So- how did you go?

At the beginning of last year I posted this matrix of things to do spread throughout the year. I think it’s a good strategy for everyone to review their goals from time to time, and when better than at the beginning of the year? So, how did you go with these goals and what were the results for your efforts? Here’s how I went: Subscribe: I discovered Jen Storer’s vlog Q&Q Fridays – invaluable information delivered her in her warm, fun, quirky way. Just a delight! Join:  I join...
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Do You Know Your Why?

Are you feeling a little lost as an author? Are you just going day-to-day doing what you think you're meant to be doing with no insight as to why, or where you should focus your attention? You’re blogging, or not blogging, you’re on social media, you’re writing stories that are in your head, you're told to build an author platform and yet you have no idea what it means, and you’ve joined a critique group. Maybe you are running around doing all this stuff and are losing heart. You know that deep ...
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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 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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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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The Symphony of Words

    With all the awards and announcements of shortlists and winners in the last few months I am genuinely thrilled to celebrate with my author colleagues. I like to shout their success through social media and scatter smiley emoticons liberally. But sometimes the glare of my computer screen shines a spotlight on an area of my insecurity. Like when I read a book that really touches my heart or tickles my funny bone or is a pure delight and I am tempted to compare myself. “Give...
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The Giant Drop

Many times, I’ve been told the writing game is an emotional roller coaster ride. Ups, downs, hill climbs, racing downhill, loop-the-loops… From my experiences, I’m more inclined to match it to The Giant Drop; one of Dreamworld's 'Big 9 Thrill Rides', particularly the vulnerability of submitting manuscripts to publishers. Note: If The Giant Drop is unfamiliar to you, please click here. :-) Stage One: Emotional preparation AKA plucking up courage Six months in the making and my story is complete...
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A Happy Place

What brought you to writing? Has it been a life-long dream to see your stories in print? Is it a fresh career change? A creative path you’ve been encouraged to follow? Since a young age, I’ve had the desire to create. From stories to songs, poems to plays, writing was my escape; my ‘happy place’. :) As an adult, my escape became a little distant. Life got in the way – I’m sure we can all relate. My love for writing remained, but ideas lacked, and creating was rarely executed. I didn’t realise ...
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The rise and rise of Shelly Unwin – newly signed author – Part 1

I first met Shelly Unwin at a CBCA event a few years ago, and gradually got to know her as we bumped into each other at regular meetings and events.  She is warm, open and encouraging with an English accent I could listen to all day. I’ve heard Shelly talk about a manuscript that came ‘so close’ to being picked up, only to be let down; I’ve thrown around ideas with her about a young adult novel; I’ve chatted with her at book launches celebrating colleagues’ success when it has seemed to allude h...
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