I went to another successful SCBWI meeting on Wednesday night. It was a cool chance to catch up with fellow children book lovers. Plus you got the latest news in the small-big world of publishing. Chris Cheng and Susanne Gervay spoke about the upcoming SCBWI conference in September. They’ve snapped up some huge names in overseas publishing, so it’s worthwhile coming along with a few ideas and books up your sleeves. However, you don’t want to tackle these publishers down and force-feed them your manuscript (especially if it’s a thick one hehe). Chatting to publishers shouldn’t be like walking on a tightrope. I remember approaching a few at festivals and other events, nervous as anything! Instead of trying to jump on them, I just chatted to them, hoping that they’ll be interested in what you’re writing and doing. If they’re keen, then they’ll make the move. But that’s the thing is it, what if they don’t? Well, don’t think about that hehe 🙂

I know that’s easy to say with a book cooking in the oven, but trust me on this one. Just be confident to be yourself. Good stories will find themselves on the shelves.

There are plenty of ways to attract publishers. Conferences such as the SCBWI and CYA later alligator have pitching sessions, manuscript assessments and first page competitions. If you offer something outstanding and different, the publishers will come to you 🙂

I remember winning that first page competition back in 2007, speaking to many kind people such as James Roy and Leonie Tyle. They gave me their cards, with some valuable advice. While it didn’t lead to instant publication, they recognised Lengy way back then. And that was more than enough to spur myself on!



About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree


  1. Sandy Fussell says:

    20/02/10 @ 12:55 pm 

    That’s excellent advice Oliver. Conferences like SCBWI that offer pitch or assessment opportunities are one place you can get in front of a publisher without feeling awkward or that you are harrassing them. Who would pass up an opportunity like that? I know I didn’t and like you, found I had taken a very important step on the path to eventual publication. 🙂 Sandy PS Looking forward to Thia-riffic. Not long now.

  2. Aresa Chang says:

    21/02/10 @ 11:08 pm 

    Hi Oliver:
    You are right, “Just be confident to be yourself. Good stories will find themselves on the shelves.” Looking forward to “Thai-riffic” too.

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