Award-winning designer and communication design lecturer Ally Crimp, who has worked on a range of titles for publishers including Fremantle Press, highlighted the importance of getting covers right for the genre and age group.
"Resist the urge to make everything stand out or you will have everything competing with each other," she said. Designers also needed to consider the rule of thirds and remember that in today's digital marketplace covers were a thumbnail preview so the title must be strong.
Debut authors Kelly Canby and Kylie Howarth shared their publishing stories. Both have a background in graphic design however they agreed working on their first picture book releases was a learning experience.
Kylie revealed that much of the texture used in her colourful illustrations for Fish Jam was created with her young children in the backyard and these processes had proved useful during school visits. "I hadn't realised the book would have this afterlife," she said.
Kelly said she had a clear vision of how she wanted All the Lost Things to look and created a detailed style guide but the publisher preferred the original sketches in the dummy submitted to her agent.
"At this point I put my trust in the process and it was the best thing I did because it freed me up and I started to play with the illustrations," she said.
The event was also a chance to celebrate Raewyn Caisley and Karen Blair's Crystal Kite Award for their picture book Hello From Nowhere and Meg McKinlay's Queensland Premier's Literary Award for her YA novel A Single Stone.
New RA James Foley thanked outgoing RA Frané Lessac for her invaluable contribution to SCBWI over many years and noted her dynamic energy, spirit of fun and unstinting support of authors and illustrators.
The Louise Schofield Award, presented biennially for services to SCBWI Australia West, was presented to Teena Raffa-Mulligan.
James described Teena as a 'serial volunteer' and said she embodied the spirit of the award, which commemorates the memory of SCBWI friend and colleague Louise Schofield, who was a vibrant, active and dedicated member.
This was a fun and informative evening shared with colleagues and friends. If you missed it, keep an eye on our member newsletters for all the details of forthcoming events. Next up is our end-of-year Christmas gathering; jingle along and join us!