Katrina McKelvey – Going Places

Katrina  McKelvey is going places because she has gone places - in a fearless way that makes me awestruck. Doing this interview with Katrina made me laugh at the way she throws herself in, boots and all, and makes me jealous for even a little bit of her fearlessness. The great thing is, it's all paid off! After kicking off with her first picture book, Dandelions (EK Books), illustrated by Kirrili Lonergan, Katrina has three more on the way - one due out in October this year and two more in 2...
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Behind the scenes of The Children’s Bookshop

Paul MacDonald, owner of The Children’s Bookshop, Beecoft, NSW addressed The Northern Sydney Sub branch of the CBCA recently, sharing his knowledge and experience of the Children’s Literature industry from a bookseller’s perspective. The following is a summary of the information I took home from the event. Thanks also to my 'brains trust'  Brydie Wright, Paula Stevenson and Elizabeth Foster and for their contributions to this post. Firstly, about Paul If you read Paul’s biography you’l...
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Aura Parker – Sprouting Wings PART 2

In part two of this interview, author/illustrator Aura Parker speaks about her upcoming books, her agent, engaging kids with books and her top tips for those wanting to squeeze into the industry. Read or refresh you memory of Part 1 here. Cocoon is coming out this November, what can you tell us about this book? I am excited about Cocoon. It is an uplifting story about an optimistic little caterpillar who enjoys a nice leaf or two. Funnily enough, patience and resilience feature strongly in...
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Reinventing the Look: Our First Illustrator Competition!

Just Write For Kids is very excited to announce the very first illustrator competition; Reinventing the Look! We know just how lucky and blessed we are to be in the presence of so many amazingly talented Australian children's book illustrators. And with Just Write For Kids now in its fifth year, it's time to call on our wonderful artists to help reinvent our look! Would you like your beautiful art to be the new face of our ever-growing website and social media channels? Great priz...
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Aura Parker – Sprouting Wings Part 1

Aura Parker is an author and illustrator who is certainly going places – and I don’t just say this because I ran into her at the airport recently! Her picture book Twig (her first as author and illustrator) has been published internationally as well as recognized nationally as a Notable book in the CBCA Book of the year awards 2017. She has another picture book due out later this year (Cocoon) and a further two contracted. She has recently signed with Pippa Masson at Curtis Brown literary agency...
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The Wildly Intrepid Jan Latta – part 2

In Part 2 of finding out how intrepid pioneer Jan Latta carved out for herself a publishing niche, Jan talks about some stories behind her adventures and her marketing and promotion strategies. To recap part one, click here. Jan, how do you walk the fine line between fact and fiction in bringing the animals stories to life? How much do you attribute human emotions/motivations to them?  The True to Life Books are called creative non-fiction because the animals ‘talk’ to children in the text...
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A walk through Walker Books

I first heard Linsay Knight at a CBCA conference speaking about poetry, before she became the publisher at Walker Books Australia and New Zealand. Then, earlier this year, I had the good fortune to pitch a manuscript to her at a literary speed dating event where I found her to be engaging and responsive. Recently, I heard her speak about Walker Books at the recent SCBWI Christmas Party. I wasn’t quick enough to secure one of the manuscript assessments that Linsay was giving that day, but I heard...
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The Wildly Intrepid Jan Latta – Part 1

Today’s interview is a break from my usual focus on up-and-coming children’s book creators, to look at someone who has forged her own way into a niche market in children's publishing, and from whom much can be leant. Jan Latta is the only woman in the world who is the author, wildlife photographer and publisher of books on endangered animals. Each of her books is self published and distributed widely in schools and she is a sought after international speaker. On the publication of her 17th b...
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The Remarkable Tim Harris Part 2

In part 2 of my interview with Tim Harris, I ask him about his move to traditional publishing and how he goes about promoting his books - what he has to say is remarkable! Catch up on part 1 here. So Tim, having had great success self-publishing Exploding Endings, what made you then consider traditional publishing? I knew there would be some sort of limit in what I could achieve on my own. I had heard stories of self-published books going gangbusters (eg. ‘Wool’ by Hugh Howie) but I had t...
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The remarkable Tim Harris

Tim Harris knows how to write funny. His wildly popular Exploding Endings series has been nominated by children and shortlisted for the YABBA awards (book 1). Initially self published, his four Exploding Endings are now published by Harbour Press and his new release mid-grade, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables is published by Penguin Random House. For all this success, Tim’s a nice guy. I’ve run into him in a few places now, and he’s warm, engaging and friendly. He’s got a lot of experiences to draw ...
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