Category: Success stories: Children’s fiction

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.
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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.”.
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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

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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).
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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.

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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

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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

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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 on her publishing deal with Hachette Australia.   Her charming book Joey and Riley (about a young boy and his beloved dog in rural Australia) is now published and Mandy is busy

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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

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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

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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

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

Courses taken at AWC:
Crime and Thriller Writing
Write Your Novel
Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder
Make Time to Write / Creative Writing 30-day Bootcamp

Petronella McGovern came to the Australian Writers’ Centre hoping to prioritise her fiction writing. She had always wanted to publish a novel but was struggling to find the time and motivation to keep writing. Now, her debut novel Six Minutes has just been published by Allen & Unwin, and she spends her mornings writing fiction, working on her next novel.
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AWC alumni
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Jenna Guillaume: Journalist turned YA fiction author

Success: After putting off the idea of creative writing for many years, Jenna Guillaume signed a two-book deal with Pan Macmillan for her YA fiction. Her latest novel is You Were Made for Me and her debut was What I like About Me published in 2019. AWC courses completed: Creative

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

AWC graduate Penny Morrison: Published picture book author

It wasn’t so long ago that Sydney mum Penny Morrison would have laughed off suggestions that she could be a published picture book author. She never thought of herself ever writing books. However, now with half a dozen books to her name, including an industry recognition, she has no plans to stop anytime soon.

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Tamsin Janu’s award-winning start in children’s fiction

Tamsin Janu published her award-winning book Figgy in the World after completing a course at the Australian Writers’ Centre. After taking the book world by storm, she followed up with a sequel, Figgy and the President and Figgy Takes the City. Her latest books are Blossom and Winston and the Wondrous Wooba Gymnastics Club.

And it all started when she enrolled in a writing course that would change her life. “On the second day of the course I remember that’s when I came up with the idea for my first book!” said Tamsin.

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Sally Fawcett: Shaping her picture book future

Primary school teacher, illustrator and mother of three Sally Fawcett is immersed in the world of young children on a daily basis (you could almost call it an occupational hazard). So this provided the perfect foundation to getting her first picture book published. Post-baby creativity The journey began soon after

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