Literary speed-dating – yikes!

Dear Rose,

Slightly against my better judgment, I have signed up for a Literary Speed Dating event at Wolvesthe end of June. Picture it – a room with editors and publishers sitting at desks, while lowly writers and wannabe-writers queue for their three minute pitch! Some writerly friends have assured me that it is not as terrifying as it sounds but it sounds akin to being surrounded by a pack of dire wolves who may or may not be on your side!

But the key to success with this, as with all things, is preparation. So I have been trying to internet stalk my list of preferred editors and publishers. This has proved somewhat difficult. If only editors and publishers had their own websites where they would say elfthings like I love stories about purple elves, 1500 words long, funny and heartfelt. Okay, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to write about purple elves (not that I have anything against purple elves) but if only I knew what they wanted, I’m sure I could give it to them!

Anyway, on the up-side there are actually four children’s publishers attending – and they’re big guns. Wait a minute…

Ok, just discovered a really cool way of internet-stalking…shh! If you google a person’s


Susannah Chambers      Commissioning Editor Allen & Unwin

image it brings up extra stuff that their name alone may not reveal. For instance, Susannah Chambers of Allen & Unwin who will be one of the guest editors is really into YA. I discovered this through her blog about a New York fellowship.


And I discovered through LinkedIn (I knew it would come in handy one of these days) that Hilary Rogers (below) from Hardie Grant Egmont really likes junior series -hmm!

Hilary Rogers

Hilary Rogers Publishing Director Hardie Grant Egmont



I have a junior series to pitch and a couple of picture book manuscripts. I also have a non-fiction picture book that I’ve been playing around with. Wish me luck!

Love Mum xo

PS. Hope you feel better soon 🙂




About Heather Gallagher

Heather lives in Ocean Grove with her beautiful family and a dog called Pip. She has a passion for quirky stories. Her first book, Ferret on the Loose, was published in 2013 and was recently listed on the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge. The book was inspired by a girl and her ferret, who Heather interviewed while working as a freelance journalist for The Sunday Age. Her column, Yak Attack, ran in the Kids View section for more than a year and allowed Heather to profile people she thought would be of interest to kids. In 2014, she released her first picture book Happy Pants – Why is mummy so sad? This is NOT a story about ferret racing. Rather, it is a heartfelt story about a boy grappling with his Mum’s post-natal depression. Heather’s stories for children have appeared in black dog books Short & Scary anthology and Explore and Challenge magazines. Heather has experience in public speaking – both for children and adults. While, promoting Happy Pants she spoke to groups of counsellors, nurses, parents and at library events. She has presented writing workshops to primary-aged children. Last year, she was a presenter at the Sacred Edge festival and the Christian Writers’ Conference.
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