An Amazing two weeks

On Monday 16th September I attended the Sydney SCBWI meeting. It was a fantastic evening and the passionate and successful children’s author Aleesah Darlison, spoke about the business of writing and marketing yourself as a children’s author. She shared her experience of how to secure book reviews, press opportunities and school visits, and talked about defining your own personal brand as an author.

On Wednesday 18th September I went along to the CBCA Northern Sydney Sub-branch AGM and Meeting. Here Zoe Bechara, Children’s Publicity Officer at Random House presented a talk on “A Publicist’s View.” Zoe was so engaging and gave a great insiders view into the role of the publicist in promoting and driving sales for children’s books.

And finally, on Tuesday 24th September the amazing Lisa Berryman, Associate Publisher – Children’s Books, Harper Collins came to our writers’ group to critique our work and provide an insight into the world of Children’s publishing for Harper Collins. Lisa gave great insight into how she selects books for her list and the most common problems she encounters in people’s writing. Needless to say I couldn’t sleep a wink last night, I think the whole group were buzzing after such an enjoyable and encouraging critique session from such a successful professional. And I was thrilled with her feedback on my story, Our Trip to the Zoo, which she declared I should submit, happy dance, but not to her, sad dance, but she gave some great suggestions of where to send it, happy dance, so that will be my mission over the next few weeks.

All in all it has been a fantastic and educational two weeks. I am pumped and ready to put all of this newly acquired knowledge into action.

Published by Shelly Unwin

Children's Author. Born in the UK in 1977 I grew up and was educated in the small country side town of Ashbourne in the Midlands, my childhood was spent surrounded by animals and children. I was one of three children but my wonderful parents also fostered 11 little children whilst I was young. Riding horses and reading books were my main two loves. Upon leaving high school I studied teaching and biology at university in Birmingham and left with a first class honors degree. My teaching degree re-ignited my passion for beautifully written and illustrated children’s literature. I moved to Australia in 2002 where I forged a career in sales. In 2006 I married my Australian husband in 2006 and we now have two young children. Given my teaching background I had always wanted to write children’s stories that truly engage the reader, and reading to my children has again brought children’s literature to the forefront of my life. Most of my stories are aimed at children between 0-6 yrs, but they will also appeal to the reader through their beautiful rhythm and ability to take your imagination on a wonderful journey.

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