Visiting International Publishers (VIPs) Program
Applications are now closed.
Applications close: 31 October 2019
Notification: Late November 2019
Event dates: 27 April – 1 May 2020
About the opportunity
Applications are now open for participation in the 2020 Visiting International Publishers (VIPs) program, held in conjunction with the Sydney Writers’ Festival from 27 April – 3 May.
The VIPs program strengthens relationships between Australian publishers and agents and their international counterparts, showcases Australia’s literary talent, and promotes the sale of rights to Australian titles in international markets.
The program supports a delegation of international publishers, scouts and literary agents to travel to Australia to participate in an intensive week-long schedule of business meetings, networking events, industry forums, bookstore visits, writers’ festival events, and panel discussions with Australian publishers and agents. It provides them with the opportunity to immerse themselves in Australia’s unique literary culture, share insights into global publishing trends, and expand opportunities for Australian authors overseas.
The program includes two full days of book-fair-style meetings in which Australian publishers and agents will pitch their titles to the visiting publishers.
Who should apply
We are looking for international publishers, editors, rights managers, literary agents and scouts, who are actively acquiring titles and authors; interested in Australian writing; and prepared to offer insights into their own markets.
Applications from all territories are welcome, although preference will be given to the Australia Council’s priority regions of North America (Canada and the US); Europe; South and South East Asia (India, Indonesia and Singapore); and North Asia (mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and the Republic of Korea).
Applications from candidates with a focus on First Nations writing are strongly encouraged.
Submissions from literary agents, scouts and publishers who specialise in children’s literature are also strongly encouraged.
The Australia Council will provide accommodation, some meals at official VIPs functions, and the following support for travel:
- $2,500 to support attendees from Europe and North America.
- $2,000 to support attendees from South and South East Asia, and North Asia.
Delegates will be responsible for all other costs associated with attendance.
Further details will be provided to VIPs on invitation.
Potential VIPs need to work with titles in the areas of fiction, narrative non-fiction, poetry or children’s books (i.e. creative writing).
Publishers primarily involved in educational or reference books, self-help books, cookbooks, and/or other non-literary titles will not be considered. Self-publishers, printers and distributors are not eligible for the program.
VIPs alumni are eligible to apply again five years after their last attendance.
Please also check the general eligibility requirements on the Australia Council website.
You are required to address the following in your application:
- Provide your job title
- Provide the name of your publishing house or agency
- Provide a link to your organisation’s website which lists your titles
- List your top three genre specialities or principal areas of interest
- Provide a brief biography and work history, including key writers published/ represented (max 300 words). If you are selected for the program, this will be published on the Australia Council website. Please provide your biography in the same format as previous participants in the program (see here for examples).
- Outline any of your current links with the Australian market (including international rights bought/sold and Australian writers published/represented), and explain what you hope to gain from your participation in the program.
- Confirm whether you are available to travel to Sydney from 27 April – 1 May 2020
- Confirm your attendance on those dates has been granted by your employer
- Confirm that you are a confident English speaker and provide two examples of public speaking experience at industry facing events
- Detail whether you have participated in VIPs previously, and in which year/s
- Advise how you came to hear about the VIPs program.
Australian agents and/or publishers may write letters in support of your participation in the 2020 VIPs program. Letters of support should explain how your participation will benefit the program.
You may include up to three letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page.
Letters of support are not mandatory however this material may provide a better sense of your fit for the program and are strongly recommended.
No other supporting material is required. Please do not attach additional supporting material to your application.
You are not required to submit a budget with your application.
The VIPs Committee, comprising representatives from the Australian publishing industry, and Australia Council staff will consider applications against the selection criteria, and the framework below, and make recommendations to the Australia Council.
We are looking for a mix of representatives across the following:
- Publishers, rights managers, commissioning editors, literary agents and scouts
- Countries, with preference given to the Australia Council’s priority regions of North America, Europe, South and South East Asia, and North Asia
- Genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and children’s and young adult writing
- Emerging and established publishing houses
- Smaller and larger publishing houses
You will be informed of the outcome of your application by early December 2019. The Australia Council will announce a confirmed line-up of participants in early 2020.
Changes to grants payments
The way Australia Council grants payments are made has changed. Effective immediately, grant recipients will no longer send an invoice for payment of a grant. Instead, after you accept our offer of funding, we will pay your grant into your nominated bank account and send you a Recipient Created Tax Invoice (RCTI).
How to submit an application
Click on the ‘Apply Now' button at the bottom of this page. Applications must be submitted via the Australia Council’s online Application Management System (AMS).
You will need to register for access to the AMS, instructions for how to do this can be found on the landing page once you have clicked on the ‘Apply Now’ button.
Make sure you register well before the closing date. It can take up to two business days to process your registration.
Please contact us at if you are unsure if you should register as an individual or on behalf of an organisation.
Applications to International Development funding opportunities do not count as an application to the Australia Council Grants Program.
If you are applying as an organisation, please specify the staff member(s) who will participate in this activity as part of your application. If this changes, please notify us as early as possible as this may affect the status of your application.
To discuss your application, please contact Karen Le Roy, International Market Adviser – North America on +61 2 9215 9154 or firstname.lastname@example.org.