What a great day at the NSW Writer's Centre yesterday. Some very informative panels and best of all, a chance to catch up with my friends in the writing industry. Here's some inside tips from what the professionals had to say.

* 'Be passionate and put a huge chunk of yourself into your writing.' Di Bates

* 'Follow writers that you truly love. In those books you will discover who you are as a writer.' 
Moya Simons

* If you want to write for children 'Listen to kids and what they like. Read what they read.' 
Belinda Murrell

* 'You can't manufacture inspiration. It comes in a bolt from the blue.' Kate Forsyth

Publishers & Agents
On what publishers are looking for and whether they follow trends.

*  'I acquire books I love. (It's about) the writing, the freshness of the story, the voice. It's how the story is told.' Lisa Berryman - Harper Collins

* It's not about following a trend 'It's about being a trendsetter. It all comes down to the writing. It needs to be something special.' Sue Whiting - Walker Books Australia

* 'Find the stories that do something different with the trend.' Zoe Walton - Random House 

* 'The Picture Book market is the toughest it's ever been. It's highly competitive.' Brian Cook - The Manuscript Agency

Publishers were also interested in the author themselves.

* Market yourself and have a presence on the Internet because 'Everyone gets googled.' Brian Cook

* Publishers ask 'Has this author got more than 1 book. What is the future for this author because you invest a lot in marketing.' Sue Whiting

* It's about 'growing the author.' Lisa Berryman

'So much is about finding the right person, the right publisher for you.' Zoe Walton

Happy writing,