Penny Morrison – Riding the Wave Part 3

This is the third and final part of my interview with Penny Morrison, author of Captain Sneer the Buccaneer, the Hey! series and The Mighty Mighty King Christmas Book. In this installment Penny reveals the patience needed to be an author as she discusses the circuitous path to publication of Captain Sneer the Buccaneer. See part 1 here and part 2 here. Penny, Captain Sneer, published by Walker Books, was released in September 2016 but I understand all was not clear sailing (pun intended:) ). ...
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Reflecting on 2016 with the JWFK Team

2016 has been a tremendously eventful year on the blog, with establishing the Directory, a cascade of amazing interviewees and guest posters, and invaluable tips and news updates made available. And I couldn't have done it all without the support and dedication of my wonderful team of bloggers and the Australian kidlit community. So, thank you! I feel blessed to be a part of this always-inspiring world. To celebrate, a few of us Just Write For Kids bloggers got together to reflect personally ...
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In the Presence of Giants

The title of this article might seem a misnomer given the physical stature of both Margaret Wild and Julie Vivas, however there is no doubt about their giant status in the picture book world. It was an absolute pleasure to hear them speak in conversation with Belinda Murrell at the CBCA Northern Sydney sub-branch Christmas party on the last day of November 2016. Margaret’s writing has long been a touchstone of mine with her exquisite use of words and her perfect emotional pitch. I return agai...
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Penny Morrison – Riding the Wave part 2

This is the second part of my interview with Penny Morrison, author of Captain Sneer the Buccaneer, the Hey! series and The Mighty Mighty King Christmas Book which is hot off the press! See part 1 here. In this part Penny tells about the struggles this writing life throws up and the things that encourage her to keep going. Penny, how are you linked in with a writing community? My writers’ group runs through the NSW Writers’ Centre, where members can use a room for their group meetin...
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Magazine Matters

One of the ways to get your work published and build up your author/illustrator portfolio and presence is to submit stories/illustrations to magazines. Magazines don’t skimp on the quality of work they accept, but they have a higher through-put of stories than is possible when publishing books. Have a look in industry magazines and newsletters for publications that are specifically calling out for submissions. One such publication is The School Magazine. It’s iconic, and I’ve yet to see i...
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Penny Morrison – Riding the Wave

Penny’s wonderful picture book Captain Sneer the Buccaneer (illustrated by Gabriel Evans and published by Walker Books) was released in September to great fanfare and Penny has been riding the wave of swashbuckling book launches and appearances around the Sydney area since. Penny also has a series of board books for preschoolers (The ‘Hey’ books, recently shortlisted for the CALEB award) and other Christian resources published by Christian Education Publications (CEP) over the last few years. He...
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Deborah Kelly – Star Ascending Part 3

This is the third and final installment of my interview with Deborah Kelly. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here. This month we look at what now? What's in the pipeline and how does Deb go about promoting her books? What are you working on at the moment, Deb, and do you have anything else on the horizon? I’m currently working on books four and five of the Ruby Wishfingers series (Wombat Books) which will be released next year. All five books are being illustrated by the talented Leigh Hedstro...
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Lessons from a punnet of tomatoes.

One thing I love about the creative industries is that several people can have a similar idea yet express it in totally different ways. This was brought home to me the other evening when attending a talk by CBCA judge, Cathie Tasker. Cathie pointed out that two of the books shortlisted for awards this year were on the same theme, yet they were different in so many ways – Mr Huff and What’s Up MuMu? You can see even from the covers the difference in approach and mood – such a contrast! Wal...
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Deborah Kelly – Star Ascending Part 2

In Part 1 of this interview with Deb Kelly, we found out how she got started on the road to writing books for children. This week we focus more on how the books came to be picked up for publication and the setbacks and encouragements along the way: Deb, can you tell us the path your books have taken to be picked up by publishers? Is it similar/different for each? My name was pulled out of a hat to pitch a story idea to a panel of publishers at the Kids and YA festival one year at the NSWWC...
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Deborah Kelly – Star Ascending Part 1

Deborah Kelly’s publishing career is really taking off! Since the publication of her delightful picture book The Bouncing Ball (Random House) in 2013 Deborah has had 7 books published, across a variety of genres. Deborah’s second picture book, Jam for Nana (Random House, Illustrated by Lisa Stewart) was published in 2014, the same time as my When I See Grandma, yet it took a while for Deborah to appear on my radar. She made a strong impression on me when I reviewed her fabulous picture book Din...
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