So today I had the privilege of being part of the Melbourne Writer’s Festival regional event at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Ballarat. I was invited to talk on a panel about how writing for young people intersects with freedom, power and democracy. It was an absolute pleasure to share a table with Susan Green, Alison Arnold, Penni Russon and Nadine Cranenburgh. It was really fascinating to hear how all of us had interpreted the topic and there was a lovely accidental synchronicity in the order of our talks. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to everyone else’s perspectives and it was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I thought I’d post a copy of my talk below in case anyone was interested.
August is a great month for Australian authors and illustrators (and possibly our busiest) because it’s Book Week! Hot on the tails of the CBCA Awards announcement, children and teachers all across Australia spend a week immersed in great books and fun activities. It thrills me to see Twitter and Facebook posts from authors and illustrators sharing their Book Week experiences.
After almost a year of hibernation I have decided it’s time to wake the bloggety-blog from its slumber. I’ve got a couple of exciting announcements to make as well as some topics I want to explore for my own benefit as much as any readers. I’m not sure how regularly I will get to update here, but I am still writing (albeit slowly) and I am still drawing (albeit even more slowly) but my writing self is just as much a part of me as ever. For now I need to throw dinner in the slow cooker, plan a new mainly music program and work on some organisational stuff for the church worship committee, but I will be back, I promise. Have a great day!
Life has been busy, NaNoWriMo is almost over and my poor blog has been neglected. Feel free to have a poke around the archives until I get myself sorted.
You may remember waaaaay back in December last year I wrote about how I got my fantabulous agent, the gorgeous Anjanette Fennell from Rick Raftos Management. That post was named The Day that was Made of Awesome Part I, so of course there was a Part II…but it’s taken up until now for me to be able to share it with you. The very same day that Anj took me on as a client, something entirely separate but equally wonderful happened: I got a new contract on a picture book. It would be heady enough to have one of these momentous occasions happen in a day, but to have both of them happen on the same day was quite mindblowing. Yes, I have a contract with Windy Hollow Books and will be working with the amazing Helen Chamberlin on a picture book about an unlikely friendship with beautiful results. Keep reading →
These past two weeks have been a rollercoaster ride for me. On one hand I had a reality check on just how hard it is to make a living out of this writing business, but on the other hand I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the editing process on my Middle Grade novel and feel like finally, finally, FINALLY I get it. I get why people’s eyes light up when they talk about editing. I get why it matters so very much. I get why the hard work you put in after the first draft is actually almost more important than the first draft itself. Yep, I get it. Keep reading →
I spent Saturday night and Sunday at the Ballarat Writers’ Festival. It’s the first time I’ve been to the festival and I have to say I was impressed by the calibre of the speakers and the intimate nature of the event. It’s not often you get the opportunity to chat one-on-one with five editors in a twenty-four hour period. My favourite panel was with authors Sherryl Clark, Gabrielle Wang and Sue Lawson on ‘Creating characters with heart’. These extremely talented and extremely lovely authors shared insights into characters in their books and gave heaps of useful advice. Considering that the venue was good, the company was great and the speakers were knowledgeable and passionate you would think that I’d come away inspired. I have to be honest and say that’s only half the story. The other half is that I came away feeling quite despondent and wondering whether I’m cut out for this industry. Keep reading →
I’ve come a long way since I first started writing my first novel back in 2000. When I began I didn’t have a clue about anything to do with writing but just followed my instincts from having read many books over the years. Not surprisingly, I’ve got three or four unfinished books from that period of my life. Fast forward twelve years and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve invested the time and energy and money and effort into learning what makes stories work and how to write them. After writing the first draft of four novels I can now state without hesitation that I have the capacity to write a book. A first draft, anyway. But editing? Well, that’s a whole other ball game. Keep reading →
It’s been rather quiet on the old bloggity-blog of late. Actually, let’s be honest – it’s been like a ghost town. That’s partly due to a fantastic 6-week family holiday to the US during June and July and partly because I haven’t been able to find the energy to do anything much since we got back. And now I’m sick with the flu. *sob* While I’m recovering – yes, it’s lunchtime and I’m still in my PJs – I thought I’d update you on a little of what I’ve been up to. Keep reading →
There are so many skills you need to have as a writer but the longer I write, the more I realise that a rather large dose of stubbornness is a necessity. Twelve months ago I started an online course through the Australian Writer’s Marketplace and Queensland Writers Centre called Year of the Novel. I did Year of the Edit in person (see my posts here, here, here and here) while we were living in Queensland and I decided that Year of the Novel was just what I needed to get me back into the swing of writing something longer. Keep reading →