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 joined SCBWI!  I continued with my tried and true tribes in the online Just Write For Kids Community, my writer’s group and CBCA (see my post on the CBCA here).

Attend: so many conferences last year! I went to the KidLitVic which was fabulous -see my assessment of what I got out of it here; the CBCA Conference;  Kids and YA conference at the NSW Writer’s Centre – see my wrap up here. I also attended a Literary Speed dating event and got a ‘gold ticket’ to submit a couple of my manuscripts to a publisher directly – hopefully more on that in another post!

Learn: I attended my writer’s group regularly, sent work to a mentor, read many articles and blogs and attended workshop seminars that were all thought provoking and helped hone my writing skills.

Celebrate: lots of this happening – I’m a book launch junkie and I’m lucky to have a fabulous bookshop (The Children’s Bookshop in Beecroft) so close to home and so encouraging of authors.

Buy: some great books out in 2016 and it’s always wonderful to buy signed copies of books at launches.

Review: I posted a few reviews on Goodreads and Amazon for books bought as above, as well as my usual reviewing spots with Reading Time and Creative Kids Tales.

Write: my writer’s group kept me on track here.

Edit: again, my trusty writers group ensures a good nip and tuck or total re-write, as does my mentor. I had a manuscript that was a bit lack-lustre and I totally overhauled it – everyone is cheering that one on now!

Submit: sent a few things in to The School Magazine that weren’t accepted. Wrote something for a Prints Charming Anthology and sent a few manuscripts to publishers with some interest shown – time will tell if something blossoms.

Entered CYA competition, and further refined my manuscript in the light of comments. I also judged for them this year which was kind of fun. Also entered a Flash Fiction competition.

Encourage: I find twitter a great place to encourage others – all it takes is a quick re-tweet, perhaps a comment, and the job’s done!

Contribute: I’ve written for this JWFK blog and Buzz Words this past year.

Read: always!


Heaps! I have good work to submit, I’ve formed relationships with authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers and others in the industry. I’ve made great friends. I’ve been seen, my work has been seen and I am certainly closer to placing more of my manuscripts.

I’d love to hear how you went!

And for those of you who are interested, here’s a flipagram representation of my year above! (PS ignore the 2017 label – I got ahead of myself by a year!) 


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 hear how you go!

Would you add any other actions? What have you found helpful?



#1  like Buzz Words and Pass it On (for a fee) and/or from ASA (Australian Society of Authors) or writer’s centres; also various websites eg Just Write for Kids (subscribe to this blog), Creative Kids Tales etc. You can also subscribe to various blogs for writers eg JWFK’s very own Melissa has a great blog with lots of handy hints in easily digestible portions  at Melissa Writes. In fact all of the JWFK bloggers have their own website blogs  – check them out!

#2 like the Just Write For Kids Facebook groups; Creative kids Tales; writer’s groups from Writer’s Centres; CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) see my post about the CBCA here; SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).

#3 find out about these in the industry newsletters or from the Just Write For kids facebook group (ask to join); JWFK facebook page ; and this website.

#4 attend a workshop either online or in person  – always a plethora to choose from in the industry newsletters

#5 this is a great way to support others and learn about the creation of their book, as well as establish contacts and get ideas for your book launch – plus its lots of fun!

#6 I read recently that the more reviews Amazon gets for a book, it advances in the advertising matrix – so the more chance it will get seen and (hopefully) bought. This is a great and easy way to support authors/illustrators. Review everywhere – Amazon, Goodreads, your blog etc etc.

#7 find these in industry newsletters, facebook groups etc.

#8 be guest blogger for Just Write For Kids or other websites, contribute an article to Buzz Words and you might even get paid! It puts your name out there and people start to get to know you.

Many of these activities inherently encourage others, and using social media to tweet, re-tweet, post and Instagram about the books that you love and the people who create them is always encouraging.