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CBCA NSW Newcastle Sub-branch

Office Bearers for 2018

PRESIDENT           |  Jodie Carlson

VICE PRESIDENT |  Liane Morris

SECRETARY         |  Gwynne Jones

TREASURER        |  Amanda Shirley


EVENTS COORDINATOR                               |  Renee Price and Ruth Higginbottom

GENERAL COMMITTEE                                |  Katrina McKelvey and Kirrili Lonergan



  • We have our very own sub-branch Facebook page.
  • Search for 'CBCA (NSW) Newcastle Sub-branch' to find us.



Newcastle Meeting 3:
Wednesday, 9th May
Hunter Valley Grammar School, Ashtonfield
6:30pm for a 7pm start
Event: Authors Suzanne Gervay and Deb Abela will be sharing news about the international book giving charity 'Room to Read' and 'The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' (SCBWI). They'll also inspire us with their talents and published works.
Newcastle Meeting 4:
Wednesday, 20th June
Charlestown South Public School
6:30pm for a 7pm start
Event: Ed Wright with introduce and showcase his local business, 'The Creative Wordshop' and we'll discuss upcoming Book Week plans.
Newcastle Meeting 5:
Wednesday, 12th September
Belmont Library
6:30pm for a 7pm start
Event: Lynn Jenkins, psychologist and yoga instructor from Lessons of a LAC  will share yoga techniques for people who do a lot of sitting (ie authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians).
Wear your bending and stretching gear!
Newcastle Meeting 6: Planning Meeting for 2019
Wednesday, 24th October @ 7:30pm
Committee only
Newcastle Christmas Party
Wednesday, 28th November
Further details TBA

For a copy of our full calendar or to be on our email list, please send a message to Jodie - President ( or Liane - Vice President (


New members always welcome.

Any enquiries about the Newcastle (NSW) Sub-branch can be directed to Jodie or Liane.
If you would like to know more about the businesses, authors and illustrators who are members of our sub-branch, you can find some of them on our sub-branch 'MEMBER'S LINKS' list here:

On 7th February, we held our AGM and first sub-branch meeting for 2018. Our President and Vice-President, Kirrili Lonergan and Katrina McKelvey, stood down from their posts this year. We all extend immense gratitude to this wonderful pair, who do so much for our sub-branch and beyond. Kirrili and Katrina remain general committee members, and have paved the way for our new and fabulous President and Vice-President duo, Jodie Carlson and Liane Morris.

Our special event for Meeting One, was the ever-impressive Liz Anelli. We were privileged to see illustrations from Liz’s upcoming book with Penny Matthews, Maddie’s First Day (Walker Books). Liz took us through her illustration process of observation, characterisation and points of view. She shared sketches, storyboards, dummy books and completed artworks for various projects. Nothing short of jaw-dropping! Big thanks to Liz for sharing her story and artist journey.


Jodie Carlson and Katrina McKelvey attended the Night of the Notables event, held on 27th February at Dymocks, Sydney. Everyone who attended was very entertained by Danny Katz and Mitch Vane ('Little Lunch' fame) and their early release of 'The Poppa Platoon in World War Chew' - Book 1 in the series. We were delighted to share in the achievements of all who made the longlist, in particular, our local authors and illustrators; Deb Kelly (Me and You; Random House), Nicola Bolton (You Can’t Catch Me; self-published), Liz Anelli (Ten Pound Pom; Walker Books), Paul Russell (Grandma Forgets; EK Books), Fern Martins (Big Fella Rain; Magabala Books) and Leila Rudge (Once Upon a Small Rhinoceros; Walker Books).

Local members were delighted to attend the AAA event; Anticipate! Appreciate! Applaud! on 27th March, celebrating the 2018 Book of the Year shortlist. Once again, the event delivered on its anticipation. We heard an interesting speech by James Roy to start the day, and many engaging publishers presenting their point of view at the end of the day. Before the announcement of the short-listed books we heard the opinions of specialists in each field. The applause showed that most agreed with the selections for the year. Special congratulations to our very own Liz Anelli, with her shortlisting in the Picture Book of the Year category, for Ten Pound Tom (w/- Carole Wilkinson: Walker Books).

Photo: 'Ten Pound Pom' shortlisted announcement


Photo: Oliver Phommavanh (guest speaker) and Katrina McKelvey


Photo: Jackie French and Bruce Whatley

On 28th March, we held our second meeting for the year, complete with new committee! The meeting venue was Newcastle Region Library, where as a special event, Julie Swane took us on a tour of the recently renovated (and beautiful!) library. We were immersed in the Anne Spudvilas exhibition, as well as local exhibits throughout the library. We welcomed new sub-branch members, and the committee delved into initial brainstorming for our annual children’s event, which will be held in September.


Photo: Local member Judith next to a photo of her legs in the local exhibition next door to the Anne Spudvilas exhibition in Newcastle Region Library


Photo: Liane (Vice Presdient) and Jodie (Presdient)

From 6-8th April, we enjoyed the sixth annual Newcastle Writers Festival. What a fabulous event! As part of the festival program, over 2000 primary school-aged students participated in workshops and presentations delivered by wonderful creators such as Kate and Jol Temple, Yvette Poshoglian, Tristan Bancks, Leigh Hobbs, Jess Black, Paul Russell, Liz Anelli and Gregg Dreise.

Photo: Liz Anelli

Photo: Jess Black


Photo: Paul Russell

The Family Day, held on Sunday 8th April, was a great success. Author, Zanni Louise created picture books with children, and families were entertained by Gregg Dreise, Lessons of a LAC, Digby Fixit Live! and Storytime Lane.

Photo: Gregg Dreise


Photo: Renee Price


Photo: Kirrili Lonergan and Lynn Jenkins (Lessons of a LAC)


Photo: Emily S. Smith and Graham Davidson


Photo: Zanni Louise

Congratulations to local members; Jess Black, Liz Anelli, Paul Russell, Kirrili Lonergan, Lynn Jenkins and Renee Price, for their involvement in the festival. Special mention to members, Jenny Blackford, Katrina McKelvey and Julie Swane for their board, committee and volunteering involvement, and to Amanda and Max Shirley, and MacLean’s Booksellers’ staff, for their mammoth efforts with the festival bookshop.

Photo: MacLean's Booksellers, Hamilton Festival Bookshop


We already look forward to next year’s festival line-up!



The annual MANTLE (Maitland and Newcastle Teacher Librarian Event) conference will be held on Friday 11th May. Our sub-branch has a table at the Trade Fair, where members volunteer their time throughout the day to chat with Teacher Librarians, booklovers and potential new members about the CBCA. We look forward to this event.


Recent & Upcoming book launches/releases:

(congratulations to these local members)

 Perfect Petunias - Lynn Jenkins & Kirrili Lonergan (EK Books)

Lessons of a LAC - Lynn Jenkins & Kirrili Lonergan (rereleased with EK Books)



2018 CBCA Notables from Newcastle sub-branch:

  • Deb Kelly (Me and You; Random House), 
  • Nicola Bolton (You Can’t Catch Me; self-published), 
  • Liz Anelli (Ten Pound Pom; Walker Books), 
  • Paul Russell (Grandma Forgets; EK Books), 
  • Fern Martins (Big Fella Rain; Magabala Books) and 
  • Leila Rudge (Once Upon a Small Rhinoceros; Walker Books).

2018 CBCA Shortlist:

  • Liz Anelli - Picture Book of the Year category (Ten Pound Pom w/- Carole Wilkinson: Walker Books).

If there are any CBCA NSW members who would like to join us, please email our president, Jodie Carlson ( for more details.

Happy reading and writing!

Renee Price – Publicity Officer
April 2018