Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

First Page First Look 2018

First Page First Look 2018


First Impressions Matter!

When an editor or agent opens your submission, are you enticing them to turn that first page, or set it aside and move on?

Here’s your chance to gain valuable insight into how your work comes across on that all-important first look.

During this session, our panel of industry professionals will offer ‘first impression’ critiques of unpublished first pages and illustrations, articulating and explaining the responses they would have if considering your submission from the slush-pile.

All work will be presented and critiqued anonymously. Members wishing to participate should submit either a first page or sample illustrations for the panel to review. Although this event is open to the public, submission is restricted to SCBWI West members only. You may submit one page OR an illustration sample; please do not submit both. Please note that work must be previously unpublished, including self-publishing.

Please be aware that if your submission is reviewed by the panel, it will be projected – anonymously – in its entirety onto a screen for all attendees to view. This will be a maximum of 70 people, including both SCBWI members and the public.

Due to time constraints, the panel will be unable to consider all material submitted and a selection process will be involved; however, whether or not your own work is assessed, there are valuable insights to be gained from observing the critique process.

Where and When

Date: Saturday 9 June, 2018

Time: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Venue: Great Southern Room, 4th floor, State Library of WA (take lift to level 3, then stairs to level 4).

Meet the Panel

Read on to meet our talented publishing guests.

Susannah Chambers

Susannah Chambers is a Commissioning Editor of books for children and young adults at Allen & Unwin Publishers.

She has worked with some of Australia’s best, and best-loved, authors and illustrators – including Maureen McCarthy, Andrew McGahan, Heidi McKinnon, Philip Bunting, Chris McKimmie, Lili Wilkinson and Lian Tanner.

In 2014 she was the recipient of the Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellowship. Her first picture book The Snow Wombat (Illustrated by Mark Jackson) was published in 2016, and it was shortlisted for a Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award, Early Childhood in 2017.

Susannah will be joining us for the Mainland events and the Rottnest Retreat.

Suzanne O'Sullivan

Suzanne O’Sullivan is Publisher of Children’s Books at Hachette Australia.

Suzanne publishes books for children of all ages. The best moments in her job are when she reads a manuscript or sees an illustration that transports her as vividly as the books she loved growing up used to do.

Recently, Suzanne has ventured into the fantastical world of Nevermoor with Jessica Townsend, caught some waves with Mary van Reyk’s Surf Riders Club, and met a very small girl with a very big imagination in Lisa Shanahan and Binny’s Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee.

Suzanne is particularly keen to find more illustrators, as well as authors of junior and middle-grade fiction, whether it’s a serious, insightful novel or a silly story that makes kids laugh.

Suzanne will be joining us for the Mainland events and the Rottnest Retreat.

Cate Sutherland

Cate Sutherland is the Children’s Publisher at Fremantle Press. She refers to her job as ‘taking care of all children’s books for babies through to young adults’.

She’s been known to bake the occasional cake in the Fremantle Press kitchen and the smell of apple tea cake wafting down the hallway guarantees a full house at the monthly staff meeting. Sometimes the staff meeting is over before the cake is cooked.

Cate will be joining us for the Mainland events.

How to Book and Submit Material

To reserve your seat at this event, go to the Mainland Event Bookings page.

If you are interested in submitting work to be critiqued on the night (SCBWI members only), please mark your interest when booking, then download the submission guidelines for further details. Work which does not adhere to these guidelines will not be considered.

You must attend the event for your work to be eligible.

This event will be advertised widely and capacity is limited; early bookings are recommended.