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Visiting International Publishers (VIPs) 2023

We are delighted to announce the full program and 14 international publishers, editors, and literary agents participating in the 22nd year of the Visiting International Publishers (VIPs) program. The program will return as an in-person program in 2023 and will be held alongside the Sydney Writers’ Festival from 22–26 May.

The Australia Council also continues its valuable partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for the fifth year.

See below to read more about each of the 2023 Visiting International Publishers (VIPs).

The selection of participants was made by the VIPs Committee, in collaboration with Australia Council staff. The VIPs represent a range of territories; genre specialties; boutique and multinational publishers; and English-language and translation markets.

Our industry forum and networking lunch on Wednesday 24 May are now closed for registration, as we have reached venue capacity and are no longer able to accept waitlist placements.

Venue: Strangers’ Room, New South Wales Parliament House, 6 Macquarie Street, Sydney.

Registration for these events has now closed, as we have reached venue capacity.


9.00am – 9.30am | Arrival, tea and coffee

9.30am – 9.35am | Welcome to Country, Introduction

9.35am – 10.25am
Panel one: Booktok, Book Bans & Frankenstein Fiction: Publishing for Younger Readers  

Moderator: Annabel Barker
Panellists: Simona Herzig, Liwen Lin, Jody Mosley, Emilia Rhodes, Nick Thomas 

YA and graphic novels were the hottest genres at this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair. From the influence of YA on Booktok (and vice-versa), to the rise in demand for mash-up fiction (romantasy, horror, action, thrillers); publishers are looking for original approaches that engage their readers in new ways. In picture books, social justice topics continue to be strong. Is the rise in book bans in the US influencing what’s being published and how books are marketed globally? Our panellists share what’s happening in publishing for younger readers.

10.30am – 11.00am
Panel two: Scout’s Honour: Q&A with Jon Baker  

Moderator: Nerrilee Weir
Panellist: Jon Baker 

Always wanted to know more about the mysterious world of literary scouting? Jon Baker has been a literary scout for more than 16 years, and in addition to a prestigious list of international publishers now scouts for some of the biggest producers for television and film. This is your chance to have all of your burning questions answered! What is the impact of streaming services on international markets? What are the trends and opportunities in publishing we should expect? Is being a literary scout really the dream job we all imagine it to be? Join us to find out.

11.00am – 11.30am | Morning tea

11.30am – 12.25pm
Panel three: Novel Approaches: Marketing Literary Fiction 

Moderator: Gaby Naher
Panellists: Federico Andornino, Erica Berla, David Gressot, Simon Lörsch, Michael Reynolds, Friederike Schilbach 

After the last several years is it any wonder that readers are looking for escapism, easy-reads and uplifting stories? So how are publishers of gloriously thought-provoking literary fiction finding their readers in this market? What are the strategies that are working internationally, and is this different in different territories? Join our literary panellists for this important discussion.

12.30pm – 1.00pm:
Panel 4: The Sound of Sales: Audio Books, Book Clubs, and the US Market 

Moderator: Anne Beilby
Panellists: Peter Borland, David Forrer 

As one of the fastest-growing segments in book publishing, audiobooks have been increasing in popularity over the last several years, with revenue up year-on-year. What is the impact of the increased demand for audiobooks on physical book sales? And what about the impact of book clubs? Are they really driving fiction sales and putting books onto the bestseller lists? What are the other trends and factors influencing sales? Peter Borland and David Forrer share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities for rights sellers.

1.00pm – 3.00pm | Free networking lunch  

The Strangers’ Room is where members of Parliament greet visiting dignitaries including consuls-generals, ambassadors and even members of the Royal family. Historically, these guests were referred to as ‘strangers’, hence the saying ‘where strangers become friends’. Join our VIPs for an informal standing lunch to continue this warm tradition.

Venue: Australia Council Offices, Level 5, 60 Union Street, Pyrmont, Sydney

The one-to-one business meeting schedule for this year’s program cohort is now finalised, and Australian industry representatives have been notified of their meetings.

Website: Sceptre Books

Main areas of interest:

  • Literary fiction with mass appeal
  • International fiction (both in English and translation)
  • Literary crime
  • Graphic novels
  • LGBTIQ+ fiction

Originally from Italy, Federico studied Italian Literature, graduating with a thesis on realism and fiction in Dante’s Comedy. He then attended the University College London MA in Publishing, graduating with Distinction with a final dissertation on the role of translated fiction in the UK.

After almost two years as part of the Rizzoli Foreign Fiction team in Milan, Italy (working on writers like Chad Harbach and Gillian Flynn), he moved to London and joined Two Roads, an imprint of the John Murray Press division of Hachette, working with publisher Lisa Highton. Over almost five years there he published a variety of books, including Elena Varvello’s Can You Hear Me? (a Waterstones Thriller of the Month, a Times bestseller and winner of an English PEN Award), Riad Sattouf’s The Arab of the Future graphic memoir trilogy (a million-copy international bestseller, and a GuardianObserver and New York Times book of the year) and Ruth Hogan’s The Keeper of Lost Things (a Sunday Times bestseller, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick and a #1 kindle bestseller).

He joined Weidenfeld & Nicolson (W&N) in 2017 as Commissioning Editor and was promoted all the way up to Publishing Director. Publications for W&N include: Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason (a Sunday Times top three bestseller; shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and winner of the Fiction Book of the Year prize at the British Book Awards); The Weekend by Charlotte Wood (an international bestseller; shortlisted for the Stella Prize; a book of the year for The Times, Observer, Independent, Express and Good Housekeeping); Betty by Tiffany McDaniel (an international bestseller; an Observer book of the year and a Waterstones book of the month); Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers (a ‘word-of-mouth hit’, Evening Standard) with over 300,000 copies sold; longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and winner of the Pageturner of the Year prize at the British Book Awards); and Murder Before Evensong by the Reverend Richard Coles (an instant #1 Sunday Times bestseller with ten weeks in the top 10 hardback chart).

In January 2023 Federico joined Sceptre, the literary imprint of Hodder & Stoughton, as Executive Publisher.

Which books do you wish you had published?

Anything by Kate Atkinson; Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin; The New Life by Tom Crewe; Really Good Actually by Monica Heisy; Family Lexicon by Natalia Ginzburg; Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. In terms of other great storytelling mediums, I would have loved to be on the producing teams for The White LotusStranger Things and Booksmart.

Website: Baker Literary Scouting

Main areas of interest:

  • Commercial and literary fiction and non-fiction
  • Film and television

Jon Baker is the president for Baker Literary Scouting, a full-service adult literary scouting company that advises and advocates on behalf of a select list of international publishers and domestic TV/film clients to find appropriate projects to publish in translation or to adapt for a variety of platforms. Having worked as a scout for over 16 years, and with experience in multiple markets throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas, Jon reads and recommends books that cover a broad spectrum of material, from fiction to non-fiction, commercial bestsellers to literary prize-winners.

Jon began his professional career on the agency side, working separately for ICM and WMA in their foreign rights departments before moving on to become a senior scout at Thompson Associates in 2007, where he worked with clients in 18 territories. Since starting his own scouting company in 2014, he now scouts for seven publishers and agencies around the world, and he has expanded into scouting for film and television, notably working for Media Res (adaptations include The Morning Show and Pachinko), Hello Sunshine (Little Fires EverywhereDaisy Jones and the Six, The Last Thing He Told Me) and Hulu (with Black Cake forthcoming).

Which books do you wish you had represented?
Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer; Stiff by Mary Roach; Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson.

Website: Berla & Griffini Rights Agency

Main areas of interest:

  • Fiction (literary and commercial)
  • Non-fiction

Erica Berla began her career in publishing as Foreign Fiction Acquisition Editor for Edizioni Frassinellli/Sperling & Kupfer Editore in Milan, and after five years moved to Edizioni Piemme. In both houses she acquired and looked after French, Spanish and English-language works of fiction. Writers she worked with include Toni Morrison, Alistair Macleod, Barbara Kingsolver, and Australian authors such as David Malouf, Peter Carey and Thomas Keneally. She then joined Agenzia Letteraria Internazionale as an agent, representing English-language publishers and agencies and selling translation rights for authors such as Dino Buzzati, Andrea Camilleri and Gianrico Carofiglio.

In 2007, with Barbara Griffini, she co-founded the literary agency Berla & Griffini Rights Agency, which has since become one of the largest international agencies in Italy. It represents the majority of German and a significant number of English-language publishers and agencies, handling both adult and children’s titles, fiction and non-fiction. Erica works primarily on the English-language titles and has the privilege of looking after bestselling established authors as well as the challenge of finding homes for the works of debut writers in the Italian market.

While her original taste lies in literary fiction, she sells the rights to a wide range of genres including commercial fiction and all types of non-fiction. She has sold rights to the following recently published works: The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton, Bournville by Jonathan Coe, the Man Booker Prize-winning The Promise by Damon Galgut, Jennette McCurdy’s best-selling memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died and the impressive works of narrative non-fiction David Quammen’s Breathless and Jonathan Meiburg’s A Most Remarkable Creature.

Her Australian clients include Text Publishing and Affirm Press (on behalf of Linda Kaplan). She has sold the rights to titles by the following Australian authors in Italy: Thomas Keneally, Geraldine Brooks, Fiona McFarlane, Elizabeth Harrower, Graeme Simsion, Toni Jordan, Christian White, Stuart Kells, Cece Adams, Madeleine St John, Pip Williams, Amy Witting, and Tasmanian writer Robbie Arnott.

Which books do you wish you had represented?

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngosi Adichie; Lessons by Ian McEwan; Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout.


Website: Atria Books, Simon & Schuster US

Main areas of interest:

  • Literary and upmarket commercial fiction
  • Crime fiction and suspense
  • Narrative nonfiction (memoir, current events, popular science and history)

Peter Borland is Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. He joined Atria in 2004 after serving in various editorial roles at Dutton and Ballantine.

At Atria, he acquired the #1 New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, as well as Mr. Backman’s subsequent bestselling novels. He has been Thomas Keneally’s US editor since 2013 when he acquired the New York Times bestselling The Daughters of Mars. Other acclaimed and bestselling novelists on his list include Janet Evanovich, Paula McLain, William Kent Krueger, Paul Rudnick, Armando Lucas Correa, and Heather McGowan.

His non-fiction books include the bestsellers Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi, My Love Story by Tina Turner, and I’m Over All That by Shirley MacLaine, as well as The Hummingbirds’ Gift by Sy Montgomery; Fragile Cargo: The WWII Race to Save the Treasures of China’s Forbidden City by Adam Brookes; iGen by Jean Twenge; and The Secret to Love, Health, and Money: A Masterclass by Rhonda Byrne.

Which books do you wish you had published?
Trust by Hernan Diaz; Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell; and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.

Website: InkWell Management

Main areas of interest:

  • Literary and commercial fiction
  • Memoir
  • Narrative non-fiction
  • Biographies

David Forrer is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and started his career in book publishing in 1997 as an assistant at Sterling Lord Literistic in New York City after earning an MA in Creative Writing at Boston University. He became an agent with Witherspoon Associates in 1999 and joined InkWell Management when the company was founded in 2004 by Kimberly Witherspoon, Richard Pine and Michael Carlisle.

He enjoys a wide range of commercial to literary fiction, narrative non-fiction and biography, and has worked with numerous award-winning and bestselling authors, many on behalf of their international publishers and agents in the UK, Europe, Australia and Asia, including Sacha Arango, Robbie Arnott, Lauren B Davis, Ned Beauman, Ella Berman, Lucy Dillon, James Gavin, T Greenwood, Priya Guns, Claire Fuller, Sarah Haywood, Kaui Hart Hemmings, Un-su Kim, Elin Hilderbrand, Karen Karbo, Nina Kenwood, Sarah Krasnostein, Anthony O’Neill, Simon Parkin, Jack Parlett, Hannah Richell, Hayley Scrivenor, Graeme Simsion, Ayelet Tsabari, David Vann, Rebecca Wells and others.

Which books do you wish you had represented?

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray; Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas; East West Street by Philippe Sands. If I could add a bonus book it would be Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner – everyone should listen to her read the audio edition!

Website: Editions Actes Sud

Main areas of interest:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Children’s books

David Gressot joined Editions Actes Sud in 2017 as Editorial Coordinator. He then became Editor at the Jacqueline Chambon imprint, working in foreign literature (mostly in English, Spanish and German). He is now Editor in French and Foreign Literature (mostly English and Spanish translations into French).

Prior to working at Editions Actes Sud, David lived in Toronto, Canada, working for two years as Book Attaché at the French Consulate and for three years as Programming Coordinator at the International Festival of Authors (TIFA) where he programmed many international writers, including Australian writer Christos Tsiolkas. David is also a translator, from English to French.

Editions Actes Sud was created in 1978 in the South of France, with offices in Arles, Provence and in Paris. Although they now publish French literature, children’s books, illustrated books, poetry, and art books, the DNA of the publishing house is foreign literature (in fiction and non-fiction). They have one of the richest catalogues of foreign fiction in France and are the proud publishers of many well-known Australian writers such as Richard Flanagan, Evie Wyld, Robbie Arnott, Fiona McGregor, Josephine Rowe, Sofie Laguna, Alexis Wright, Cate Kennedy, Murray Bail, Fiona Capp, Andrew McGahan, Kim Scott, Anson Cameron, Susan Johnson, Robert Drewe, Liam Davison, John Bryson, Arabella Edge, Julian Davies, Rod Jones, WJ Peasley, Julia Leigh, and Garry Disher.

Which books do you wish you had published?

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara; The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life by Robert Goolrick; The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas; Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons; Night Film by Marisha Pessl.

Website: Loewe Verlag

Simona Herzig’s passion for contemporary art and literature ran through her studies in English Literature and Fashion Design. After graduating, she gained practical experience in regional publishing houses and the book trade. At the beginning of 2017, Simona joined Loewe as an editor, where she edited and managed the children’s book program for readers aged 5 to 11. In 2019, she took over the role of team leader for children’s fiction. She works with many well-known and successful German authors and is always on the lookout for exciting international children’s books. Special projects close to her heart are the fantasy bestseller White Fox by Chinese author Jiatong Chen and the captivating standalone Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

Loewe is among the four biggest children’s and YA publishers in Germany, but is still family owned. They are experienced and successful in publishing series both for younger and older children, and publish across a wide range from board books to YA titles for all ages. They are the German publisher of the Skulduggery Pleasant series as well as the Grumpy Monkey titles. Recently they have introduced new imprints: Loewe Graphix (a graphic novel program with titles such as the Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman; The Magic Tree House series; and graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier and Debbie Tung); Loewe Wow (with series like Real PigeonsThe Underdogs; or Dav Pilkey’s Dragon) and Loewe Intense (a New Adult romance program).

Which books do you wish you had published?

Me Before You
 by Jojo Moyes; Inkheart by Cornelia Funke; Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

Locus Publishing

Main areas of interest:

  • Commercial fiction
  • Genre fiction
  • Non-fiction

Liwen Lin is the senior editor of Locus Publishing in Taiwan. Previously she was an editor in The Global Group, Ecus Publishing. During the pandemic period she worked as translator, freelance writer and other part-time roles to learn new skills (including painting). Her list covers a wide range of genres from Young Adult fiction to literary classics, such as Divergent by Veronica Roth, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ramson Riggs, and the Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin. While working at Ecus Publishing, which is renowned for its literary taste and has published many famous titles such as The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and Dear Life? by The Nobel prizewinner Alice Munro; she edited Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and several titles by Ursula Le Guin.

She commenced at Locus Publishing in 2021 and edited Zadie Smith’s White TeethNW and On Beauty. And for the upcoming 2023 TIBE with Poland as the guest of honour, Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is the latest title on her list.

Her upcoming titles include Illuminations by Alan Moore and Anxious Girls Do It Better by Australian author Bunny Banyai. In addition, she is also a big fan of Korean fiction: her list for 2023 also includes one of South Korea’s most treasured writers Kim Bo-Young’s I’m Waiting for You and Other Stories.

She lives in Taipei, Taiwan. She broke her jaw at the end of 2022 but is still as talkative as if it had never been broken.

Which books do you wish you had published?
Mickey 7 by Edward Ashton; If We Cannot Move at the Speed of Light by Kim Cho-Yeop; The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu.

Website: Suhrkamp Verlag

Main areas of interest: 

  • Literary and upmarket fiction
  • Memoir
  • Narrative non-fiction

Simon Lörsch studied German and Latin American Literature in Cologne and Madrid. After graduating and working as a freelance editor for German fiction with S. Fischer Verlag, he joined Berlin-based independent publisher Suhrkamp in 2011. At Suhrkamp Verlag he works as an acquisitions editor on literary fiction, memoir and narrative non-fiction, translated from English and Spanish.

His authors include Jennifer Clement, Agustina Bazterrica, Katya Apekina, NoViolet Bulawayo, Maya Angelou, Phil Klay, and William Finnegan. Generally speaking, Simon is most keen on daring, high-quality writing that combines beauty and shock. Australian authors Suhrkamp has published include Gerald Murnane, Lily Brett, Candice Fox, Mark Henshaw, Tim Flannery, Sebastian Smee, and Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys.

For the Tel Aviv-based The Short Story Project, Simon built up an online library of short fiction in the German language, enabling first time translations into English, Spanish and Hebrew of both young contemporary writers like Karen Kohler, Antonia Baum or Saša Stanišić, and classic authors such as Arno Schmidt, Marie Luise Kaschnitz and Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Since the northern fall of 2019, Simon is guest lecturer at Freie Universität Berlin where he holds a seminar about the process and intricacy of publishing foreign fiction in Germany.

Which books do you wish you had published?
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong; Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo; Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart.

Website: Abrams Children’s and Abrams ComicArts

Main areas of interest:

  • Picture books
  • Middle grade and Young Adult fiction
  • Graphic novels
  • Novelty books

Jody Mosley is Vice President and Associate Publisher of Abrams Children’s Books and ComicArts. Prior to this position, she was the director of special markets. Before joining Abrams, Jody held sales positions at Hachette, Macmillan, and Random House.

Jody oversees Design and Managing Editorial. She works closely on the Appleseed (0-5) imprint and with the licensing team. Jody acquires and edits a few books a year, covering everything from a picture book series about magical animals, to a graphic novel duology where a band of grifters steal from vampires.

Because Jody knows that children are far more clever than adults, she believes that children’s literature should be taken seriously – especially when discussing the onomatopoeia of a fart joke.

Which books do you wish you had published?
Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell – a picture book with a message, a global view and is sweet without being too saccharine; I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen – Klassen’s art is sophisticated and subversive with the dark humour that kids and their adults love; What Does Baby Want by Tupera Tupera – a ground-breaking book for the US market, which can be very conservative. A fun book that is die-cut in a circle. What a delight!

Website: Europa Editions

Main areas of interest:

  • Adult literary fiction
  • High-end mysteries
  • Young Adult fiction
  • Narrative non-fiction

Michael was the recipient of the 2016 Golden Colophon Award for Superlative Achievement & Leadership in Independent Literary Publishing, awarded by the Community of Literary and Magazine Presses, and a 2017 Epiphany Magazine Honoree for Publishing Excellence. He has served on the jury for the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, the Gutekunst Prize for Young Translators, and the foreign jury of the Strega Prize.

He is a regular speaker at the Columbia School of Journalism’s Columbia Publishing Course, and at publishing and translation conferences in America and internationally. He is a member of the Rutgers University Press Advisory Council, a founding member of the Independent Publisher Caucus Steering Committee, and the founder of Bookselling Without Borders, a scholarship program that diversifies the culture of reading by building bridges between the American bookselling community and the international book industry.

Europa Editions publishes about 35 titles a year, and has offices in Rome and London, from which they publish into the UK market as well. They specialise in international literature, both in translation and original language, and are America’s leading publisher of fiction from international markets. They publish adult literary fiction, high-end mysteries, Young Adult fiction, and narrative non-fiction. Michael acquires in all of these genres.

Prize-winning and bestselling authors he has worked with at Europa Editions include Alina Bronsky, Amelie Nothomb, Elena Ferrante, Chantel Acevedo, Domenico Starnone, Julie Lekstrom Himes, Hiromi Kawakami, Nick Arvin, and Alexander Maksik.

He is keenly interested in the Australian publishing industry and the current state of Australian literature; reflected by his acquisition and publication in recent years of leading Australian voices like Alex Miller, Charlotte Wood, Joan London, Peter Kocan, Chris Womersley, Rohan Wilson, and Felicity Castagna.

He is also an author and translator whose published translations include three historical mysteries by Carlo Lucarelli, and Viola Di Grado’s prize-winning novel, 70% Acrylic 30% Wool.

Which books do you wish you had published?
La plus secrète mémoire des homes by Mohamed Mbougar Saar; The Furrows by Namwali Serpell; Seven Empty Houses, by Samanta Schweblin.

Website: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Main areas of interest:

  • Young Adult fiction
  • Middle-Grade fiction
  • Children’s and Young Adult graphic novels
  • Non-fiction

Emilia Rhodes is Editorial Director of HarperCollins Children’s Books where she edits and oversees young adult and middle grade novels and graphic novels across all genres. She has previously been an editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, Alloy Entertainment, and Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster US.

Her list over the years has included New York Times bestsellers Hooky by Míriam Bonastre Tur, These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan, The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee, and The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith. She has published National Book Award finalists Traci Chee and Carrie Arcos, as well as Adi Alsaid, Rena Barron, Sarah Everett, Kass Morgan, Christopher Pike, Megan Shepherd, Danie Stirling, Amy Tintera, and Danielle Vega. Highlights of her list also include the US publications of Australian authors Lynette Noni and Emily Gale.

Which books do you wish you had published?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky; Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell; El Deafo by Cece Bell.

Website: Aufbau Verlage

Main areas of interest:

  • Literary fiction
  • Memoir
  • Narrative non-fiction

Friederike is the Editorial Director of Fiction at Aufbau. She joined the house in 2019. A graduate of Comparative Literature in Paris and Berlin, she began her publishing career at Berlin Verlag in 2010, followed by a position as Editor for International Fiction at S. Fischer where she worked with writers such as Khaled Hosseini, Alice Munro, Elif Batuman, Leanne Shapton and Pam Zhang.

Aufbau is an independent house based in Berlin and publishes about 40 titles a year. They specialise in international and German literature and publish writers such as Sigrid Nunez, Han Kang, and classics by Brigitte Reimann and Hans Fallada.

Friederike has worked with prize-winning and bestselling authors such as Édouard Louis, Tove Ditlevsen, Megan Nolan and Asako Yuzuki. She loves discovering fresh new voices, redefining what a story can be.

On the side Friederike has also worked as a translator whose published translations include Kristen Roupenian’s story collection Cat Person.

Which books do you wish you had published?

Assembly by Natasha Brown; Cold Enough For Snow by Jessica Au; The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal.

Website: Levine Querido

Main areas of interest:

  • Picture books
  • Middle-grade and Young Adult fiction and non-fiction y
  • Children’s and Young Adult graphic novels

Nick Thomas is Executive Editor at Levine Querido in the USA. He has previously held roles at Bloomsbury, Chicken House, David Fickling Books, and Arthur A. Levine Books.

Nick works on books of all kinds, including picture books, novels, graphic novels, and nonfiction. Among the books he has edited are Newbery and Pura Belpré-winning The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera; Newbery Honor-winning A Snake Falls to Earth and Locus Award Winner Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger; Printz Honor-winning Apple (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth; and Walter Award-winning Man Made Monsters by Andrea L Rogers.

Which books do you wish you had published?
The Birchbark House, by Louise Erdrich; We Are the Ship by Kadir Nelson; The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud.

Delivered alongside the Sydney Writers’ Festival each year, the VIPs 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 program showcases Australia’s literary talent, and promotes the sale of rights to Australian titles in international markets.

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.

Since its inception, the Australia Council’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; and 
  • Promoting the program internationally to encourage applications from potential VIPs.

The committee members are: 

Anne Beilby is the Contracts & Rights Director at Text Publishing. She is responsible for all contracts—acquisitions, sales, film and audio. She has attended numerous international trade Fairs including Frankfurt, Bologna, Taipei & London Book Fairs since joining Text in 2004.

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.

Gaby is one of the partners in the recently launched Left Bank Literary and represents a range of quality fiction and non-fiction for adult readers. Her clients include Stella-prize-winning Heather Rose, and New York Times #1 bestseller, Candice Fox. Prior to establishing The Naher Agency in May 2008, Gaby worked as a literary agent, publicist and bookseller in Sydney, London and New York. She is the author of four books and has a Doctorate of Creative Arts.

Since its inception in 1998, the VIPs program has welcomed over 284 international guests to Australia, from 28 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.