Category: Success stories: Children’s fiction

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

Charlotte Barkla rediscovers her dream to become a successful author

Courses taken at AWC: Writing Picture Books How to Write for Children and Young Adults Freelance Writing Stage 1 Engineer-turned-maths teacher Charlotte Barkla never imagined she’d become a published writer – but three children’s books later, she’s thrilled to have rediscovered her passion. Charlotte signed a contract for her first

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 »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Stef Gemmill’s debut picture book finds a home

AWC courses completed:
Writing Picture Books
Fiction Essentials: Characters

Stef Gemmill used the few minutes she had each morning before her family woke up to work on her creative writing. With a background in music journalism, Stef was no slouch at writing, but knew that she needed guidance to really hone her picture book manuscripts. After signing up for the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Writing Picture Books course, Stef got the valuable feedback she was looking for. Her first picture book, A Home for Luna, has now been published by New Frontier Publishing and it won the 2020 International Rubery Book Award (children’s category).
Read More »
Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Vikki Conley’s path to becoming a children’s author

Courses taken at AWC: Writing Picture Books Vikki Conley dreamed of writing for children and, over the years, that little voice telling her to write books got louder until she simply couldn’t ignore it. She threw in her marketing job, enrolled in an Australian Writers’ Centre course and started writing.

Read More »
Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

New York book launch for AWC alumna Astrid Scholte

Astrid Scholte’s dream of being published has come to fruition with the recent launch in New York of her debut novel, Four Dead Queens published by Putnam/Penguin Random House. “The launch was held at the Gold Bar in New York City. There were crowns, golden skulls, sparkling chandeliers, four gorgeous

Read More »
Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Tamsin Janu shortlisted for the 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

We are thrilled to see AWC alumna and award-winning author Tamsin Janu shortlisted in 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Children’s fiction category for her book Figgy Takes the City. From the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards media release: The shortlists for this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have today been announced by

Read More »
Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Mandy Foot lands children’s book deal as writer and illustrator

Courses taken at AWC: Writing Picture Books Congratulations to Australian Writers’ Centre Writing Picture Books graduate Mandy Foot for the publication of her second picture book, Lucy and Copper, with Hachette Australia. Her charming debut book Joey and Riley, about a young boy and his beloved dog set in rural

Read More »
Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Maggie Hutchings – from counsellor to children’s author

Course taken at AWC: Writing Picture Books Maggie Hutchings’ determination to improve and keep writing until she was published has paid off, thanks to taking AWC’s Writing Picture Books course and the subsequent publication of her children’s book Unicorn! by Affirm Press. “I was absolutely committed to the process of

Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Shelly Unwin blasts off with another winning children’s book!

AWC courses completed: Writing Picture Books How to Write for Children and Young Adults Prolific children’s author Shelly Unwin is blasting onto bookshelves with her new picture book Blast Off!, which rockets through the solar system in a funny, fact-filled space trip around the planets. Inspired by her son Harrison who

Read More »
AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Astrid Scholte: Now an award-winning author of young adult fiction

Courses taken at AWC:
Creative Writing Stage 1
Novel Writing Essentials
History, Mystery and Magic
Blogging for Beginners

Astrid Scholte had always hoped to be published. In fact, she had the lofty goal of being published before she was 18. “I was a little ambitious! While it took me a lot longer I’m so happy to have achieved this dream of mine. I cannot wait to hold my book Four Dead Queens in my hands early next year, I’m sure there will be plenty of tears!” says Astrid.
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