My life as a children's author while juggling being a mum, a wife and professional volunteer. (Sometimes it gets complicated)

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Katapult - Edition 2 - March, 2018

Welcome to Katapult!

Here’s the March edition of my newsletter, Katapult. So what has been happening at my desk since the last time we chatted? A lot! 

Don’t forget: I’m not apologising for any typos. Just read over them and assume I was rushed, distracted, trying to do three things at once, I’m a terrible typer, or I lost my mind.

What’s Up?

I attended the CBCA NSW event, ‘Night of the Notables’ at Dymocks, George Street, Sydney on Tuesday, 27th February to hear the announcement of the long listed titles for the CBCA Book Week Awards for 2018. Click here to see all the long listed titles. 

I have lots of friends in each of the categories but congratulations to my local friends, Deb Kelly, Leila Rudge, Liz Anelli, Paul Russell and Fern Martins who have all been long listed. Very clever creatives!

At this event, I really enjoyed hearing about the new series, The Poppa Platoon by the successful team behind Little Lunch, Danny Katz and Mitch Vane.  Book 1 will be released 1st April but I now own a signed early-released copy :) - lucky me. My daughter is a huge fan of the Little Lunch series so she devoured it within 24hr of the book being in the house. 

The shortlist will be announced at noon on Tuesday, 27th March. Information about this professional development event for adults can be found here. Information about the event for kids can be found here.

Kirrili Lonergan and I spent last Thursday night with Aleesah Darlison at the NSW Writers Centre participating in her workshop, ‘Book Promotion Essentials’. It was a jam-packed session that was motivating and inspiring. We now have lots of ideas brewing as we start to think about how we would like to help promote and launch our new picture book, Up To Something next year.

I had dinner with some lovely children’s authors in Sydney on Friday, 9th March in North Ryde (or Macquarie Park if you ask my GPS. Hmmm ...). It was so lovely to catch up with Aleesah Darlison, Susanne Gervay, Amelia McInerney and other newbie children’s authors.

I had a manuscript assessment at the NSW Writers Centre with Leonie Tyle on Saturday - a very pleasant experience. Leonie looked at two picture book manuscripts for me. She advised me to develop the main charter a little more in one. It was suggested the other one go into a complete rewrite with a new storyline triggered by an event in the original manuscript. 


I’m still thinking about that feedback but she could be right. I may write the new story anyway as it did bubble away nicely in my head during the long drive back to Newcastle. But I might try my luck with the original version a little more. It’s a hard one as this industry is full of subjective opinions - some are right and some are wrong. 

I’ve just submitted two picture book manuscripts to be assessed by a publisher at the Kitlitivc Conference I’m attending in May. One of them is my apple pie story mentioned in last month’s newsletter - the one I sent to a professional editor. I’m including the recipe with that one so last weekend I road tested it. I’d pushed together a couple of recipes and added a new ingredient so I own the copyright - but I wasn’t sure it would actually work. I’ve never cooked a pie from scratch before. But my taste buds told me it worked. Yum! I’ve now sent the recipe off to be road tested by my mother-in-law. She’s a wonderful cook. 

It has a secret ingredient I can't mention, that's why I haven't shown you a photo of the filling. If I find a publisher and you buy the book, you'll know what it is - one day :)

The other one is a story that went all the way to a Scholastic acquisition meeting last year but didn’t quite get over the line. It’s a crazy, funny story about chickens. Fingers crossed either or both of these manuscripts have something that resinates with her so I get lots of juicy feedback or an invitation to rewrite and then resubmit.

I’m still playing the waiting game on whether the picture book manuscript I mentioned in my last newsletter made it through its acquisition meeting. Keep those fingers crossed!

Are you having trouble keeping up with all these manuscripts? Me too!

Upcoming Events

I’m very honoured to be speaking at the CBCA NSW Branch AGM this Saturday, 17th March. It’s a great opportunity to share my journey so far as a writer and share some sneak peeks of my upcoming books.

I’ll be attending the upcoming course at the Australian Writers Centre, ‘Chapter Books for 6-9 year olds’ by Lesley Gibbs later in March. I’m looking forward to it as this is an area I want to move into very soon.

I'll be featured in a two-part interview on the Just Write for Kids Blog in April. I'll put the links in my April and May newsletters and on my social media platforms as soon as they're available. Thanks for interviewing me Deb Tidball! They have a great Facebook page community too.

Publishing Update

Last night I saw three coloured options for the cover of No Baths Week. Cheri Hughes is very clever! I’ll reveal the final cover soon once we work out which one and it’s been approved. Sorry to make you wait.

Chasing Rainbows, my third picture book (second one with BSP) will be released early in 2019 so it will be illustrated mid this year.

And my fourth picture book titled Up To Something, the second with EK Books and Kirrili Lonergan (same team as Dandelions) will be illustrated mid this year with a release date of May, 2019. 

Anything to Share?

The Newcastle Writers Festival is on its way. The program was released a few weeks ago. I’m looking forward to seeing the children’s faces as they leave their sessions inspired to jump into new books. 

Recent Book Purchases?

The Great Rabbit Chase by Freya Blackwood
The Lion in our Living Room by Emma Middleton and Briony Stewart
The Poppa Platoon by Danny Katz and Mitch Vane
Here We Are - Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers
Rodney Loses It! by Michael Gerard Bauer and Chrissie Krebs
The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland
Missing by Sue Whiting

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If you missed last month's newsletter, you can find it here.

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