Kim, Kat and I launched our books at CYA. Sheryl expertly introduced our session.

Kim, Kat and I launched our books at CYA. Sheryl expertly introduced our session.

Last Saturday, Letters to Leonardo had its Brisbane launch at the CYA conference. What a fantastic day it was.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to launch my book along with two other very talented writers, Kathryn Apel (This is the Mud) and Kim Miller (They told me I had to write this).

We had forty-five minutes to share the stories of our road to publication with the enthusiastic and supportive bunch of authors and illustrators at the conference.

"Letters to Leonardo" flew at the Brisbane launch

"Letters to Leonardo" flew at the Brisbane launch

Our session was expertly introduced by Sheryl Gwyther, and although there was a minor technical hitch (due to my ineptitude with large screens and lots of buttons), it was a fabulous experience.

All of us had an anecdote about how entering previous CYA writing competitions had assisted us on our journey.

For me, placing third at the inaugural CYA conference in 2006 in the YA section couldn’t have come at a better time. I was down on confidence as a writer, and the judges were so encouraging about my manuscript that it gave me the impetus to rework it and get it ‘out there’.

It was subsequently published by Walker Books who have been amazingly supportive all along the way.

We were on after Jackie French - a hard act to follow:-)

We were on after Jackie French - a hard act to follow:-)

Full credit to Tina, Ally and all the volunteers for another fabulous CYA conference. Jackie French was inspiring, Brian Falkner was motivating…and there were so many other inspiring speakers.

The food was great…and the enthusiasm and talent at the conference was palpable.

Can’t wait for next year.




  1. Hey Dee

    It was a pleasure to have your launch, and the support of Walker Books too at CYA Conference.

    CAn’t wait to actually get time to read Letters to Leonardo!

    Bye 4 now

  2. So lovely to be able to be a part of your and Leonardo’s journey! I never did get my copy signed, by the way (I’m hopeless) but it’s next on my reading list. I know you’re going to make me cry, so I’ll have to call up and berate you afterwards for it 🙂

  3. You will cry for sure, Kath. I did. It is a story that lingers in your mind even after you have read 3 other novels. Loved it.

  4. Heh Dee. Home again and playing katch-ups… (Wonder how long this game goes on for?!?!)

    It was so much fun sharing the launch – and the preparation and chatter beforehand! (Techno girls that we are!) Thanks for all your encouragement and support – and laughter!

    The CYA is a massive boost to Australian Children’s writers. How many writing competitions give precise feedback to every entrant? Not to mention the buzz of the conference! And the possibility of landing your manuscript on a publisher’s desk…

    A wonderful initiative of Tina, Ally and crew. xxxx

  5. I totally agree with you, Kat. CYA is a fantastic thing for Australian Children’s writers.

    Welcome back:-)


  6. I’m sorry Letters to Leonardo made you cry, Kat but it’s wonderful for me as a writer to know that my writing has meant something to a reader. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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