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Visiting International Publishers (VIPs) 2024

Meet this year’s VIPs!  

We are delighted to announce the 10 international publishers, editors, and literary agents participating in the 23rd year of the Visiting International Publishers (VIPs) program. The program will return as an in-person program in 2024, and will be held alongside the Sydney Writers’ Festival from 20–24 May.  

The program supports international publishers, scouts and literary agents to participate in a week-long schedule of business meetings, networking events, industry forums, Writers’ Festival events, and panel discussions with Australian publishers and agents. 

The visiting delegation are immersed in Australia’s unique literary culture, share insights into global publishing trends, strengthen relationships with their Australian counterparts, and expand opportunities for Australian authors overseas. 

  • Tamar Brazis, Vice President and Publisher – Viking Children’s Books and Philomel, Penguin Random House, USA
  • Eamon Dolan, Vice President and Executive Editor – Simon & Schuster, USA
  • Kim Laura Franzke, Editor for Picture Books – Annette Betz Verlag, Ueberreuter Verlag, Germany
  • Allison Hellegers, Literary Agents & Subrights Director – Stimola Literary Studio, USA
  • Lisa Labbe, Acquiring Editor – Éditions Leduc, France
  • Adam Levy, Publisher – Transit Books, USA
  • Juan Milà, Editorial Director – HarperVia, HarperOne Group, HarperCollins, USA
  • Claudia Müller, Senior Editor Fiction – Bastei Lübbe AG, Germany
  • Teresa Pütz, Senior Commissioning Editor, Fiction – Penguin Verlag, C. Bertelsmann, Manesse, Penguin Random House, Germany
  • Andrea Stratilová, Foreign Rights Manager – Albatros Media, Czech Republic.  

Click below to view the full bios and areas of interest of this year’s VIPs.  

The selection of participants was made by Creative Australia staff in collaboration with the  VIPs Committee of Annabel Barker, Emma Dorph, and Marika Webb-Pullman. The VIPs represent a range of territories; genre specialties; boutique and multinational publishers; and English-language and translation markets. 

Meet the VIPs

Tamar Brazis

 

Vice President and Publisher

 

Viking Children’s Books and Philomel,
Penguin Random House US

 

New York, USA 

Eamon Dolan

 

Vice President and Executive Editor

 

Simon & Schuster

 

New York, USA 

Kim Laura Franzke

 

Editor for Picture Books

 

Annette Betz Bilderbuch,
Ueberreuter Kinder- and Jugendbuch

 

Berlin, Germany 

Allison Hellegers

 

Rights Director & Literary Agent

 

Stimola Literary Studio

 

New York, USA

Lisa Labbe

 

Acquiring Editor 

 

Éditions Leduc

 

Paris, France 

Adam Levy 

 

Publisher 

 

Transit Books 

 

Berkeley, USA 

Juan Milà

 

Editorial Director

 

HarperVia, HarperOne Group, HarperCollins US

 

New York, USA 

Claudia Müller

 

Senior Editor Fiction 

 

Bastei Lübbe AG 

 

Cologne, Germany

Teresa Pütz

 

Senior Commissioning Editor, Fiction 

 

Penguin Verlag, C. Bertelsmann, Manesse,
Penguin Random House Germany

 

London, UK 

Andrea Stratilová

 

Foreign Rights Manager

 

Albatros Media

 

Prague, Czech Republic 

Wednesday 22 May 2024  – Industry forum and networking lunch 

Venue: Terrace Room, L’Acqua – Roof Top Level, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney 

Australian publishers or literary agents who publish or represent literary titles, in the areas of fiction, narrative non-fiction, poetry, or children’s books (i.e. creative writing) are invited to register below.  

Registration for the free industry forum and networking lunch has now closed – these events have reached venue capacity. Register for the networking drinks on Thursday 23 May here.

9.00am – 9.30am
Arrival, tea and coffee

9.30am – 9.35am
Welcome to Country, Introduction

9.35am – 10.15am
Panel 1 – Wake in Fright: Thrillers, Crime, and Literary Fiction
Moderator: Emma Dorph
Panellists: Lisa Labbe, Juan Milà, Andrea Stratilová 

Stuart Evers once noted that ‘…crime writing offers unique insights into society, psychology and human behaviour. It can be both engaging and literate; compelling and well-written. It can be innovative and surprising, but what it can’t be, it seems, is feted in the same way as literary fiction.’  

Thankfully the binary between literary fiction and crime has long since dissolved, but the rest of his statement may explain why the demand for mystery, crime and thrillers remains strong. Our panel have published a diverse range of books in this genre, and will share their observations on what’s working in their respective markets. Is there still a heart of darkness for Aussie noir in both English-language and translation markets?  

10.15am – 10.40am
Morning tea

10.40am – 11.40am
Panel 2 – Achtung Baby: German Market Update
Moderator: Nerrilee Weir
Panellists: Kim Laura Franzke, Claudia Müller, Teresa Pütz 

According to Publishing Perspectives, the German book market experienced a year of mixed performance in 2023, though adult fiction showed ‘above-average’ growth, and adult non-fiction, children’s and YA also experienced an increase in turnover. Publishers Weekly also noted a recent increase in rights sales to European publishers for English-language rights, as well as for translation rights.  

Our panellists will delve into the current trends, challenges and successes of the German market; share their areas of interest; and confirm if the death of translation has been greatly exaggerated. 

11.45am – 1.00pm
Panel 3 – Striking Gold: Unexpected Success Stories
Moderator: Annabel Barker 
Panellists: Tamar Brazis, Eamon Dolan, Allison Hellegers, Adam Levy 

From New York Times Best Seller lists to Nobel Prizes, our panellists and their authors have enjoyed significant literary success across a variety of genres, in children’s, YA and adult. But not every wild success was a foregone conclusion, and creative marketing, fortuitous timing, current affairs, and the vagaries of social media can all have a part to play.  

What are some of the factors that led to unlikely literary success for our panellists? How has this influenced (or not) what, and how, they acquire? Our panel will share their tips and insights on what to expect when you’re not expecting. 

1.00pm – 3.00pm
Networking lunch – free

Join our VIPs and your Australian industry colleagues for an informal stand-up networking lunch, directly following the industry forum. 


Thursday 23 May 2024 – Networking drinks 

Venue: Creative Australia offices, Level 5, 60 Union Street, Pyrmont, Sydney   

5.00pm – 7.00pm
Networking drinks – free

Join our VIPs and your Australian industry colleagues for informal networking drinks at the Creative Australia Offices, delivered in partnership with the Australian Publishers Association (APA). 

Click here to register for the free networking drinks. Registration for the industry forum sessions and free networking lunch is now closed – these events have reached venue capacity.

Since its inception, Creative Australia’s Visiting International Publishers (VIPs) program has been delivered in consultation with a committee of industry representatives. 

The committee members are selected on the basis of their extensive industry expertise and international market knowledge, representing a range of skills and experience across the Australian publishing industry. Having worked in independent publishing houses, multinational publishing houses, and literary agencies across the industry; they have strong connections internationally and are passionate about Australian writers and writing.  

Responsibilities of the committee include: 

  • Selecting the VIPs each year
  • Assistance with planning and events for the program, including the industry forum
  • Hosting the VIPs throughout their time in Sydney
  • Promoting the program internationally to encourage applications from potential VIPs.

The committee members are: 

Annabel is a rights agent specialising in books for children and young adults. Her career in children’s books has spanned more than 15 years. She has worked for publishers including Hachette, Pan Macmillan and Hardie Grant, where she was Managing Director of Hardie Grant Egmont, one of Australia’s leading independent children’s publishers.

Annabel’s background is in international rights and she has negotiated co-editions, English and translation rights and film and TV deals for some of Australia’s best children’s writers and illustrators. Recently she launched her own agency, and now represents Australian children’s and young adult books into all markets.

Emma has been working as Rights, Contracts and International Sales Manager at Hachette Australia & New Zealand since 2019, however her career in rights began as an assistant at HarperCollins UK in 2014. Since her return to Australia she has worked at both multinational and independent Australian publishing houses, and counts herself lucky to have represented a wide range of incredible adult and children’s books from Australian and New Zealand creators.

She has attended Frankfurt, London, Bologna and Shanghai Children’s International Book Fairs, and most recently has visited publishers across New York as part of a Creative Australia delegation. Her focus includes film and audiobook licensing, as well as rights-sales and distribution across English language markets, and due to a long-distant degree in Modern Languages she has always held a particular fascination for translation publishing. Emma feels very fortunate to have the chance to share Hachette ANZ’s stunning, thought-provoking, beautiful and memorable books with the world.

Marika Webb-Pullman is the Australian publisher at Scribe Publications, one of Australia’s key independent publishing houses, where she oversees a list that includes literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and projects in translation. Marika has been working in publishing and online media for more than fifteen years, across roles in marketing, editorial, and digital strategy. Before joining Scribe, she was the marketing and subscriptions manager at Crikey.

Since its inception in 1998, the VIPs program has welcomed 297 international guests to Australia, from 30 countries, with more than 300 Australian titles sold into overseas markets through the program. These titles include Fight Like a Girl  by Clementine Ford,  The Patchwork Bike  by Maxine Beneba Clarke,  Boy Swallows Universe  by Trent Dalton,  The Dark Lake  by Sarah Bailey,  Scrublands  by Chris Hammer,  I Love Me  by Sally Morgan and Ambelin Kwaymullina,  Do Not Lick This Book  by Idan Ben-Barak,  Jasper Jones  by Craig Silvey,  The Secret River  by Kate Grenville,  The Weather Makers  by Tim Flannery,  The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak,  The Broken Shore  by Peter Temple, and  Picnic at Hanging Rock  by Joan Lindsay.

Click here to view the VIPs alumni.

In 2017, we completed a five-year longitudinal evaluation of the VIPs program from 2011-2016, which included a survey of Australian publishers and agents. The report is available here.

The evaluation revealed that:

  • For every $1 we invest in the VIPs program, $5.45 is generated for the Australian literature sector – a 445% return on investment.
  • More than $4.1 million in rights sales was reported over the five years ($3.8 million in direct sales to VIPs who attended, and a further $300,000 in indirect sales through referrals from VIPs to other international publishers).
  • Participation in the VIPs program in 2016 accounted for 15% of all rights sales for Australian publishers.

In 2020, in partnership with Macquarie University and the Copyright Agency, Creative Australia released a research report, Success Story: International rights sales of Australian-authored books 2008– 2018. The research highlights the growth of Australian books in international markets, and the huge potential of international sales to the Australian publishing industry. 

Findings included: 

  • In the decade from 2008-2018, rights to Australian literature were sold into 92 different territories, with Australian-authored books translated into 70 languages. The number of absolute deals also increased. 
  • Children’s titles, including picture books and those aimed at younger readers, made up more than half of all rights deals. 
  • Chinese translations accounted for the highest number of translations (14%), highlighting the importance of the Chinese language market. 
  • International rights sales provide vital revenue to Australian writers and the wider book publishing industry. 

Success Story  represents the first time that international rights sales for Australian literature have been mapped and quantified in this way, revealing an important market that can be leveraged for further success. You can read more here.