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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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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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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Diving into Picture Books—Signposts for Authors and Illustrators

Are you an aspiring or emerging children’s book author? Not too sure of what you have to do? How do you write that opening sentence? What is a story board? Do I need one? How do I work with an illustrator? Do I need to find one? What are agents looking for? The answers to these questions, and more, are just ahead. Writing Picture Books Opening sentences are important for every story, every novel—and this includes Picture Books. Find out the various types of sentences you can use for yo...
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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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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...
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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...
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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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Read, read, write.

I've just added this accumulated pile of books on my desk to my Goodreads profile. It got me thinking about the importance of reading for writers. One of the things I put on my Writers' Action Matrix at the beginning of the year was "Read books in your genre - study their elements." It's something that keeps cropping up in my interviews with authors. I am so fortunate to be given copies of books for children to review for Reading Time and Creative Kids Tales, and this forces me to analyse how an...
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