Posted by: Natalie Hatch | April 7, 2009

CYA conference and other resources.

Last year I had the great pleasure of attending the Childrens and Young Adult Writers conference (CYA) in Brisbane. Organised by the very bubbly Tina Clark, Ally Howard and their great crew, the CYA conference is held every year and brings together some of the best Childrens and Young Adult authors to share their knowledge and talents with the attendees.

I was able to sit in on sessions by writers like John Marsden (I KNOW! I was writing everything he said down at first and then I put my pencil down and just listened.  If you get a chance to meet him do so); Michael Pryor (seriously this guy is funny, ask him to act out one of his scenes); Paul Collins (Scifi guru, nothing more needs to be said); and Libby Gleeson (I’m amazed how she can write both children, middle grade and YA, talented lady).

Tina also brought in industry greats like editors Kate Cuthbert, Leonie Tyle and Kristina Schulz; as well as agent Tara Brown. Some were available for pitches (where you sit down and share you story and hopefully get great feedback or the offer to send in a partial).

Attending helped me get a better perspective of writing as a career and to see how others have struggled through the seemingly endless roadblocks that crop up. I came away from the conference refreshed and having made some great industry and personal contacts and would highly recommend attending if you can. It’s on the 12th September 2009 in Brisbane and runs in conjunction with the Brisbane Writers Festival.

There are Young Adult writers workshops throughout Australia and you can find information from your State Writers Centre.



  1. Nat, I have been checking this conference out. Even if I don’t have a ms – is it worth going to? Or is it primarily a networking event for writers?

  2. I would go just for the contacts you make, and the information you get from each of the workshops is worth it. I came away being able to fix a major mistake in my mss that I hadn’t taken into consideration. Once I fixed it the whole thing read soo much better. Plus you meet other writers and illustrators and it’s great to have time off from the world to concentrate on your passion.
    And besides I’ll be there, along with Tina, Ally and a whole team of great people. Come and hang out. LOL

  3. I saw John Marsden speak last year at CYA and it was fab just for that. Listening to other writers talk is great for your own creativity well and I always pick up some little morsel that helps me with my writing and makes the day completely worthwhile.

  4. Hi gals! Just swinging by to wish you a belated congratulations on the launch of your fabbo new blog. I’ve been away and off email for a few days so I missed the actual party. Hope there’s still some champagne in the fridge for me! I think this is going to be a great blog and it’s lovely to see so many wonderful people getting together to talk about wonderful YA romance! Good luck!

  5. Great to see you here Amy and Anna.

  6. I’d love to be able to go to CYA one year. But it’s always right after the RWA conference, and funds are slim…

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