Tonya Alexandra – Magic Happens Part 2

In this second installment of my interview with Tonya Alexandra, she delivers some sage advice and we find out what has encouraged and challenged her in writing for kids. You can catch up on the first installment here Tonya, I understand you have an agent. I hear that they are as hard to get as publishing contracts! Can you tell us how this came about? I needed some help with the contract for my book deal, and one of the authors in our CBCA group told me an agent was really good for your c...
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Robert Vescio -Soaring Part 2

In part 1 of this interview with Robert Vescio we looked at his soaring success in the picture book market in Australia. Today we continue to find out the events and experiences that helped shape him and his writing. Robert, can you tell use how you developed your writing to get it to a publishable state? Did you belong to any critique groups, attend courses and association events, enter competitions? If so, how did/do they help? I’ve always submitted my stories to manuscript assessment ...
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Robert Vescio – Soaring

Robert’s interest in writing seems to be lifelong, showing up as a school student, but like me, when he had kids he fell in love with children’s books, especially picture books. He’s been writing now for over 5 years and in that time has published several short stories in various anthologies and four picture books , with more on the way. He's totally soaring! He's excited that his latest release, Jack and Mia with Wombat Books has just been placed on the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge and he ha...
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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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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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A Publisher’s Perspective by Dianne Bates

Guest Post by Dianne Bates Publisher, editor, author and Lady Cutler Prize award-winner, Dianne Bates, has so generously shared her insider knowledge on what's hot, and what's not, from a publisher's perspective. A fascinating account! Thanks so much, Di! 😊 ------------------------------------ In 2016, I established a children’s book imprint, About Kids Books publishing junior novels for readers aged 8 to 12 years. Recently I received an email from a newish children’s author. Below f...
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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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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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Conference Camaraderie

One of the elements in my Writer's Action Matrix earlier in the year was to attend a conference or festival. Well, it seems like festival season at the moment for Kid's Lit. There's heaps to choose from - check out the events section of this website! I was fortunate enough to secure tickets to the KidLitVic Meet the Publishers conference in Melbourne recently. My husband and I made a weekend of it and it was certainly well worth it. The conference was one of the most pleasurable I have at...
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