Forest for the Trees 2016

Friday 20 May, 10am – 4.30pm

Metcalfe Auditorium, State Library of NSW

Purchase tickets here.

Forest for the Trees is a one-day seminar looking at the current state of publishing for Australian writers.  It brings together writers, publishers, and industry representatives to discuss what is happening 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 ending with a panel of industry experts to shine some light on the year ahead.

Forest for the Trees gives an industry perspective on where the writing world is in 2016.


10.00 – 10.45am  My Path Through the Forest

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 learnt so far and her plans for 2016. Listen to the audio.


10.45am – 11.30am Making Tracks

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 highest selling author, James Patterson.


Break 11.30am – 11.45am


11.45am – 12.45pm Trail Blazing

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 Wattpad, Rosie Waterland (Anti-Cool Girl) hooked a book deal after blogging about The Bachelor, Graham Wilson (Old Balmain House) published two series with Smashwords, and Ber Carroll (Once Lost) has been published internationally by a mainstream publisher as well as successfully self-publishing.


12.45am -1.45pm Going Further Afield

What Australian work sells internationally and where? How do you get your work sold overseas? What are the opportunities and hurdles? Nerrilee Weir, Rights Manager, Random House talks with international best-selling author Garth Nix; Ira Silverberg, Senior Editor, Simon & Schuster, New York; and Katharina Ebinger, Editor in Chief, Gabriel and Thienemann Verlag, Germany.


Lunch 1.45pm – 2.30pm


2.30 – 3.30pm If A Tree Falls

There are many ways beyond the printed or digital word for authors to connect with readers. These panelists talk audio and how authors can take advantage of this medium: in person, on radio, via podcasts or audiobooks. David Hunt author of Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia and the podcast Rum, Rebels & Ratbags talks with Ian Walker, Executive Producer, ABC First Run; Miles Merrill, Creative Director, Word Travels; and Matthew Gain, Head of Audible Australia and New Zealand.


3.30 – 4.30pm The Open Road

We all know publishing is facing challenges and that authors are struggling. But what are the opportunities, where are the new ideas about how to connect writers with readers and how can you make money from it? Publishing industry expert Emmett Stinson talks to author Maxine Beneba Clarke (Foreign Soil); TL Uglow, Creative Lab Director, Google; Zoe Dattner, Creative Director, Sleepers Publishing; and Lou Johnson, Co-Founder, The Author People.

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