Paying Forward and Giving Back – NSWWC Kids & YA Festival

At the recent NSW Writers’ Centre Kids and YA festival, Susan Whelan and I presented a seminar on our version of networking.

Paying Forward and Giving Back


For us, networking is not about connecting with influencers and self promotion, it’s about Giving Back and Paying Forward, being an active member of a community.

It was thrilling to hear the seminar was booked out – a friend tried to get a ticket on the day but there were none left. Doubly thrilling because we donated the seminar fees to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. All in a days’ work of paying forward and giving back.

indigenous literacy


Sometimes when we were planning the seminar outline I would muddle up the seminar name and call it Paying Back and Giving Forward. I love the balance here – no matter how you re-arrange the words, it’s still the same thing.

With practical examples, we talked about book reviews, comments on Amazon and blogs, joining organisations and critique groups, volunteering and supporting literacy causes among other things.

We talked about the things members of the literature community can do to help others and how in helping others we help ourselves. It’s good for our mental health and self esteem and while the immediate benefit might not be tangible, the friendships are and ultimately good things happen.


kids and YATH


The feedback was wonderful. My favourite was from the writer who confided that we had lifted the tone of her day.

While the morning program had been informative, the message of how hard it was to get published had left her a little down defeated. Our session had been the perfect antidote with its focus on being a proactive and positive member of the children’s literature community.


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