Meet The 2020 Visiting International Publishers

The 2020-21 Visiting International Publishers (VIPs) Program has been cancelled due to ongoing international travel restrictions. 

While it is not possible to gather in-person, a series of online events connecting the Australian publishing industry with rights representatives from targeted international markets will be delivered across the year. Please contact Karen Le Roy, Acting Manager, International Development Operations, for more information:


The Australia Council for the Arts is pleased to announce the fourteen international publishers, editors, agents, and scouts participating in the 22nd year of the Visiting International Publishers (VIPs) program. The program will run alongside Sydney Writers’ Festival from 27 April – 1 May 2020.

  • Federico Andornino, Editorial Director  – Weidenfeld & Nicolson, The Orion Publishing Group, UK
  • Jon Baker, President – Baker Literary Scouting, US
  • Erica Berla, Co-Founder & Literary Agent – Berla & Griffini Rights Agency, ITALY
  • Peter Borland, Vice President, Editor in Chief – Atria Books, Simon & Schuster, US
  • Tamar Brazis, Editorial Director – Viking Children’s Books, Penguin Random House, US
  • David Gressot, Head of Foreign Literature – Editions Actes Sud, FRANCE
  • Simon Lörsch, Acquisitions Editor – Suhrkamp Verlag, GERMANY
  • Aurelie Pregliasco, Editorial Director, Fiction – Gallimard Jeunesse, FRANCE
  • Emilia Rhodes, Editorial Director – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, US
  • Sandra Rothmund, Editor, Thienemann-Esslinger Verlag, GERMANY
  • Tao Wu (Nick), Editorial Director – GUOMAI Culture & Media Co Ltd, CHINA

This year for the first time, the Australia Council will partner with the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund to support three VIPs as the inaugural Copyright Agency VIPs Fellows.

  • Teresa Pütz, Editor for International Fiction – S Fischer Verlag, GERMANY
  • Michael Reynolds, Editor in Chief – Europa Editions, US
  • Lindsey Rose, Executive Editor – Dutton, Penguin Random House, US

The Copyright Agency VIPs Fellows will present an additional event for all Australian publishers and agents to broaden the reach of the VIPs program and to share information on key publishing insights. More information will be provided in late February.

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

The selection of participants was made by the VIPs Committee, in collaboration with Australia Council staff. The 2020 VIPs represent a broad range of territories, countries, genres and formats; boutique and multinational publishers; emerging and established markets; English-language and translation markets.

Request your business meetings with the VIPs

To manage the high demand for one-to-one business meetings, and ensure the most targeted matches, the VIPs select the Australian publishers and agents with whom they’d like to meet.

To request a meeting with one or more of the VIPs, please complete the online form via the link below.


The Australia Council will collate and submit the requests to the VIPs; the VIPs will make their selection; and the Australia Council will schedule the meetings.

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

Publishers primarily involved in educational or reference books and/or other non-literary titles, self-publishers, printers, and distributors, are not eligible to register for business meetings, but are invited to attend the free industry forum sessions which will be announced on this page at the end of March.

Registration for business meetings closes on Thursday 27 February 2020. You will be advised of the outcome of your meeting requests by the end of March.

Key program dates

  • Wednesday 29 AprilVIPs industry forum, networking events
  • Thursday 30 April: one-to-one business meetings
  • Friday 1 May: one-to-one business meetings

The full program of events including times and locations will be updated on this webpage by the end of March.

About the program

Delivered alongside the Sydney Writers’ Festival, 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 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 details of the 2019 program, and here to view the VIPs alumni.

Program evaluation

In 2017, the Australia Council 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 the Australia Council invests 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.

The 2020 Visiting International Publishers program is delivered in partnership with the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Additional information

Once you submit your application, we will send you an email acknowledging receipt of your application.

After you submit your application, we first check it meets the eligibility criteria for the grant or opportunity to which you are applying.

Applications to the Australia Council Grant Programs are assessed by arts practice peer panels against the published assessment criteria for the relevant grant program.

We aim to notify you of the outcome of your application no later than 12 weeks after the published closing date for the applicable grant round.

Once all applications have been assessed, you will be contacted about the outcome of your application. If you have been successful, you will also be sent a funding agreement. This outlines the conditions of funding, how you will be paid and your grant reporting requirements. The following accordion items outline these stages in more detail.

If your application is successful, you will receive an email advising you a grant is offered. You must then agree to the conditions of your grant, which represents the Australia Council’s contract with you – this can be done online, by email or by letter. Payment of a grant will not be made until the grant conditions have been agreed and accepted by all the relevant parties.

You should not start a project that depends on a grant until all relevant parties have agreed and accepted the grant conditions and we have evidence of such acceptance on file.

Standard grant conditions require you to, among other things:

  • seek prior approval for making a change to a funded project (for example, changes in the activity budget; changes to key creative personnel; or changes to start or end dates)
  • respond to requests for information about the project or grant
  • satisfactorily account for how the grant is spent (if you do not you will be required to return all monies for which you cannot satisfactorily account)
  • comply with all applicable laws
  • acknowledge the Australia Council’s support in all promotional material associated with the project; this includes use of the Australia Council’s logo and a standard text of acknowledgement.
  • provide artistic and financial acquittal reports at the end of the project
  • return any unspent grant funds at the completion of your project or on notice from us to return such unspent funds.

Grant agreements must be signed by a legal entity – either a legally constituted organisation or an individual. For unincorporated groups, see the section on administered grants

All individual or organisation grant applicants based in Australia must have an ABN. Individual applicants without an ABN may have their grant administered by an individual or organisation with an ABN. Organisations operating outside of Australia do not need an ABN to apply. Individuals based outside of Australia may not need an ABN to apply, depending on their circumstances (please check with your accountant or tax advisor).

The name of the applicant must match the name of the ABN and the name of the bank account into which we pay the funds. There are no exceptions to this rule. If applicants cannot provide an ABN and bank account that are in the same name as the applicant’s name, they will need to nominate an administrator for their grant.

Groups/ensembles/collectives, unincorporated associations/ unincorporated entities and other bodies with no legal status do not need an administrator if they have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and bank account in their name. If they are unable to provide an active ABN and bank account that matches the name of the applicant, they must nominate an administrator. The name of the administrator must match the name of the ABN and bank account into which funds are paid if the application is successful.

If we approve your application you will need accept the conditions of the grant in a funding agreement.

After you accept your funding agreement online, we will automatically generate a payment for the grant on your behalf. You do not need to send us an invoice.

We will pay grant funds directly into your nominated bank account within two weeks after acceptance of the funding agreement. Grant payments cannot be postponed.

If you do not wish to have the grant funds paid directly into your bank account you can choose to have your grant administered by another individual or legally constituted organisation (Doesn’t apply to Arts Projects – Organisations).

When you apply, you will be asked to provide an active Australian Business Number or ‘ABN’. The ABN that you provide must correspond to the name of the applicant (or the administering body, if one has been nominated). When you accept your funding agreement, you will be asked to enter the details of the bank account you wish the grant to be paid into. The name associated with that bank account must correspond to the name in which the ABN has been registered.

Download the Australia Council for the Arts logo guidelines here.

Download the Major Festivals Initiative logo guidelines here.

Grant reports are required on completion of your project. Acquitting a grant means accurately reporting on the funded activities and the expenditure of Australia Council funding.

Please read your funding agreement to check details of the grant acquittal material you should provide.

The grant acquittal report is where you tell us:

  • how you spent your grant
  • what the artistic outcomes of your funded activity were.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report at the times and in the manner detailed in your funding agreement, the Australia Council will not make any further payments that may be due to you, and you will not be eligible  to apply for further grants.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report, the Australia Council may ask you to pay back all or part of the funding provided to you.

Grant reports are used by the Australia Council to fulfil obligations of accountability to the Australian Government. They are also essential to the development work of the Australia Council. The reports help us evaluate the achievements of funded activities, monitor the effectiveness of grant categories and ensure our policy development is consistent with the experience of artists in the field.

Reporting for Multi-year Funded Organisations

Organisations in receipt of multi-year funding are required to submit financial, statistical, and artistic reporting on an annual basis.

All reporting is submitted online via the Australia Council’s arts organisations reporting system.

If you are not sure what reporting you need to submit as part of your annual reporting, or what information to provide, please get in touch with your Australia Council contact.

All recipients must acknowledge that the Australia Council provided funding for their activities. When you acquit your grant, we will ask you how you acknowledged the Australia Council.

For printed or online material use our logo and this phrase:

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body OR The (company name) is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Logos for download and guidelines for the use of our logos.

Where projects do not have a public outcome, or do not produce any printed or online material, you will need to think about how best to acknowledge the Australia Council funding.