Interview: Katrin Dreiling Winner HarperCollins Illustrator Showcase Award

I caught up with Katrin Dreiling the day after she received an illustration portfolio mentorship award with Lisa Berryman at HarperCollins.

Katrin with HaperCollin’s Lisa Berryman

Katrin with HaperCollin’s Lisa Berryman

How are you Katrin, you looked completely overwhelmed when hearing your name on the night.

I felt surprised, stunned and speechless at the time. But I do remember very clearly the cheering in the room, it was a beautiful feeling of community, I feel very grateful.

If you could have prepared a speech, what would you have included?

I would have thanked SCBWI and Lisa Berryman and the judges for their support. I would have thanked my friends and colleagues for their never-ending support. And I would have thanked my family and especially my husband for their support and last but not least, I would have loved to thank the printroomeditions’ Jon and Stella who printed my Portfolio.

What was your favourite moment of the conference (apart from the portfolio win):

I had so much fun with my room mate (aww, thanks Katrin) and I loved the words of wisdom from Essie White who said that “You can’t force education on kids, you have to engage them.”

I also loved the entertainment of the 3-minute book launces at the Children’s Bookshop at Beecroft and the Pitch Perfect sessions at the conference as it showed how subjective feedback is at any stage of someone’s career.

Thank you Katrin!

by Yvonne Mes


Midpoint of the Story Arc! - Conference Dinner Dance party

A night of fun, celebration, dancing and general hilarity until all hours!

Harry Lane performed his wonderful poem about our fearless leader Susanne to huge appreciation!

Presentation of Harper Collins Illustrated Portfolio Award

Winner gets a personal portfolio critique. Lisa Berryman said there was an outstanding range of entrants. (Donna Rawlins signed up 3 people from it!)

Winner:  Nicky Johnston


2016 Penguin Random House Award

Presented by Sarah Davis in lieu of Zoe Walton who was ill:

Winner: Sophie Blackhall–Cain

Andrea Pinkney Award

Judged by Claire Stuckey. She told us one entrant really stood out.


  • Anna McGregor – Haircuts by Hernando
  • Jenny Hale – Princess Cage
  • Reena Balding – Not My Rice
  • Sandy Fussell - Wraith

Winner: Dawn MeredithLetters from the Dead

Book launches:

Terry Whitebeach: When I Was a Boy in Sudan

Author and historian – believes that everyone’s story is important – Australian stories that haven’t been heard. Protagonist refugee Saraphino, but book made for all children everywhere. Group effort to complete the book: everyone did it for their belief in helping Sudanese kids in Australia. Also: When I wasa Girl in Sudan

Also in this range of books:

Pascalina  illustrated by Gay Mackinnon

Young adult novel. Terry realised she had to go to see the Mahdi people . Lots of photos for Gay brought back. Etihad flew 300 kg donated books for free. Local refugees love the book. All donated money goes to South Sudan.

Book launch by Claire Halifax:

Christina Booth, Scholastic, writer and illustrator

Too Many Sheep

We were treated to a highly entertaining puppet show duet by Christina and Claire. The manuscript was first shown to Claire at the last SCBWI conference!!

Christina designed the cover first as part of 52 Week Illustrating Challenge.

Christina gave a highly entertaining reading of her book.

Deb Abela then made the thanks and presentations to Susanne Gervay, Regional Adviser Australia New Zealand. Deb reiterated that Susanne’s the reason we’re all here – she’s organised the amazing fruits of SCBWI. A massive contribution!

A very special card, made by Christina Booth and signed by everyone was given to Susanne. Plus a box of wonderful care essentials eg a ‘No!’ paddle to say no to requests because she’s hopeless at it! Plus slippers, sleep mask, relaxing candle, do not disturb sign, writing notebook etc. Also a beautiful charm bracelet to remind her of all her lovely books. And a pendant with a quote from Elephants Have Wings inside of it.

AND an amazing book engraved with a superb illustration of The Hughenden in the front, signed (and sometimes illustrated) by everyone.

Susanne said that our SCBWI is one of the special writing communities of the world.           

Evening rounded out by a rousing group singalong – a special song for Susanne song to the tune of Rawhide!

Then we danced the night away to the sound ofthe fabulous Beatknickers,  SCBWI’s own band. Thanks to a couple of intrepid ring-ins!

What a party!!!!!!

By Charlotte Calder


Photos Courtesy of Denzo Alker, Leigh Roswen and Dimity Powell Rovers at large






What a party!!!!!!


 By Charlotte Calder