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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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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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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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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Top Take-home messages from the Kids and YA Festival 2016

The value of festivals cannot be underestimated when it comes to both networking and nourishing our writing craft and career. So here are my top take home messages from the NSW Writer's Centre Kids and YA Festival in June:  1 The Process of writing - hints from picture book authors: Don't delete your rubbish ideas. ‘You have to go through the stupid stuff to get to something worthwhile,’ said Andrew Daddo, whose first picture book submission was described as ‘rubbish’ by a publisher. K...
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Katrina Roe – author and presenter extraordinaire

Katrina Roe is a radio presenter and author of picture books Marty’s nut Free Party, Emily Eases her Wheezes and Same, with Wombat Books. I am fortunate to share a book-bond with Katrina, as the illustrator of her first two books is Leigh Hedstrom, who also illustrated my When I See Grandma. Katrina is a dynamo and is incredibly generous, so I feel fortunate to interview her for the JWFK blog. Katrina, last year was a huge year for you. You launched Emily in February 2015 when you were heavil...
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Cream Rising – Marian McGuinness Part 2

All about competitions. As mentioned in my introduction to Marian in Part 1, Marian McGuinness has won, placed and shortlisted in many writing competitions and awards and received several prestigious mentorships. In today's post the focus is on entering competitions - what's the secret to her success? Marian, your website has a long list of your competition successes - you clearly see entering comps as a priority - why? What do writers get out of it? There are so many factors here. ...
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Writers Action Matrix

I thought the beginning of the year was an apt time to put together a visual writer's action matrix for those who want to progress on their writing path this year. These are all actions that have progressed my writing, my understanding of the industry and my sense of belonging to a supportive community of writers, which in turn has enhanced both my writing and understanding! Try to get through all the actions by the end of the year - you might even manage several of some actions. I'd love to ...
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Lesley Gibbes – To Infinity and Beyond Part 3

We take off into the New year with the third and final interview with the wonderful Lesley Gibbes. Thank you, Lesley, for being such a generous interviewee and providing us with information to help us all on our writing pathways. See part 1 here and part 2 here Lesley, what do you see as the milestone moments in your pathway to publication? Are they similar across all books, or different for each? A lot of the milestone moments in my early publications have come from writing courses. For m...
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