All posts by BookLinksQldInc

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 Write Links is a group for Queensland writers and illustrators of children’s books, published and unpublished, who meet monthly.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

Jackie French and James Moloney in Conversation





Tuesday 2 June 2020 6:00 PM at ZOOM Online

In this session Jackie French and James Moloney will be talking about the challenges of introducing Holocaust education to young readers.

Jackie French is the patron of Book Links and the 2014-15 Australian Children’s Laureate, 2015 Senior Australian of the Year, Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to literature as an author of children’s books, and as an advocate for improved youth literacy. Her novel Hitler’s Daughter won the CBCA Book of the Year: Younger Readers in 2000 and she followed that up with Pennies for Hitler in 2012 and Goodbye Mr Hitler in 2017.  In this series of novels Jackie poses the question ‘Do things that happened a long time ago still matter?’

Brisbane author, James Moloney, is one of Australia’s leading writers for children and young adults. He has published more than forty books across the age range from seven to seventeen and most recently a best seller for adults titled The Love That I Have. His YA novels, Dougy, Gracey and A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove received wide critical acclaim with the latter winning the CBCA Book of the Year Award. He has also written popular fantasies, notably The Book of Lies and the Silvermay Sagas. It is The Love That I Have which brings him to this forum. Equally suited to YA readers, the novel is set in a concentration camp during the final year of WWII and shows that the horror of Nazism wasn’t focussed solely on the Jews.

You may also wish to read some of their books prior to the event. Books may be ordered online from Riverbend Books who will be offering 10% discount for this event.

To register click here.
To participate, we ask you to make a tax deductible donation to Book Links as you register. We send the Zoom event link and password on the day of the event.

Book Links Mentorship 2020






In 2020 Book Links is again offering a mentorship 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.


  • 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.

How to apply

  • Pay the $15 application fee via Trybooking (+ .50 booking fee) by clicking here
  • Submit your work via email

How to submit

Please submit the following in a single pdf or Word document, via email to with the Subject line MENTORSHIP2020

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.

Include a cover page with Full name, address, phone number, email address, Trybooking ID (Found on the booking confirmation page)

Applications must be received by 9pm, 31 July

A longlist will be forwarded to the mentor who will make the final selection.

After the winner is announced Saturday 19 October, the mentor Robyn Sheahan Bright will then read the entire work (s) written by the successful applicant, and write an appraisal. She will engage with the applicant by phone, email or face-to-face for approximately 12 hours in order to offer advice regarding the development of the manuscript. She will offer advice not only on the manuscript but also on publishing prospects and avenues.

The Mentor

Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright has operated Justified Text Writing and Publishing Consultancy Services since 1997, and is widely published in children’s literature, Australian fiction and publishing history. She has judged literary awards, mentored and offered editorial advice to writers, lectured in writing and publishing courses, and regularly assesses post-graduate creative writing theses for several universities.

Robyn writes both teachers’ notes and reading group notes for major publishers. She was inaugural director of and is a Life Member of the Queensland Writers’ Centre, and was co-founder of Jam Roll Press. Her publications include Paper Empires: A History of the Book in Australia (1946–2005) (2006) co-edited with Craig Munro. She has been Program Manager of the APA’s biennial Residential Editorial Program since 1999. She is President of the IBBY Australia Committee, and a member of the Board of the Australian Children’s Literature Alliance. She was recipient of the CBCA’s Nan Chauncy Award in 2012, and of the QWC’s Johnno Award in 2014.

Support your local book shops

Maybe you have a backlog of books to plough though while you are home, but with public libraries closed and most bookshops too, how do you lay your hands on the latest books?  Look no further than you local bookshops where you can order online and have them delivered. Many of these are Book Links supporters offering discounts, though I must admit not sure how that works for online orders. All have great children’s books in stock.

  • A Lot of Books (Ipswich) is offering free delivery on orders $50 and over.
  • Books@Stones (Stones Corner) is still open with normal opening times and offering free delivery to anywhere in Australia for all purchases over $30, until 30 April and free same delivery to Postcodes 4120, 4121, 4102, 4103, 4151, 4152 and 4169 if orders are placed by 3pm.
  • The Library Shop (SLQ) is offering free domestic shipping on all orders over $10.
  • The Little Book Nook (Palmwoods) You can order online, but still has a postage cost. Can order online (Click & Collect) and pick up at shop.
  • The Mad Hatters Bookshop is currently offering free delivery in our local area (Wynnum Manly & surrounding suburbs) on orders over $30.
  • Riverbend Books (Bulimba) Is offering tap ‘n’ go drive-through books—simply order over the phone or online and collect your books from the car park without even getting out of the car! Free delivery for 4171, 4170 & 4005. Free postage AUS wide on orders over $50.
  • Where the Wild Things Are attached to Avid Reader (West End) is offering free shipping on all orders in surrounding suburbs and free shipping nationally for all orders over $50. Now offering a drive by pickup service.

Also check out the Book Links Menu under Programs – Children and YA  to find resources for Young Writers and Illustrators, Writing Competitions and Reading and Listening Resources. The latter includes links to online stories and other resources.  Don’t miss the free digital book called Coronavirus: A book for children illustrated by Axel Scheffler of Gruffalo fame.