VIPs 2017 Full Program Details


Industry Forum – Wharf 2 Theatre, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

8.00am – 8.45am  Meet the Indies! An Introduction to Australian Independent Publishers

An early meet-and-greet recommended for smaller, independent and emerging publishers who would like to get to know the VIPs in an informal setting. Ideal for those who may not be ready to pitch in the 1:1 business meetings, or may not have participated in VIPs or book fairs previously. Anne Beilby, Rights Manager at Text Publishing will provide an introduction to the VIPs, along with Australia Council and APA representatives.

9.00am – 9.25am  Industry Forum Session 1 – Markets: China and Taiwan

What have we learnt from our publishing delegations to Taiwan, and what do we hope to learn from our upcoming delegation to China? What are the differences between the two markets, and what are the trends and challenges? Given our geographic proximity, how can we engage more fully with writers, publishers, and agents from both markets? Join our VIPS for this important discussion.

Panel: Gray Tan (TAIWAN), Yuan Nan (CHINA)

Facilitator: Nerrilee Weir (PRH Australia)

9.30am – 10.10am   Industry Forum Session 2 – Children’s & YA: The kids are alright

According to Nielsen BookScan Australia, in 2016 children’s and young adult titles represented 46% of overall book sales in Australia. Children’s books also took over from non-fiction titles as the highest selling genre, with four of the top ten titles written by Australian children’s and young adult authors. Is this demand matched internationally? A discussion of the latest international trends for children’s, middle-grade and young adult books, and the challenges and opportunities in each market.

Panel: Marta Hedener (SWEDEN), Arianne Lewin (USA), Monique Oosterhof (NETHERLANDS)

Facilitator: Angela Namoi (Allen & Unwin)

10.10am – 10.35am – BREAK

10.35am – 11.15am  Industry Forum Session 3 – Markets: India

The Indian book market is estimated to be the sixth largest in the world, and the second largest in terms of English-language publishing (after the US); trade publishing accounts for 30% of the overall Indian book market. What have we learnt from the Australia Council publishing delegations to India over the last three years, and what are the challenges and opportunities in both English-language and translation publishing?

Panel: Vatsala Kaul Banerjee (INDIA), Kannan Sundaram (INDIA), Gita Wolf (INDIA)

Facilitator: Fiona Henderson (VIPs Committee)

11.20am – 12.00pm  Industry Forum Session 4 – Fiction or alternative


How much of an impact do current events have on trends in fiction titles? Is a desire for ‘truth’, or a perceived gap in the current offer of literary fiction, increasing the demand for memoir? Do great works of fiction really influence the public conversation? Our VIPs discuss trends, successes, and what’s working in their market.

Panel: Sarah Crichton (USA), Catherine Eccles (UK), Grace Menary-Winefield (USA), Adrian Searle (SCOTLAND)

Facilitator: Gaby Naher (VIPs Committee)

12.05pm – 12.30pm    Industry Forum Session 5 – Found in Translation

The 2016 Man Booker International Prize, for the English translation of Korean author Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, was the first time the prize was shared equally between the author and translator. Does this reflect a shift in attitudes towards literary translation? Has the huge success of this book impacted on the profile of translated literature more broadly? How does their own experience as literary translators influence the titles that our VIPs buy, sell and champion? Our VIPs discuss what makes a book universal, and the trends in translations for children’s, young adult and adult titles.

Panel: Giulia De Biase (ITALY), Päivi Koivisto-Alanko (FINLAND), Christian Rohr (GERMANY), Amy Marie Spangler (TURKEY)

Facilitator: Ivor Indyk (Giramondo Publishing)


VIPs Networking Lunch – Graze MCA – Museum of Contemporary Art, 149 George Street, The Rocks – $97 inc GST

1.00pm – 3.00pm 

Get to know the VIPs over a two-course lunch with drinks, while enjoying beautiful views across Circular Quay to the Opera House.


Focus Sessions – Wharf 2 Theatre, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

3.00pm – 3.50pm   Focus Session 1 – Indigenous Publishing: Banff Conference

In April this year, a delegation of Australian publishers and authors have been invited to attend the Indigenous Writing and Publishing Forum at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada. Members of the delegation will discuss their experience and the opportunities and challenges for publishing work by Australian Indigenous writers nationally and internationally.

Panel: Rachel Bin Salleh (Magabala Books), Jane Harrison (author), Robert Watkins (Hachette Australia)

Facilitator: Sandra Phillips (FNAWN)

4.00pm – 5.00pm  Focus Session 2 – Australia Council Research Update

The Australia Council will provide an overview of findings from the five year longitudinal evaluation of the VIPs program, conducted in 2016 to measure the impacts of the program on Australian publishers, agents and scouts. The session will also include an update on other current literature research projects.


VIPs Networking Drinks – The Gantry Bar, Pier One Sydney Harbour Hotel, 11 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

5.00pm – 7.00pm 

Join the VIPs for some casual networking drinks at The Gantry Bar, in the foyer area of the beautiful Pier One Sydney Harbour Hotel.



Business Meetings – Park Hyatt Hotel Sydney, 7 Hickson Road, The Rocks

9.30am – 5.00pm  1:1 half hour meetings with the VIPs



Business Meetings – Park Hyatt Hotel Sydney, 7 Hickson Road, The Rocks

9.30am – 5.00pm  1:1 half hour meetings with the VIPs


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