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 ...
More

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...
More

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...
More

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...
More

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...
More

Katrina Roe – author and presenter extraordinaire Part 3

Today we continue and conclude the interview with Katrina Roe, awesome author and radio presenter. To catch up, you can find part 2 here and part 1 here. Katrina, what have been the discouragements for you in the writing/publishing process? How did you deal with these? I’ve been fortunate that so far I’ve been totally happy with the finished product of all my books.  I do sometimes feel frustrated that my books haven’t reached a wider audience.  With Same especially, because the book is so...
More

Katrina Roe – author and presenter extraordinaire Part 2

In Part 1 of my interview with Katrina Roe, we looked at her inspiration for writing and the things that encourage and help her hone her craft. In this installment, we continue that and look at 'what next?' once the book is published. Katrina, I've often bumped into you at festivals and conferences. The CBCA conference was the most recent (photos this month are from the conference). How do you think they benefit you as an author? I think it’s important to stay in touch with the industr...
More

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...
More

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...
More

How to get your work read by publishers.

On Halloween 2015 I attended an “Inside the publishing House” event at Hachette, Australia, organised through the Emerging Writers Festival. It was incredibly insightful and interesting. Although not specifically for children’s books (Hachette has only one children’s publisher compared with five other publishers) most of the messages I gleaned for the panel discussions hold true across genres. So, what can you do to get your work read by publishers? 1. Writing Your writing needs to be pol...
More