The director of publishing at Busybird Publishing, Blaise van Hecke – aka The Book Chick – has overseen the publication of over two hundred books. She’s also the author of The Book Book: 12 steps to successful publishing, and a contributor to Self MadeHealthy BodyHealthy Mind, and a number of journals. And, on top of all that, she’s a mentor and an editor in her own right, as well as the President of the Society of Women Writers (Victoria).

In dealing with prospective authors, printers, editors, booksellers, bookstores, and anybody else you could think about related to books, she’s learned a thing or two. She also runs a variety of workshops on life writing, publishing, and editing.

Areas of Expertise: As a speaker, Blaise can talk about every facet of publishing – be it traditional publishing, self-publishing, publishing using print-on-demand, or ebook publishing – and writing. She is commonly in demand, educating writers, editors, students, and publishers from all over the country.

Kev Howlett brings over thirty years experience in the commercial photographic industry to Busybird Publishing. He’s taken pictures of people, events, cars, products, landscapes, and more – if there’s a picture to be taken, Kev has taken it.

In 2015, he climbed up to Mount Everest Base Camp and back to raise awareness and funds for Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome – a condition his son suffers – while also taking pictures for a gorgeous photojournal of his trek, Walk With Me.

He’s an accomplished illustrator and artist as well, drawing images for the popular Tilly and Billy series, The Magnificent Climbing Tree, and Chantelle’s Wish.

Areas of Expertise: Kev can speak about anything to do with photography – from the composition of pictures, to how digital cameras work and how to get the best out of their features – and periodically runs workshops, helping budding photographers to learn to shoot pictures like a pro. He can also talk about illustration, and has hosted a number of secondary school workshops.

The chief editor and publications manager at Busybird Publishing, Les Zigomanis specialises in structural editing, and has helped numerous authors to get their stories working as they would like.

He’s also the author of the novels Song of the Curlew, The Shadow in the Wind, August Falling, Just Another Week in Suburbia, Pride, and the instructional guide The Launch Book. He has had stories and articles published in various print and digital journals, several unpublished novels and a number of unproduced screenplays shortlist and place in awards, and three screenplays optioned. He blogs regularly for Busybird Publishing about writing, editing, and publishing; and also runs a blog on his own website (

Areas of Expertise: Les can speak about anything to do with story – from the components of putting a story together, to how to revise your work. He’s held workshops on an introduction to fiction, and a ten-week course on writing a novel. He can also talk about the basics of screenwriting, for anybody interested in an introduction to screenwriting as a craft.

You might only know Jeff Corfe as his alter ego Joffa, the famous (or perhaps that’s ‘infamous’) Collingwood supporter who dons the gold jacket to celebrate victory when he’s sure his beloved Collingwood Football Club is about to win a game.

But did you know that Joffa was brought up in an abusive household, that he was homeless at 14, that he credits football with saving his life, that he volunteers tirelessly for a number of charities and foundations, and that he works for the Salvation Army?

There’s much more to Joffa than you could imagine, which is why he penned his autobiography in 2015, Joffa: Isn’t That Life? How well do you know the man behind the gold jacket?

Areas of Expertise: Joffa can talk about all things football, expressing his views on the way the good-natured tribalism of the game is disappearing from the stands. He can also talk about serious issues such as mental health, epilepsy, and homelessness, and likes to share his wisdom to the next generation in hopes that they can avoid the dangers he faced growing up.