Jacinta Dimase Literary Agent Melbourne


Rosanne Hawke Wins the Nance Donkin Award presented by The Society of Women Writers.

August 28, 2015

Congratulations to Rosanne Hawke for winning the Nance Donkin Award presented by The Society of Women Writers (SWWV).

“The work of Rosanne Hawke changes readers’ world view” – Pam McIntyre.

The Nance Donkin Award is a biennial award for a woman author in Australia who writes for children. Nance’s intention in offering this award was to encourage and make known an excellent writer for children deserving more recognition.

Nance was a reader who held strong feminist and political views, and opened her mind to all current issues. She had a sharp spontaneous sense of humour. She is remembered by the Society of Women Writers Victoria for her long-time support as member and benefactor. The biennial Nance Donkin Award, a fitting memorial to Nance’s contribution to the children of Australia, was in planning before the time of her death in April 2008, was first presented in 2009, and, with the support of her family, will continue to validate the importance of writing for children, as Nance had wished.

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CONGRATULATIONS to Jane Jolly for winning an Honour Medal in the CBCA book awards for TEA AND SUGAR CHRISTMAS.

August 28, 2015

The manuscript had been on my list since 2005 and because I loved the story so much and thought it had commercial potential, I kept trying to place it over the years (after many rejections) until we finally sent it to Susan Hall at the National Library.

The reason I sent it to Susan was because she had approached Clare Wright to write for an illustrated history series that features photos, memorabilia, and ephemera from the NLA collection. Susan sent a copy of Michael Cathcart’s Starvation in a Land of Plenty (Will’s Diary of the fateful Burke & Wills expedition) as an example of the other books in the same series. As I flipped through Michael’s book, I wondered whether the NLA held any similar materials relating to the Tea and Sugar Train and whether Susan might be interested in publishing a book for children…

Here’s and extract from my original pitch to Susan in November 2012:

THE TRAIN ( slow mixed goods train NO. 5205)
…For 81 years, from 1915 to 1996, the “Tea and Sugar Train” travelled from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie once a week, servicing all the settlements along the Nullarbor Plain, a 1050 mile long rail link.

It carried household goods, groceries, fruit and vegetables, a butcher’s van, banking facilities and at one time even had a theatrette car for showing films. In the late 1970’s medical services were included….

On the first Thursday of December every year, Santa would travel the line, distributing gifts to all the children on the way.

I’m sure that the NLA collection would include photographs and memorabilia relating to the train and I’m convinced that a book that combined NLA archival material with Jane Jolly’s whimsical story would be a hit with children, families, and teachers Australia-wide.”

I think I almost lost my mind when Susan said yes and that she had shown the manuscript to Robert Ingpen and that he had agreed to illustrate it. I could hardly contain myself when we all met in Melbourne to discuss the book’s format and to marvel over some of Robert’s rough sketches. When I asked Robert to sign our Ingpen illustrated classics: Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Book, and my favourite Alice in Wonderland he told me how he had used Keith Richards as inspiration for The Mad Hatter!

Since it was first published in November 2012 Tea and Sugar Christmas has been reprinted three times, won an ABIA for best picture book, and now the prestigious CBCA Book of the Year Awards Honour Medal (Eve Pownall Award), but best of all the wonderful story is being shared by children and their families across Australia.

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Netball Gems series launched in time for The Netball World Cup, Sydney

August 05, 2015

The Netball World Cup will be keeping Australians on the edge of their seats this August, and so will Random House’s new series ‘Netball Gems’ by B. Hellard and L. Gibbs.

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Royal Gift edition of Boom Bah! released by Working Title Press

August 05, 2015

‘Boom Bah!’ by Phil Cummings was presented by Playford Library SA as a gift to ‪#‎PrinceGeorge‬ to commemorate the royal visit in April 2014.

In celebration of this achievement Working Title Press have released a ‘Royal Gift’ edition.

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B-format edition of 'Reluctantly Charmed' out in Nov!

August 05, 2015

Loving the cover for Ellie O’Neill’s B-format edition of ‘Reluctantly Charmed’ out in Nov!

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Sneak preview of the 'The Enchanted Island' Cover design

August 05, 2015

Sneak preview of Ellie O’Neill’s second book ‘The Enchanted Island’ out this Nov!

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'Our Class Tiger' joint winner of the Environment Award for Kid’s Lit: nonfiction

July 31, 2015

On 28th of July at the Little Bookroom in North Carlton, the Wilderness Society announced the 2015 Environment Award for Children’s Literature winners and the first annual Puggle Award winners – their new children’s choice award.

Congratulations to Aleesah Darlison and Oxford University Press as ‘Our Class Tiger’ is joint winner of the Environment Award for Children’s Literature 2015 (nonfiction) and won the inaugural Puggle children’s Choice Award.

This year, the Wilderness Society were pleased to have the 2014 Environment Award for Children’s Literature picture fiction winner, Christina Booth, and multi-award winning author Barry Jonsberg as judges.

Morris Gleitzman helped celebrate excellence in environmental children’s literature with an incredible keynote speech.

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Educational Awards 2015 Shortlist Announced!

July 24, 2015

The APA have announced the shortlist for the Educational Publishing Awards Australia 2015 reporting that ‘they had another great response this year and would like to thank everyone that entered’.

Congratulations to Lyn White for having the ‘Through My Eyes series’ shortlisted in the Secondary category.

Secondary: Student Resource – Junior

Through My Eyes (Allen & Unwin)
MyMaths Qld (Oxford University Press)
SpyClass (Jacaranda)
Gallipoli: The Landing and Reg Saunders: An Indigenous War Hero (NewSouth Publishing)
Ancient Australia Unearthed (Plainspeak Publishing)
Total Food (Oxford University Press)
The Rock Book series (Cengage)

Read the full shortlist on the Australian Publishers Association website here

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Clementine Ford anticipated journalistic memoir 'Fight Like a Girl' sold to Allen & Unwin

July 24, 2015

Clementine Ford (#notallmen) is a Melbourne-based writer, social commentator and public speaker. As a weekly columnist for Fairfax’s Daily Life, she has been unrelenting in her quest to bring topics like rape culture, slut shaming, and the misogyny of patriarchal order into the mainstream. Andrew Bolt is her number one fan.

Clementine has just signed a publishing agreement with Allen & Unwin for her anticipated journalistic memoir Fight Like a Girl: raise voices. raise courage. raise the flag.

“This afternoon, my fantastic agent and I accepted an offer from Allen & Unwin to publish my debut non-fiction book in 2016. Part memoir and part polemic, ‘Fight Like A Girl’ will look at a cross range of issues that make up the battleground of being a woman in a still very much sexist world. It aims to enrage and inspire in equal measure, and ultimately light a fire of recognition in the hearts of all girls and women who feel angry without release and suffocated by the expectation that they be quiet about it if they don’t want to ‘put people off’.?” – Clementine Ford Facebook.

“I could not be more excited about the prospect of working with you on this important and hugely anticipated book. You’ve been an inspiration to me and so many others and I would be honoured to assist in making Fight Like a Girl the best book it can be.’ – Jane Palfreyman.

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Ask an ALAA Agent: Advice for Aspiring Picture Book Authors

June 12, 2015

This article was first published in the May 2015 edition of The Victorian Writer .

For the May edition of Ask an ALAA Agent Jacinta di Mase, Director of Jacinta di Mase Management, has collated some of the ALAA agents’ top tips for emerging picture book authors.

‘Writing a picture book is like writing “War and Peace” in Haiku.’ – Mem Fox.

Mem also offers tips for writers on her website such as:

Remember that a picture book is 32 pages. In printing, the pages are folded in half, then in 4, then in 8, then in 16, then in 32 which is why the 32-page format still exists. Half of those pages are pictures, so try to keep the word-count under 500 and don’t explain anything that will be made obvious in the artwork. When you’re drafting a picture book it’s useful to make your own 32-page mock-book, called ‘a dummy’, by copying all the features of a real picture book like endpapers, the title page, dedication and publishing information page and so on. It also helps to put the text on each page to see how the page-turns pan out. The page-turns are crucial to success.


Here are top tips from ALAA Agents:

Brian Cook -The Authors’ Agent:
Read Australian books as widely as possible. You are most likely to get a publishing opportunity in your home market first so read, read and read some more.

• Visit children’s bookshops and look at what is on the shelves. How are the sections broken down and presented? Try to obtain a sense of which Australian publishers are doing what sort of books and how they do them.

• Visit your local library and get to know the Children’s Librarian. Ask them to guide you through Australian lists of the past few years. Make sure you know if you are looking at Australian original publications or those from elsewhere. (There is a difference.)

Jacinta di Mase – Jacinta di Mase Management

Think about the number of pages in a picture book and space the text accordingly. Use the page breaks to create suspense, drama, and emphasis. Read it aloud over and over again before submitting it to agents or publishers to ensure that the story flows and that you’re not trying to “shoe-horn” words into the story’s natural rhythm.

Fiona Inglis – Curtis Brown Australia

Contrary to what most unpublished writers think, picture book texts are MUCH harder to write than almost anything else. With a novel of 100,000 words it doesn’t matter if a few of them are not perfect. In a book of 500 words every single word has to be the right one, and in the right place. I believe the most important word in THE GRUFFALO’S CHILD, for instance, is ‘she’. Look it up.

Clare Forster – Curtis Brown Australia

‘Picture-book publishers like to be very involved in the crucial creative pairing of author and illustrator. In many cases, picture books begin with a text only.

If you are writing a text, but don’t intend to illustrate it yourself, it’s most likely the case that the publisher would want to make their own choices about who might illustrate it, and in what style. Naturally these are choices which, if a book is taken on, the publisher talks through with the author (and agent). It’s important not to start out with set ideas or arrangements as to who might illustrate the text.

Some illustrators work with texts by other authors, some are author-illustrators, and some do both kinds of work. We represent many wonderful, award-winning author-illustrators including David Cornish and Lucinda Gifford; in the course of their careers and having different projects on the go, they like to illustrate texts by others, too.’

Debbie Golvan – Golvan Arts Management

Read your text out loud and make it sing.
Note that publishers are mostly NOT interested in work that rhymes.

Writers Victoria publishes 10 issues per year of The Victorian Writer magazine per year. It’s definitely worth subscribing.
See more at: http://writersvictoria.org.au/magazine#sthash.14CU5hh2.dpuf

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