Hot new release!

Great to see my YA novel, Jilda’s Ark, listed as a hot new release!


SCBWI conference Hobart

The SCBWI conference in Hobart on the weekend was a great success. Highlighting local Tassie writers and illustrators, and with publishers and an agent from the mainland sharing valuable  information and offering manuscript assessments, it was an inspiring couple of days. Thanks so much to the organisers Anne Morgan and Christina Booth who did a wonderful job, putting together a really thought-provoking and enjoyable professional development programme. I was fortunate to be invited to speak on the panel with other writers, Julie Hunt, Terry Whitebeach, and Ann Martin, with our chair Nic Gill asking us insightful questions. 

English Australia conference, Sydney

Exciting news! I have won a trip to the English Australia annual conference in Sydney to give a presentation about dyslexia, entitled Demystifying Dyslexia. I completed a MOOC through Lancaster University a couple of years ago, and now get the wonderful opportunity to share the insights I gained.

As a writer and teacher, it is important to consider the impacts of dyslexia on our readers and students, hopefully making reading more accessible to all.


Love YA

I thoroughly enjoyed the Love YA festival at Flowstate, South Bank, on Saturday 12th May. Love YA is part of the Brisbane Writers’ Festival, although that doesn’t take place until September.

The first 50 attendees received a copy of Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, and despite my train crawling along and stopping for unknown reasons, I still arrived early enough to be among those lucky few to get one in my bag of festival loot.

The sessions included interviews and conversations with some of my favourite YA authors: Ellie Marney, Cath Crowley, Steph Bowe, and Paula Weston. It was wonderful to see them in the flesh and listen to their ideas. Very insightful. An interesting session was held with Jeann Wong, book blogger, and Piera Forde, book review youtuber, who gave the audience a peek behind the scenes of what they do and why. 

A pop-up book store made it easy to buy books to be signed by the participating authors, and there was also a Book Swap table, the proceeds of which went to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. A Letter Library, where attendees could write letters and pop them into the books provided, or bash out part of an ongoing story on an old typewriter, was tucked in to make it look cosy. Nail and face art were popular too!

Thanks to the organisers and participants for a very interesting day.


CBCA Shortlist announcement

It was a privilege to attend the CBCA shortlist announcement ceremony this morning at the Brisbane City Hall, after first enjoying an opportunity for networking while being treated to a delicious morning tea.

Margot Hillel, the CBCA National Chair, led the proceedings, and the Honorable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland, officially opened the ceremony.

We were introduced to the ‘Queensland Living Treasures’ who were in attendance. Next, previous short-listing recipients, Michael Gerard Bower, Lucia Marchello, and Christine Bongers, spoke of what it had meant to them to be short-listed and how it had changed their careers.

The theme this year is ‘Find Your Treasure’, and we watched entertaining short films made by school students from across the state on this theme.

Finally, we came to the main reason we were here: the announcement of the shortlist. The lists of short-listees were hidden in a variety of ‘treasures’ such as books, a glass, a pouch and a ceramic chicken. Nick Earls announced those short-listed in the older reader category; Isabelle Carmody the younger reader category; Tanya Cox the early childhood category; Gary Crew the picture books; Jill Morris the Eve Pownall award for information books; and Caroline Magerl the Chrichton Award.

Congratulations to all who made it to the short list! Now we just have to wait till August to find out who the winners in each category are. Best of luck to everyone.