A$273 – A$303.75

Children's Writing Bootcamp: A Weekend Intensive

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B Block Hall

Gorman Arts Centre

55 Ainslie Avenue

Braddon, ACT 2612


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Immerse yourself in the world and industry of children's writing.

Children's writing brings joy to people of all ages. But the process of getting the words right, and then getting them to the right people can be a mystery. Join us for an intensive exploration of all aspects of children's writing—including craft and development, the publishing industry and pitching, the children's writing community, and the nuts and bolts of being a professional children's writer.

The Program

Saturday 9am-9.45am

Community and Resources for Children's Writers

An introduction to the world available to children's writers in the ACT, with words from the ACT Writers Centre, and children's author and previous representative for the ACT Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Tracey Hawkins.

Saturday 10am-5pm

Pitching and Publishers: Children's Books with Davina Bell and Jane Godwin

Get a glimpse into the world of publishing children's books.

Publishing Pathways for Children’s Books

Lots of people have a dream of writing for children but not everyone succeeds. In this practical, fun and interactive workshop, Jane Godwin (author and former publisher at Penguin Books) and Davina Bell (author and previously senior editor at Penguin Books) will share with you all they know about writing and publishing quality books for young people from their unique perspective as both authors and industry professionals.

· Learn more about age categories and genres within the children’s book market

· Understand the process of submission and publication for children’s books

· Become aware of common pitfalls, both when writing for kids and approaching publishers

· Pitch your children’s project and receive feedback in 5-minute individual sessions

With a combination of information sharing, practical exercises and a chance to individually pitch your book idea for feedback, this workshop will assist you in taking your writing for young people to the next level.

Sunday 9am-3pm

Writing for Children with Susanne Gervay

An introduction to children's writing with one of Australia's best.

For children’s writing to resonate, it needs to have a strong idea driving it, powerful characters and be structurally and thematically sound. This hands-on intensive will give you the chance to develop your own craft and projects.

The session will show you:

  • The craft of writing for children

  • How to develop your work to the next level

  • The process of overcoming blocks in your writing

  • Where to find inspiration to continue with your project

How to Prepare:

Briefly answer the following questions. Then write a pitch/overview of your story- either one you are writing, have written or plan to write – of no more than 350 words which is to be submitted by 20 September.

  • What is your project?

  • What genre and age group are you writing for?

  • What do you regard to be your strengths and weaknesses?

Sunday 3pm-5pm

The Pro Author Life: Tips, Tricks, Dos and Don'ts with Tania McCartney

Everything you need to know about being a pro.

The author’s life is a slow burn; it takes many years to learn and integrate the various ins and outs, ups and downs of this creative and oftentimes complex career. Author Tania McCartney will take participants through decades of experience, touching on such topics as managing your image/brand, honing your craft, growing your skillset and book list, business admin, cashflow, speaking and presenting tips, contracts, working with illustrators, approaching publishers, promotion and marketing, social media, networking, industry etiquette, and the work/life balance—taking care of your health in this relatively sedentary role. She will also reveal those vital little elements you may not be aware of… public and educational lending rights, copyright payments, school visit requirements, your publishing rights and the power of industry connections and memberships.

The Presenters

Davina Bell is a book editor and writer for young people. Her first picture book, The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade, won the Small Publishers category in the 2016 Australian Book Industry Awards, and she is the author of the Alice books in the bestselling Our Australian Girl series of historical fiction for middle readers . She was an editor at Penguin Books Australia, and is now the Senior Editor in the Kids Department at small publisher Affirm Press.

Jane Godwin is an Australian children's book publisher, and also the highly acclaimed author of twenty-three books for young people, across all styles and ages. Her work is published internationally and she has received many commendations, including the Queensland Premier's Award, the Aurealis Award and the Animal Welfare Award, and shortlistings in the CBC Book of the Year Awards, the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, the New South Wales State Literary Award (Patricia Wrightson Prize) the YABBA Awards, the Speech Pathology Awards, The Family Award for Children’s Books, and the Australian Book Industry Awards. Jane often works in schools and the community, running various literature and writing programs, making books and encouraging students in their own creative ventures. She is dedicated to pursuing quality and enriching reading and writing experiences for young people, whether it’s as a writer, a publisher or a speaker/facilitator in schools.

Susanne Gervay is recognized for her books and advocacy of youth literature on social justice. The I Am Jack books have become rite-of-passage on school bullying, adapted into an acclaimed play by Monkey Baa Theatre, touring Australian and US theatres. Susanne writes for all ages from picture books to young adult books, including ‘Butterflies’ which is recognized as outstanding literature on youth disability. Her picture books include Ships in the Field, Gracie and Josh, Elephants Have Wings which invite engagement and discussion on pathways to peace, inclusion, and migration. Her work is endorsed by Room to Read bringing literacy to the developing world, NSW Cancer Council, Alannah & Madeline Foundation, Life Education Australia, Variety the Children’s Charity, many anti school bullying organizations. Susanne is the head of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators SCBWI Australia East & New Zealand, patron of Monkey Baa Theatre, Writer Ambassador for Room to Read, Australia Day Ambassador, former Chair of the Board of the NSW Writers’ Centre and has taken on many ambassadorial roles in the children’s book community.

Tania McCartney has been writing professionally for almost thirty years, originally in adult fiction and magazines. She transitioned into children’s books 10 years ago and now has 24 books in print. Her various roles include author, illustrator, editor, independent publisher, magazine editor and features writer, columnist, teacher, speaker and juvenile literacy ambassador. She also has a decade in book layout, design, graphic design and typography. The founder of Kids’ Book Review, the number one kidlit site on the web, and the 52-Week Illustration Challenge, Tania has won awards and shortlistings, including a CBCA Notable Book for Australian Kids Through the Years. She has been published in Australia, the UK, Canada, the US, New Zealand and China, and her current books include Australia Illustrated, This is Banjo Paterson, A Kiwi Year and A Canadian Year, with her newest book, Merry Everything (Windy Hollow) released this month. Tania has lived in France, England and China, and currently lives in Canberra with a superhero husband, two gorgeous kids and a mountain of books. www.taniamccartney.com

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B Block Hall

Gorman Arts Centre

55 Ainslie Avenue

Braddon, ACT 2612


View Map

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