top of page


Thank you for your interest in our INSIDE PUBLISHING writers' retreat and masterclass.


Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event has been cancelled with the intention of reappearing in late 2024 or early 2025.


If you'd like to keep in touch with us about upcoming events for writers, please email us at

An unparalleled opportunity for emerging children’s book writers seeking publication

Join us for a premium weekend retreat in beautiful Castlemaine, run by industry veterans with a combined 50 years’ experience in publishing, marketing and selling books for children.  


Our guest speakers include children’s publishers from leading Australian publishing houses

Allen & Unwin, Hardie Grant and Penguin Random House as well as Australia’s most successful children’s book author, Andy Griffiths and his editor/partner, Jill Griffiths.

This is your chance to not just be in the room, but to be an active participant in the conversation, the enquiry, the thinking and your strategy.


You will be inspired, motivated, productive, and best of all, you can ask any of us anything you like at anytime. 

Over a weekend punctuated by delicious food and wine, you will hone your understanding of the industry and your all-important pitch.

The weekend will  conclude with a direct pitch of your project to all three publishers.  


Numbers will be limited to 20 delegates to ensure each participant enjoys quality time with all of our guest speakers as well as with, your hosts, Kristin and Susannah. 


This retreat is expected to sell out quickly – secure your place now.

Make the most of our payment plan option if that is more convenient for you!


Susannah McFarlane

KG 2023_edited.jpg

Kristin Gill


Jen Storer

Children's Author / Host of The Duck Pond

andy g.jpg

Andy Griffiths

Bestselling Children's Author


Jill Griffiths

Editor of 

Andy Griffiths' books

Susannah ChambersA.jpeg

Commissioning Editor - Allen & Unwin

Lisa RileyA.jpeg

Lisa Riley

Publisher - Young Readers Division - Penguin Random House

Marisa Pintado photo credit Sister Scout.jpeg

Marisa Pintado

Publishing Director - Hardie Grant

1 30pm         Registration  


2 00pm         Introduction and welcome


2 10pm         The Publishing Process Part 1 

                      From Marketing to Press  


3 10pm         AFTERNOON TEA


3 15pm         The Publishing Process Part 2 

                      From marketing to reprint  


4 15pm         The Publishing Process  

                      Ask Us Anything 

                      Top 5 Tips to consider in the Publishing Process 



6 00pm         Bookseller After Dark Visit

                      Let’s talk covers, merchandising and display, RRPs, market trends, buyer behaviour

                      at the iconic, local bookshop, Stonemans.    

7 00pm         Dinner at Bar Midland

                       Guest speakers: Andy and Jill Griffiths 


9 00pm         Day One Close


The Garden Room, Buda House, Hunter Street Castlemaine, 3450.  



19-21 July 2024  




Payable upfront or in payment plans (see below)

Inclusive of complete program and all meals excluding breakfast.  

Please note that evening meals include on complimentary drink. Further drinks are available at venue prices





If you would prefer to pay in three payments please note the following:  


  • Payment 1 ($750)  is due upfront to secure your place.  

  • Payment 2 ($750) is due on May 30,  2024 

  • Payment 3 ($750) is due on June 28, 2024 


Simply use the main booking link each time to make your payment.  

We will send you a reminder to let you know when a payment is upcoming.

By booking here you agree to our *Terms and Conditions for this event.

Please note that Northern Books will have a range of books on writing as well as books by Jen Storer and Andy Griffiths available throughout the weekend at 15% discount.  


Susannah McFarlane


Susannah McFarlane is the award-winning author, creator and publisher of over 80 books and some of Australia’s most successful children’s book series including Zac Power, Go Girls, EJ12 Girl Hero, EJ Spy School, Boy vs Beast, D-Bot Squad, Fairy Tales for Feisty Girls, Brave Tales for Bold-Hearted Boys,  and Grumble Boats . With over one million books sold in Australia alone, Susannah understands children and writes stories they love and that parents trust. Susannah held a number of marketing positions with Australian publishers  before becoming licensing director, then publishing director and then managing director of Egmont Books UK. She returned to Australia when her kids thought Hyde Park was nature and co-founded Hardie Grant Egmont. She now works part time as Head  of Publishing for Bible Society Australia and spends the rest of her time writing or avoiding writing. 

Kristin Gill

Kristin Gill has worked across all sectors of the children’s publishing industry - sales, marketing and publishing – for more than 30 years. Prior to stepping away from publishing in 2021, she was the Publishing Manager (Young Readers) at Penguin Random House Australia.  

Kristin is now co-owner of Northern Books, where she works as a publishing consultant and manager of literary events for writers, readers and schools across Victoria.  

She is the Ambassador Manager for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation – an organisation she has been actively involved in since it was founded in 2012.

Jen Storer

Jen Storer has written many books for children (novels and picture books). Her work has been critically acclaimed and commercially successful. She is the author of the eight-book, junior fiction series, ‘Truly Tan’ (illustrated by Claire Robertson, published by HarperCollins). Truly Tan (book one) has been optioned for a live action film and is currently in development. 

Jen is also the director of where she teaches the art (and business) of writing books for children. girl&duck is a flourishing online community of authors, illustrators, publishers, editors, designers and enthusiasts, with members from all over the world. Jen’s unique membership club, The Duck Pond, is adored by its members. Over the years, the Duck Pond has supported hundreds of creatives and produced countless success stories. 

Find out more at and the Girl and Duck Podcast

Andy and Jill Griffiths


Over the last twenty-five years Andy and Jill Griffiths have evolved a unique writing and editing partnership. Jill was working for a children’s publisher in 1996 when she was assigned to edit Andy’s first book, Just Tricking! They have been living and working together ever since and, in conjunction with long-time illustrator Terry Denton, have collaborated on more than thirty books, including the much-loved Just! Series, The Bum Trilogy, the wildly popular Treehouse series—which has been published in over 35 countries around the world—and The Land of Lost Things first book in the forthcoming Adventures Unlimited series. 


A passionate advocate for literacy, in 2015 Andy was awarded the Dromkeen Medal to honour his outstanding contribution to Australian children’s literature. He is also an ambassador for both The Indigenous Literacy Foundation and the Pyjama Foundation. 


Marisa Pintado


Marisa Pintado is Publishing Director at Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing, the young readers division of one of Australia’s largest independent trade houses. She has published a wide range of bestselling and beloved series including Welcome to Your Period and Welcome to Sex by Dr Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes, School of Monsters by Australian Children’s Laureate Sally Rippin, the Claris picture books by renowned art director Megan Hess, and Real Pigeons, which is being adapted for TV by Nickelodeon. Marisa is also the founder of the Ampersand Prize, an award for debut authors of children’s and YA fiction, which has supported numerous writers over the last decade in launching their publishing careers.  


Lisa Riley 


Lisa Riley is a publisher for Penguin Random House Young Readers. Previously she worked for ABC Books and Walker Books in both Sydney and London and has enjoyed working in children’s publishing for more than 30 years. She publishes across the age range from picture books, commercial junior fiction series through to standalone novels for middle grade and YA readers. She has been lucky enough to work with many established and debut children’s authors and illustrators, too many to list here! She especially loves child-centric stories, a fresh original voice, delicious language, and ideas that surprise, delight or move the reader. 


Susannah Chambers 


Susannah Chambers is the publisher at Albert Street Books, an imprint of Allen & Unwin. Albert Street Books has a keen commercial focus, with a vision to publish books for babies to 12-year-olds that are warm and charming, funny and friendly, and easy to sell, to buy, and to love. She has worked with many of Australia’s favourite authors and illustrators, including Heidi McKinnon,

Lili Wilkinson, Anh Do and Bren MacDibble. 



  • Your ticket includes the exclusive professional development content, networking opportunities, stationery, and all catering excluding breakfasts. 

  • Evening meals include a complimentary glass of wine, beer or soft drink on arrival after which drinks will be available at venue prices.  

  • Cancellation on or before 30/5/2024 = 100% refund. After this date, refunds are no longer available unless we have a waiting list and can fill the slot.

  • If you opt for our payment plan, please note that the 2nd and 3rd payments must be made by the due date unless a prior agreement has been negotiated with the organisers.

  • Dietary limitations will be noted and passed on to all caterers. 

  • While we are happy to assist with accommodation recommendations, the cost and the booking of accommodation will be the ticketholder’s responsibility.

  • While we expect this Masterclass to be a sellout, please note that we require a minimum of 10 people registered to proceed. We will give you as much notice as possible if it looks unlikely that we will get 10 people booked to attend and will offer a full refund should we need to cancel. 

  • If there is an extraordinary event that prevents the Masterclass from going ahead  - weather, pandemic, etc - a full refund will also be offered.

Inside Publishing top of the page banner.png
Inside Publishing bottom of the page banner .jpeg
bottom of page