and illustrated by Sandra Severgnini – was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Awards Australia 2019.

Jacqui has co-written and independently published her elderly father’s memoir, A Long Way from Misery, as she believes in preserving the tales of Australia’s older generations. While writing and editing Jacqui loves to sip tea from fine china and eat copious amounts of chocolate. jacqui

Angela Sunde, Gold Coast’s Coordinator for SCBWI QLD, spent her childhood jumping puddles and climbing trees in her family’sASunde.2b.WEB.Hi vast orchard on the outskirts of Auckland, New Zealand. An award-winning language and literacy teacher, Angela is the author/illustrator of the coming-of-age comedy Snap Magic, author of Pond Magic (Penguin), and illustrator of The Coral Sea Monster – National Winner, Write-a-Book-in-a-Day Award 2011.

Awarded a May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Fellowship (2013), and an Illustrator Residency at Pinerolo Children’s Book Cottage (2014), Angela is also a writing judge, editor and speaker. Through her workshops and presentations she enjoys sharing the secrets to finding humour and magic in daily life.

Ann Harth

Ann Harth, Far North Queensland’s Coordinator for SCBWI QLD, is the author of many published children’s books and short stories and is committed to creating children’s literature that inspires, entertains and encourages a tiny twist in the mind. She works from her tropical Kuranda home as a developmental editor and writing mentor. 

Ever-emerging author Alison I-Think-I-Can Stegert suspects she can write—so she does. And she loves every minute. In her ten-year kidlit career, she has earned less than $100, almost won awards, acquired and farewelled a New York literary agent, re-rewritten five fun MG novels, and published AliSexactly zero books to much acclaim—and even more wonder!

But amidst the ticker tape of crumpled drafts, agents’ rejections, and editors’ sorry-but-nos, she has grasped the true treasure of the kidlit world: its tribe of beautiful, brilliant souls who are now her dear friends. Ali has found her passion, which is building creative community, sharing a decade’s worth of  insights, expertise, and contacts, not to mention resilience and wisdom to help aspiring and emerging kidlit authors and illustrators on their way, and cheering like a wild thing when they succeed.

Ali has been active in SCBWI – QLD since 2015, first as Sheryl Gwyther’s minion assistant, then as Grand Poobah coordinator of the SCBWI QLD Sunshine Coast sub-branch. In 2020, she steps up to party with coordinate the Queensland branch of SCBWI with its freaky mega-cluster of kid-literary superstars and yet-to-be-discovered talent. She’s looking forward to fun times ahead—and some long overdue book contracts, of course.

Dimity Powell loves filling every spare moment with words. She is the Managing EditorD POWELL Author Pic Low Res May 2018 (4) for Kids’ Book Review and writes and reviews exclusively for children with over 28 published stories. If kids’ stories were ice cream, picture books would be her favourite flavour. She’s even churned out a few of her own including The Fix-It Man, (2017), At the End of Holyrood Lane, (2018) – SCBWI Crystal Kite 2019 Australia NZ Award winner, Pippa, (2019) and Oswald, (2021). She’s been the Roving Reporter Coordinator for SCBWI’s Sydney Conferences and enjoys sharing her love of story in front of crowds of very small and tall people. It says on her website,, so it must be true. Dimity lives around the corner from Bat Man on the Gold Coast although they rarely hang out. Such are the lives of authors and superheroes.

Richard Yaxley’s first YA novel, Drink the Air (Strictly Literary) won the 2010 Richard YQueensland Premier’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. This was followed by Joyous and Moonbeam (2013 Omnibus), short-listed for the 2014 West Australian Premier’s Literary Award in Young Adult FictionThis Is My Song (2017 Omnibus), finalist in the Queensland Literary Awards and winner of the 2018 Prime Minister’s Award for Young Adult Literature; and The Happiness Quest (2018 Omnibus), listed as a CBCA Notable book for 2019.

Richard’s next book, to be published in February 2020, is A New Kind of Everything (Omnibus). His short stories, poems and plays have been included in educational texts such as ShortsShort Shorts and No Big Dramas (John Wiley & Son). A past recipient of a May Gibbs Creative Time Fellowship and an Australian Council Literature Grant for the development of new work, in 2011 Richard was honoured with an Order in the Medal of Australia (OAM) for services to education, literature and the performing arts.