Due to planned maintenance, a number of eresources will be unavailable on Sunday 19 August. This includes Ancestry Library Edition, Ebooks and ProQuest.

Sydney Writers' Festival: Forest for the Trees - Writers and Publishing in 2018

Past Event

Thursday, 3 May 2018 - 10am to 4:30pm

Sydney Writers' Festival: Forest for the Trees - Writers and Publishing in 2018

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.


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. 

Break 11.30–11.45am

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.


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