Category: Writing for kids and teens

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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Fiction writing
Guest Writer

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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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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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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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Bestselling children’s author Tim Harris: How he got his big break and why he loves writing for kids

Looking at Tim Harris’ body of work, it would be easy to think he had planned it all out in advance. After spending 15 years as a primary school teacher, he picked up a pen and started writing for that same age group: less than a decade later, he has 11 children’s novels under his belt along with a pack of literary awards, and he’s an in-demand presenter at primary schools across Australia.

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Fiction writing
Guest Writer

Write across the ages – from junior fiction to young adult

Deciding whether a story is YA, Junior Fiction or Middle Grade comes down to the fundamentals of all writing. That is: story, idea, setting, language, character, voice, structure, length… All these factors help shape what sort of story you’re writing. But in making this decision, possibly the most important thing to decide is… Who is your reader?

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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Breaking the rules: A picture book collaboration

Some rules are meant to be broken. When author Deborah Abela and illustrator Marjorie Crosby-Fairall came up with an idea for a picture book, they were also acutely aware of the unspoken rule that publishers DO NOT like authors and illustrators to work or pitch together. But, flying in the

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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

7 trends in children’s and YA publishing

For authors looking to write for children and young adults, it’s important to understand that what they want to read is evolving. Young readers now have screens and devices constantly competing for their attention, but they are still interested in reading engaging, well-written books. While you don’t need to follow

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Fiction writing
Australian Writers' Centre Team

Children’s book manuscript submissions with Walker Wednesday

Have you been working on a manuscript for a children’s book?  Walker Books Australia are looking for new diverse Australian stories for kids. They’ve launched an initiative called Walker Wednesday – a biannual event where they will be reviewing unpublished manuscripts from new and established writers.  Linsay Knight from Walker

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