Category: Success stories: Children’s fiction

Stef Gemmill’s debut picture book finds a home

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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 illustrating... read more

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... read more

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... read more

Astrid Scholte: Now a successful author of young adult fiction

AWC Courses completed: Creative Writing Stage 1 Novel Writing Essentials History, Mystery and Magic Blogging for Beginners What Publishers Want Lofty ambitions pay off Astrid Scholte had always hoped to be published. In fact, she had the lofty goal of being published before she was 18. “I was a little... read more

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 first book is What I like About Me published in 2019. AWC courses completed: Creative Writing Stage 1 How to Write for Children... read more

Shelly Unwin: “I LOVE that I can call this my job.”

Success: Shelly has written a series of counting-themed picture books for one to five-year-olds – published June 2017 through Allen & Unwin. In 2018 she has written two books, Blast Off  published by Penguin Random House and There's a Baddie Running Through this Book published by Allen... read more

Catherine Pelosi: From boring office job to book deal

Success: Quark's Academy – debut children's novel signed with Hachette. Plus setting up her own copywriting and freelance travel writing business in Sydney. Something for Fleur – children's picture book, illustrated by Caitlin Murray and published by Hachette Australia. AWC courses completed: Become a Children's Author (Writing Books... read more

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... read more

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... read more

Penny Harrison: Finding success in magazines and picture books

When journalist Penny Harrison made the switch to writing feature stories, little did she know it would lead to her first published picture book – with more to come. “I had been working as a local newspaper journalist for 10 years and was just thinking about returning to work after my... read more

Elizabeth Farrelly: From journalist to author

It’s not just new writers who find worth in an Australian Writers’ Centre course. Elizabeth Farrelly is one of Australia’s most respected journalists and columnists, but when she stepped outside her usual writing realm, she sought specific industry advice from the Australian Writers' Centre to help her write... read more