All posts by BookLinksQldInc

The Children’s Book Industry and Covid-19 Plus the AGM








Book Links (QLD) Inc. will hold its 2020 AGM on Saturday 17 October 2020 beginning with a presentation by Pauline McLeod on the topic The Children’s Book Industry and Covid-19 from 2:00 pm and from 3:00 pm the announcement of the winner of the Book Links Mentorship with Dr Robyn Sheahan Bright and the AGM.

This will be a ZOOM session so anyone interested is welcome to join us.

In the session Pauline McLeod will look at how the publishing industry has managed the COVID-19 situation and what it has meant for children’s books sales globally and locally. She will discuss the Australian Children’s Book Industry best sellers; the Riverbend Books best sellers and what trends are predicted for 2021.

Pauline McLeod is the Children’s and YA Literature Specialist at Riverbend Books, Bulimba.  A Teacher-Librarian and former English and History teacher, for over a decade Pauline was a co-coordinator of UQ Library’s award-winning school outreach program UQL Cyberschool. She holds a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature and Graduate Diplomas in Secondary Education and Teacher-Librarianship. She has a special interest in YA fiction and is passionate about promoting and encouraging Australian stories, particularly through working with schools and teacher-librarians. In 2015 Pauline was awarded the ABA Elizabeth Riley Fellowship for Children’s Bookselling. Pauline was the Queensland judge for the 2019 Older Reader’s category of the CBCA awards and is a committee member of LoveYA for the Brisbane Writer’s Festival.

This is a free event and we hope you can join us and stay on for the AGM and the announcement of the winner of the Book Links Mentorship with Dr Robyn Sheahan Bright.

RSVP: please book this free event online

Calling for applicants

While all members are welcome to nominate for any positions on the Book Links committee at our upcoming AGM, we are specifically looking to fill the positions of Secretary and Membership Secretary. Unfortunately, our current Secretary, Liane McDermott, who held both these positions is unable to continue in these roles.

Being a part of the Book Links committee provides a wonderful opportunity to work behind the scenes of the Queensland Centre for Children’s Literature, to network with a broad range of aspiring and published authors and illustrators, publishers and agents, and teachers/librarians; as well make a value contribution to children’s literature in Queensland.

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in fulfilling the Secretary and/or Membership Secretary positions. If you would like more information on either or both of these roles, please don’t hesitate to contact our current president Jenny Stubbs

Zooming online

On Thursday 20 August there was a huge turnout for our first online Romancing the Stars event showcasing Sunshine Coast authors, but with guest appearances from other areas. Our twelve stars joined us from Canada, France, ACT and QLD, while the participants came from as far away as Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore, joining many from VIC, NSW and QLD.


Over 100 people tuned in as Voices on the Coast Director Kelly Dunham managed to keep it all flowing and pose the questions submitted by participants. The groups of authors introduced their latest books and shared some insights into their creation and what we might expect next. It was a great opportunity for so many people to discover new authors and new books.

Books from the authors are still available from The Little Book Nook at Palmwoods.

Feedback was positive, with many saying the online option allowed them to attend this event.  Many planned to watch the recording we made, now on YouTube.

“A feat of co-ordination. Fast paced and fun.”

“I truly loved being a part of this wonderful event. It’s been great to watch the recording of the authors I missed – and now have a long list of books to buy when I get back to Australia.” Michelle Kadarusman

On Sunday 23 August a number of young people took part in our first online workshops using ZOOM. The morning workshop was with Brian Falkner who managed to keep the group engaged in writing.

“I thought Brian did such an amazing job. I loved seeing his quizzes and interaction.”

The afternoon workshop was with Lucia Masciullo who helped the children create a curious creature using cutout shapes and some tricky colouring using pastel and oil.



  Many thanks to Yvonne Mes for managing both events for our young creators.

Book Links Mentorship closing date extended






The closing date for the Book Links Mentorship has been extended from 31 July to 30 August 2020. It is open to Book Links members.

Applicants are invited to submit a synopsis and the first two chapters or first 6000 words, of a work of fiction for either junior or YA readers, or 2 picture book manuscripts.

The mentorship will provide the winner with the opportunity to develop their early draft manuscript to a publishable standard with a professional mentor. Applications will be assessed on literary and artistic merit and developmental potential.

  • The mentorship is valued at $1000.
  • The mentor is Robyn Sheahan Bright.
  • Entry fee is $15 +.50 cents Trybooking booking fee


  • You must have a completed manuscript which is not under consideration by any publishers.
  • Open to current financial members of Book Links Qld Inc.  If you are not a member and would like to join, click here.
  • Applications from emerging writers who have not yet published in book form, or who have published no more than two manuscripts via traditional publication, will be accepted.

For more information about the mentorship and how to apply read this information.

Join or renew your Book Links membership today!

Writers, Illustrators, Teachers, Librarians and Parents

Join or renew your Book Links membership today!

Just click HERE to pay online

Being a Book Links member connects you with a wide range of resources, networks, events and opportunities in the children’s literature sector.

As a member, you will receive:

1.     Great discounts on all our events, including Romancing the Stars, the Narelle Oliver Lecture, StoryArts Brisbane Conference and children’s writing and illustrating workshops

2.     Discounts on purchases with our local bookshop partners – A Lot of Books Ipswich, Big B Books Burleigh, Books@Stones, Riverbend Books, Little Gnome, The Book Warehouse, The Library Shop, The Little Book Nook Palmwoods, Under the Greenwood Tree, Mt Tamborine

3.     Regular newsletters including information on upcoming events and opportunities

4.     Priority booking for Travelling suitcases. These suitcases are filled with interesting items used by Queensland children’s authors and illustrators to create a book, and are designed to be the basis of programming ideas and activities which will give children an experience of how a book is created.

5.     Professional Development and support at Write Links meet-ups. Write Links is a group for Queensland writers and illustrators of children’s books, published and unpublished, who meet monthly. We network, share information, critique each other’s work, motivate and cheer each other on in working towards our personal writing goals. A variety of professional development sessions also take place each month.

6. The opportunity to submit your writing for a Book Links Mentorship, valued at $1000 and closing at the end of July. More information.

I have been able to meet some exceptional writers for children such as Karen Foxlee, Isobel Carmody and Jackie French. June Perkins

Write Links has been paramount in my success as a children’s author. I now have two traditionally published picture books, and stories published in The School Magazine. Jacqui Halpin

I have borrowed Kerry Argent’s travelling suitcase. What a thrill to discover her story boards, cover illustrations, dialogue with editors, even the paper and paints she uses and more. Linda Murray

I have had the opportunity to network, share industry information and tips, flex my creative muscles through writing and illustrating exercises, learn from professional development, have my work critiqued in a supportive environment, be encouraged by fellow creatives and develop great friendships. Rebecca Sheraton

Read more on what our members say

Book Links and Write Links meetings

Book Links meetings are usually held on the first Saturday of the month starting at 10:30am at a meeting room in the State Library of Qld or via zoom. The meetings are followed by Write Links (Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group) from 1:00pm until 5:00pm. Zoom is now providing opportunities for regional people to participate.

The membership joining fee per calendar year is $20 personal membership, $30 family membership, and a scale of fees for corporate members depending on the size of the institution (ranging from $20 – $100).

You can now join, or renew your membership online using the Try Booking tool, just click HERE to pay online using a credit card. 

Alternatively, you can still download a form to send in.
Membership Application Form (doc)
Membership Application Form (PDF)

Please post to: Book Links Qld. Inc, c/- Queensland Writers Centre, PO Box 3488, South Brisbane QLD 4101 (NOTE: our office is not currently being  checked for mail until after restrictions are lifted for office workers at State Library of Queensland.)
or email

Don’t forget to also check out book reviews, interviews, book lists and competitions at our other section
Story Links.


Jackie French and James Moloney in Conversation








Well-known Australian author, historian and Book Links patron, Jackie French spoke with author James Moloney on the importance of Holocaust education, or as James put it Holocaust awareness. Both are award-winning authors who have written books set against the harsh backdrop of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was eighty years ago. James posed the question, ‘Why is it still relevant today?’

Jackie believes stories need to be retold to every generation or we lose them. Younger people don’t know who Hitler really was. So yes, we need to tell those stories because they should NOT be forgotten, just because they are in the past or because they are safely between the covers of a book.

‘How long does it take for something so horrific to be forgotten?’ James asks.

‘Only one lifetime.’ It’s one of the reasons Jackie writes about these difficult subjects. Humans are capable of great empathy, compassion and forgiveness. But children are not born with empathy, they need to learn it, and they can be taught it by books. Hatred is contagious, but so is kindness.

When asked by James about tolerance and acceptance, Jackie says it’s easy for us not to see, not to question. Every day we need to open our eyes to the things we don’t want to see. It’s easier to keep your own integrity when you’re with others who feel the same way, when you stand together. Like Book Links ~ it’s the links that matter, that make us strong. If we teach our children to be tolerant, they are less likely to be easily led by wrong ideas and hate.

Why do authors write books like Hitler’s Daughter and The Love That I Have when they know it’s going to be so hard on them emotionally?

For Jackie, it’s a story that’s biting the back of her neck. Jackie’s idea was based on true stories. Every character is based on a compilation of people and their stories. She always uses primary sources.

For James, something has fired him up, and it’s something he wants to put right. It’s like climbing a mountain, you need to be driven to keep going.  James wondered about the people who enabled this to happen. When researching for his book The Love That I Have, he read a lot of fiction and watched a lot of films on the Holocaust.

The challenge of Holocaust education is that the curriculum is already so full and teachers are busy. But for the power of story to be effective, we need to know about our past.

The vast majority of writing about the Holocaust is from the Jewish perspective but both Jackie’s and James’ books have non-Jewish protagonists. It provides a different point of view.

James asks, ‘Should we focus on the victim and the perpetrator, or the people in danger of being seduced by them?’ The focus has shifted in recent years to the people who carried out the evil, trying to understand why they did it. As he says, it’s more important to understand the butcher than the victim.

Jackie believes someone who is a victim or a perpetrator is always more than just that. So, don’t just focus on that part of who they are. Mr Hitler didn’t realise he was an ogre.

Jackie left us with comforting words. Remember we are the children of survivors. Cooperation and kindness are more powerful than hatred. Fitting words indeed for our time.

Blog: Jacqui Halpin

View the whole conversation on YouTube






Photos: Anna Byrd