AWC alumna Freda Chiu on the Ena Noël Award Shortlist 2022

Huge congratulations to Freda Chiu on being shortlisted for the Ena Noël Award Shortlist 2022!

This is an incredible achievement for Freda who wrote and illustrated her picture book A Trip to the Hospital (Allen & Unwin), published last year. 

Although she was a successful freelance artist and educator when she started thinking about books, Freda wasn’t sure she had the skills to write her own picture book. But after taking the Writing Picture Books course with the Australian Writers’ Centre, Freda gained the confidence to navigate the children’s publishing industry.

“I loved how structured and practical the Writing Picture Books course was,” Freda says. “I learned more in the two days I was at the AWC than in the few years prior doing self-research.”

Invaluable guidance

Having spent some time working as a bookseller, Freda had been surrounded by gorgeous picture books. But she still found the publishing industry perplexing, so she particularly valued the advice from tutor Cathie Tasker.

“Cathie cut right to the chase about the ins and outs of the publishing world, what publishers look for, what to avoid when pitching an MS, and the formal narrative techniques of writing a picture book,” Freda says. “She gave me some of the most valuable advice about my portfolio that day. I really appreciated her honesty. That feedback alone helped me make some important changes to my work, which eventually caught the attention of my dream publishers!”

Congratulations Freda. We’re thrilled for you!

Industry recognition

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organisation that helps to build bridges to international understanding through children’s books. IBBY is committed to the principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the United Nations in 1990.

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