Category: Success stories: Children’s fiction

Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Carla Fitzgerald becomes a published children’s author with two books

Courses completed at AWC:
Short Story Essentials
Creative Writing Stage 1
Writing Chapter Books for 6-9 year olds
How to Write for Children and Young Adults

Carla Fitzgerald had three kids under five when she decided to start writing short stories. They helped to keep her entertained while she was caught in a whirlwind of nappies and breastfeeding. After entering an Australian Writers’ Centre short story competition and making the longlist, Carla was hooked and immediately enrolled in Short Story Essentials.

Read More »
Picture book author Millie Lewis with baby
Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Millie Lewis finds success with her picture book ‘Mr Price’s Pet Emporium’

Courses taken at AWC:
Writing Picture Books
Writing Chapter Books for 6-9 year olds
Laugh Out Loud

Millie Lewis had an unexpected birthday treat when she received an ‘I’m interested’ email from publisher James Layton at Larrikin Books. While on maternity leave from her job as a paediatric psychologist, Millie had turned to writing to reclaim her pre-mummy identity, enrolling in courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre. And just a short time later, she had a positive response to her manuscript for Mr Price’s Pet Emporium.

Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Rebecca Marshallsay on ‘Facing the Wave’ and becoming a published children’s author

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
Reinvent Yourself

Having completed a picture book manuscript, Rebecca turned to the Australian Writers’ Centre.

“I knew it was worth taking the time to workshop it a bit and, serendipitously, an AWC Writing Picture Books course was starting the following week. I took the leap and signed up straight away,” Rebecca says.

That manuscript became Facing the Wave and it has now been published by Larrikin House.

“I was very excited to be published from my first pitch and I know that the things I learned through the AWC helped me be as prepared as possible.”

Read More »
Jeanette Stampone, author of picture book Shadow and the Girl
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Jeanette Stampone becomes a published author with debut picture book, ‘Shadow and the Girl’

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
Presenting to Kids

When Janette Stampone came across AWC’s Writing Picture Books course, she was intrigued. She was on maternity leave and felt like the right time to take her writing seriously.

“Enrolling on the course meant I had actually invested in myself and my dream,” Jeanette says. “While I was taking the course, I felt a strong sense of ‘this is what I should be doing’.”

Jeanette’s decision to invest in herself paid off and she can now call herself a published author. Her debut picture book Shadow and the Girl has been released by Red Paper Kite with illustrations by Demelsa Haughton.

Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Sarah Jane Lightfoot’s path to author and illustrator success, with debut picture book ‘Down the Road, Little Bee’

Courses taken at AWC:
Writing Picture Books

Textile designer Sarah Jane Lightfoot was determined to be a published children’s author and after creating a calendar based on a story idea, she was delighted to get a contract for a picture book with Affirm Press! But with the contract also came the doubt that she didn’t quite know what she was doing.

“I enrolled in the Writing Picture Books course to learn as much as I could about the industry I was entering and build on my confidence and capabilities as an author. I’m so incredibly grateful that I did.” With her newfound skills, Sarah went on to publish her debut picture book ‘Down the Road, Little Bee’.

Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Jacinta Froud: From teacher to published children’s author

Courses taken at AWC:
Writing Picture Books
Writing Picture Books Masterclass
Writing Chapter Books for 6-9 year olds

When Jacinta Froud came across the Writing Picture Books course at AWC, she jumped at the chance to learn the practical storytelling skills for children’s fiction.

“I loved the fact that it was online, self-paced and that I could complete the course around my family commitments,” Jacinta says. “I made connections with the lovely writing community and more recently I secured a publishing deal with the amazing Larrikin House.”

Jacinta’s debut picture book Jingle Belly will be published by Larrikin House in November 2021, with illustrations by Gabriella Petruso.

Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Freda Chiu combines her creative talents with debut picture book ‘A Trip to the Hospital’

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books

“My heart was pounding hard in my chest and I felt so elated and relieved that my childhood dream was finally coming true!”

That’s how Freda Chiu describes the moment she found out that her debut picture book, A Trip to the Hospital, was going to be published by Allen & Unwin. Although she was a successful freelance artist and educator, 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 was unstoppable.

“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.”

Read More »
Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Bec Nanayakkara scores publishing deal for her first picture book

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books

Congratulations to AWC graduate Bec Nanayakkara who has landed a publishing deal for her debut picture book – which is based on an idea she workshopped in our Writing Picture Books course with tutor Zanni Louise just a year ago!

“I wrote a story for one of the assignments, and soon after the course, I polished it up and submitted it to Affirm Press. It was my first picture book submission to a publisher,” Bec told us. “Six months later they got in touch, and I have just signed a contract with them. They will be turning my manuscript into a real live story book in 2023!”

Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How Sandhya Parappukkaran followed her creative curiosity to become a published picture book author

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books

When Sandhya Parappukkaran quit her food technology job to pursue her creative dreams, she originally turned to arts and crafts. But while reading with her son, Sandhya’s childhood love of books was rekindled. After completing the Writing Picture Books course, her debut picture book The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name has been published by Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing.
Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Craig Sheather reinvents his career to become a picture book author with ‘The Incredible True Story of Sparky the Wonder Puppy’

Courses taken at AWC: 
Reinvent Yourself
Laugh Out Loud
Writing Picture Books

Craig Sheather is a freelance writer and journalist specialising in the great outdoors. But when travel restrictions limited his writing opportunities, he decided to reinvent himself – taking the Reinvent Yourself course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. Feeling inspired, he went on to do two courses for writing for kids: Writing Picture Books and Laugh Out Loud. Craig has now published his debut picture book The Incredible True Story of Sparky the Wonder Puppy, about a puppy who survived the bushfires.
Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Graci Kim becomes a published children’s author with her middle grade adventure ‘The Last Fallen Star’

Courses taken at AWC: 
Novel Writing Essentials

Graci Kim has worked as a diplomat, cooking show host and even made kids toys – but it was when she sat down to reread her favourite childhood novels that she discovered her passion.

“It hit me – none of the books I read and treasured as a child had people like me in them. All the books I’d loved were about white people. I had been invisible on the page my whole life,” Graci says. She signed up for a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre and started writing books about Korean diaspora kids having magical adventures.

Graci’s debut middle-grade novel, The Last Fallen Star, has now been published by Disney Hyperion (Rick Riordan Presents) and the trilogy has been optioned by the Disney Channel for a live action television series.

Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Multi-talented Amy Adeney finds success as a children’s book author

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
Writing Chapter Books for 6-9 year olds
Build Your Author Platform
MOJO MONTH

Never in a million years did Amy Adeney think that she would be a published author one day. She had a varied career as a fitness instructor, PR executive, and primary school teacher before finally discovering her creative side. She has now published seven books for children – and it all started with a writing exercise during a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre.

“My debut picture book, Turning Cartwheels (EK Books, 2021), actually began its life as an exercise in the AWC Writing Picture Books course!” Amy says. Her tutor, Cathie Tasker, provided Amy with feedback that made her realise that her story idea had potential. “Cathie’s feedback became part of my pitch for the book, and even formed the basis of the book’s description in the EK Books catalogue.”

Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Inda Ahmad Zahri achieves her childhood dream to become a published author

Courses taken at AWC: 
Creative Non-fiction
Creative Writing Stage 1
Fiction Essentials: Characters
2 Hours to Scrivener Power
Make Time to Write

Inda Ahmad Zahri likes to keep busy. As a working surgeon with a young family, she can now add ‘published author’ to her repertoire of achievements with the publication of her debut picture book Salih, out now with Ford Street Publishing.

“I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was a little girl with my nose stuck in a book for most of the day (and night!). Writing was always an outlet for me,” Inda says. 

Inda is a self-confessed course junkie and knew that she would need structure, deadlines, and the best training available to make her publishing dreams come true. That’s why she turned to the Australian Writers’ Centre for its creative writing courses and community.

Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Teacher Krys Saclier publishes a picture book about Australia’s electoral system!

Courses taken at AWC:
History, Mystery and Magic
How to Write for Children and Young Adults
Pitch Your Novel: How to Attract Agents and Publishers
Laugh Out Loud

Explaining Australia’s federal voting system seems like strange inspiration for a picture book – but that’s exactly what Krys Saclier did for her second book Vote 4 Me, illustrated by Cathy Wilcox, and published through Wild Dog Books.
Krys is a graduate of several AWC courses, including History, Mystery and Magic, How to Write for Children and Young Adults, and Pitch Your Novel: How to Attract Agents and Publishers. Her debut picture book, Super Nova, was published in 2019 through Ford Street Publishing with illustrations by Rebecca Timmis.
Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

The turning point that led to James Antoniou becoming a published picture book author

Courses taken at AWC:
Writing Picture Books

James Antoniou was in the middle of a haphazard gap year when he decided to enrol in Writing Picture Books at the Australian Writers’ Centre. He had always wanted to be a published author, had studied English at Oxford, and was ready to launch his writing career. But it was the course at the AWC that gave James the practical tools he needed to finish his manuscript. 
Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

AWC alumna Brooke Graham’s debut picture book helps kids with anxiety

AWC courses completed:
Writing Picture Books
Writing Picture Books Masterclass
How to Write for Children and Young Adults
Build Your Author Platform

As a mum and a primary school teacher, Brooke Graham knew the value of good children’s books. Reading to kids was one of the most enjoyable parts of her job. Then after completing the Writing Picture Books course at the Australian Writers’ Centre, Brooke became hooked on writing and was determined to write her own. Her debut picture book Go Away, Worry Monster! has now been published by EK Books.
Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

How Felicity McVay reignited her creative passion to become a published picture book author

AWC courses completed:
Writing Picture Books
Creative Writing Stage 1

Sitting in darkness feeding her newborn daughter each night, Felicity McVay began to dream up the character of a boy who loves to burp. After taking two courses at the Australian Writers’ Centre – Writing Picture Books and Creative Writing Stage 1 – Felicity is now a published author, with her picture book The Boy Who Burped released by New Holland Publishers. “I feel a great thrill when I tell people that I’m a writer,” Felicity says. “The courses at AWC gave me a sense of legitimacy.”
Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Victoria Mackinlay achieves her childhood dream to become a published author

Courses taken at AWC: 
Writing Picture Books
Creative Writing Stage 1
Freelance Writing Stage 1

When she was a child, Victoria Mackinlay assumed she would grow up to be an author. And now, with the release of her picture book Ribbit Rabbit Robot and more on the way, Victoria’s dream has come true. To top it off, Victoria has won the State Library of NSW Award for Emerging Children’s Author.
Read More »
Browse posts by category

Courses starting soon

GET OUR FREE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER – WITH WRITING TIPS, COMPETITIONS AND MORE YES PLEASE!

Back to top ↑
×

Nice one! You've added this to your cart