WRITER 598: Mary Anastasiou, picture book author and managing editor at Five Mile.

Meet Mary Anastasiou, picture book author and managing editor at Five Mile press, as well as a former creative director at Larrikin House. Mary shares her journey from aspiring writer to influential figure in the children's book industry, highlighting the challenges and rewards of publishing picture books. She discusses the importance of illustrator-author dynamics, how to successfully submit manuscripts, and offers invaluable advice to aspiring authors and illustrators. Additionally, the episode includes insights into the process of creating picture books, from conception to finished product, and touches on the nuances of the publishing industry. Mary also talks about her latest picture book Julius Squeezer. The episode also covers a range of related topics, including accent coaching for actors, the intricacies of grammar in dialogue, and a giveaway of James Patterson and Candice Fox's The Murder Inn.

You can listen to the episode below, on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or add the podcast RSS feed manually to your favourite podcast app.  

00:00 Welcome to the world of writing and publishing
03:27 Nat Newman’s writing tips
11:07 WIN: James Patterson and Candice Fox's ‘The Murder Inn.'
14:29 Insights into picture book production with Mary Anastasiou
25:39 Navigating picture book submissions: Dos and don'ts
26:15 The ideal submission format for picture books
27:10 Illustration submissions: A clear no-no
28:17 A personal journey into picture book publishing
32:16 Managing the illustration process: A publisher's perspective
39:05 The challenges of working with difficult authors
41:52 The personal goals of a picture book author
43:28 Dreaming big in the publishing world
44:43 Closing thoughts and fun facts

Links mentioned in this episode

Writer in residence: Mary Anastasiou

Mary Anastasiou has been telling stories her whole life. From the outlandish and silly tales she told as a child growing up in Melbourne, Australia, to the response–driven marketing campaigns she delivers in her career as an advertising creative. The arrival of her son Luke in 2008 inspired Mary to fulfil her lifelong dream of writing fun, inspiring, and motivating stories that made him “giggle ‘til his belly hurt.” She hopes her books inspire your little ones to do the same.

Follow Mary on Instagram.

Follow Five Mile Books on Instagram.

This podcast is brought to you by the Australian Writers' Centre and our course Anatomy of a Crime: How to Write About Murder.

Find out more about your host, Valerie Khoo (@valeriekhoo on Twitter and @valeriekhoo on Instagram).

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