WRITER 601: Meet Deborah Abela, author of ‘The Kindness Project’, her 29th book!

Meet Deborah Abela, author of The Kindness Project. Deborah is one of Australia’s most beloved children's authors. Her latest middle grade novel is The Kindness Project, which is her 29th book. Recently, she also released the Book of Wondrous Possibilities. While Deb writes mainly in middle grade, she has also written chapter books and picture books, such as Bear in Space and the upcoming No More Room in the Bed. Also hear about ‘Words at Dawn', a writing initiative for students of the Australian Writers’ Centre. And your chance to win the novel The Many Lies of Veronica Hawkins.

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
01:09 Busting myths about writing for kids
02:30 Guest spotlight: Nat Newman's writing tips
04:38 Words at dawn: A creative writing initiative
15:27 Deborah Abela: A deep dive into middle grade novels
27:12 The Kindness Project: From concept to creation
29:57 Exploring kindness through storytelling
31:38 The creative process and writing in verse
32:05 From pitch to publication
34:06 Character development and creative inspiration
37:55 Rejections and successes in the publishing world
39:16 From film to children's books: A career journey
43:21 The art of writing across different formats
50:51 Engaging with young readers: The importance of school visits
55:13 Top tips for aspiring middle grade writers

Links mentioned in this episode

Writer in residence: Deborah Abela

Deborah was born very short and had funny ears, but that didn't stop her being a very smily baby. When she grew up, she was still short, a bit clumsy and not very brave, which may explain why she writes books about spies, ghosts, soccer legends and children living in a flooded city, battling sea monsters and sneaker waves.

Deborah's family never had a lot of money, but every week her mum would buy a Little Golden Book at the supermarket for 40 cents, until slowly Deborah had her own library of books. Some of her favourite books at school were The Lorax and Professor Branestawm.

Deborah was always an adventurous kid and lived in her head a lot. It was there she went on brave adventures as she swung from the swings in the park pretending she was dangling from planes. She once even jumped off the garage roof thinking if she ran fast enough she could make it all the way to the pool. It wasn't a happy ending.

Follow Deborah on Twitter and Instagram.

Follow Penguin Kids Aus on Twitter and Instagram.

Follow Penguin Teachers on Twitter and Instagram.

Follow PuffinBooks on Twitter and Instagram.

This podcast is brought to you by the Australian Writers' Centre and our course Writing Children’s Novels.

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

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