Category: Writing for kids and teens

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.

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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.”

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Alumni news
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Congratulations to the AWC alumni shortlisted for the CBCA 2022 Book of the Year

Congratulations to all the wonderful authors, illustrators and publishers who have made it onto the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s (CBCA) shortlisted books for 2022. We’re particularly chuffed for the talented graduates from our Writing Picture Books course – children’s authors Vikki Conley, Sandhya Parappukkaran and author/illustrator Freda Chiu –

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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.

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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Author Lesley Gibbes publishes her 10th picture book!

Turning ten is a big deal – once you hit double digits, there’s no going back. And this is exactly the milestone author and AWC presenter Lesley Gibbes is celebrating with the publication of her 10th picture book. Dinosaur Dads illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, is out now with Scholastic Australia.

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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Larrikin House publishes Aussie picture books with humour and heart

In the world of publishing, new houses occasionally pop up to fill a niche. One such new publisher is Larrikin House, created by James Layton after he identified a need for more Aussie picture books.  Like any traditional publishing house, Larrikin’s focus is on high-quality stories that resonate with readers.

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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.
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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. 
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Writing for kids and teens
Australian Writers' Centre Team

5 ways writing can help reduce your teen’s anxiety

Anxiety is better recognised and understood than ever before, but for parents of teenagers struggling with anxiety it can still be hard to know how to help. One great way is to encourage them to express themselves via writing.  Bestselling parenting book author Michael Grose shares with us some practical

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Fiction writing
Guest Writer

5 ways to engage readers in your young adult book

By Anna Morgan. The latest book by YA writer and bookseller Anna Morgan is Before the Beginning. Here she reveals her top five ways to engage readers in your young adult book. Do strengthen your plot. One of the most common pieces of feedback I’ve heard from readers is: ‘Once

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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

5 things illustrators should know about writing picture books

Image above: By Judith Rossell Multi-award-winning author and illustrator Judith Rossell teaches Writing Picture Books and How to Write for Children and Young Adults at the Australian Writers’ Centre, and has been writing and illustrating children’s books for nearly 20 years. She was an illustrator first before adding writing to

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Five tips for writing mystery stories for kids

By R.A. Spratt. The latest book from R.A. Spratt is The Peski Kids 5: The Final Mission, a mystery story for kids. We get her to spill five tips on how to write a great mystery story for children. 1. Plot backwards I usually come up with the big reveal

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Writer with pencil and notepad having fun
Fiction writing
Guest Writer

Make writing fun again

By award-winning author, Allison Rushby. We’ve all been there. It’s Sunday. Your chores are done. Everyone else in the house has gone out. The dog/cat/ferret has been walked/played with/whatever you do with a ferret. You’ve got a few hours up your sleeve. Uninterrupted time! You were all set to write

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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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