Forest for the Trees: Writers and Publishing in 2016

Past Event

Friday, 20 May 2016 - 10am to 4:30pm

Forest for the Trees is a one-day seminar looking at the current state of publishing in Australia. It brings together writers, publishers and industry representatives to discuss prospects for authors in 2016. 

Spoken word poet and author Maxine Beneba Clarke (Foreign Soil) and crime writer Candice Fox (Hades) talk about the challenges of maintaining a career as a writer. Publishers discuss the opportunities for international sales and authors debate the value of independent publishing platforms.

The conversation will cover mainstream, digital and independent publishing and end with a panel of industry experts who will shine some light on the year ahead. Forest for the Trees gives an industry perspective on the outlook for the writing world in 2016. 

My Path Through the Forest (10:00 - 10:45am)

A writer's life entails much more than just getting words on the page. Maxine Beneba Clarke is a slam poet, journalist and the author of the short story collection Foreign Soil. Her memoir, The Hate Race, will be published this year. She takes us through what she has learned so far and her plans for 2016.

Making Tracks (10:45 - 11:30am)

Maxine Beneba Clarke talks to award-winning crime author Candice Fox (Hades, Eden, Fall) about her experience of getting published, successfully writing crime in Australia, and being asked to co-author a novel with the world’s biggest selling author, James Patterson.

Trailblazing (11:45 - 12:45pm)

Four authors talk about the different platforms they have used to reach their readers. Sarah Gates (Love Elimination) had 9.5 million views of her first novel on online reading platform Wattpad, Rosie Waterland (The Anti-Cool Girl) hooked a book deal after blogging about The Bachelor, Graham Wilson (Old Balmain House) published two series with ebook distributor Smashwords, and Ber Carroll (Once Lost) has been published internationally by a mainstream publisher as well as successfully self-publishing. 

Going Further Afield (12:45 - 1:45pm)

Which Australian works sell internationally and where? How do you get your work sold overseas? What are the opportunities and hurdles? Random House rights manager Nerrilee Weir explores the options with Ira Silverberg, senior editor at Simon & Schuster New York, Katharina Ebinger, editor-in-cheif at German publishing house Gabriel and Thienemann Verlag and Garth Nix, internationally bestselling Australian author. 

If a Tree Falls (2:30 - 3:30pm)

There are many ways beyond the printed or digital word for authors to connect with readers. Our panelists talk audio and how authors can take advantage of this medium: in person, on radio, via podcasts or through audiobooks. David Hunt, author of Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia.

For information and bio's on speakers please visit;


Presented with the NSW Writers’ Centre. 

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