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Win Win Win!!

Shelly and books

This week the Australian Writers’ Centre is running a competition for one lucky winner to walk away with the complete You’re series! That’s all five books! You’re One! to You’re Five! So… if you’ve got some special little ones in your life why don’t you give it a go. It’s super easy!!

Just follow the link below …

and Good Luck xxx

click here to enter

Could this be yours??? book stack

https://www.writerscentre.com.au/blog/win-whats-favourite-number/

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A Big-Bang Announcement

(Warning – this post may contain silly space puns – I can’t resist)

I am so thrilled to finally announce that my non fiction book Blast Off! has been acquired by Penguin Random House and is scheduled for launch in early 2018. Thank you to my super star agent Alex Adsett for brokering the deal.

shelly-random-contract

Blast Off! as the title suggests is a picture book based on the universally popular theme of Space. It takes the reader on a fact-filled, fun-filled astro romp around the solar system. The reader boards a rocket ship and is taken to visit the eight planets, learning about each planet and what would happen if they were to get too close.

We can’t wait to release this story into the world and hope that it becomes the much loved book of many earthlings for lightyears to come!

 

 

 

 

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The Curse of Jasper Rust

For the last two years I have been involved with the gifted and talented writers at my local primary school, mentoring them through the plotting, writing and editing of a chapter book. Last year I shadowed another fabulous local author, Tony Davis, who had been responsible for pulling the programme together with the school four years ago.

This is last years book: The Disappearance of Jasper Rust

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This year I took the reigns. It has been an amazing experience, from the first full day workshop, through to the final edits. I have been so lucky to have had a team of exceptionally gifted writers, who soaked up everything I taught during the workshop session and delivered it so beautifully throughout the term as we plotted and wrote the 6 chapter, 8,000 word book.

The character Jasper Rust was a legacy from the previous three years, and the title ‘The Curse of Jasper Rust’ was our starting point. We took our time to map out a thorough plot and workshop our main characters and then each of the six students were assigned a chapter. This year we wrote the book chronologically, so our Chapter One writer had a week to write her chapter, then our Chapter Two writer had his week, and so followed through to Chapter Six.

As the chapters took shape I provided feedback and the writers edited their chapters against this and against the changes that came about because of what was written in the previous or subsequent chapters. The children’s ability to take on board the feedback and make the necessary changes to their chapters was inspiring.

We also developed ‘hit squads’ I had a ‘Hamish and Andy’ duo, who had shown a natural ability to write humour into their chapters, so they worked through the other chapters adding hints of their comedy brilliance. I also had character and setting teams who were able to embellish the story with detail, all the while helping to move the plot forward.

Writing in this form is all about re-writing and it is so far removed from a piece of homework that you write once and hand in. They had to go back over their 1,000+ word chapters between 8 and 10 times to get it to mesh seamlessly with the rest of the book. They also had to willingly let others tweak their work. Throughout this whole process the group was amazing, dedicated and flexible. I am so proud of each and every one of them and can’t wait for the launch of book four, pencilled for the 22nd November.

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When I’m a famous author….. (I live in hope)

…. I want to be like Markus Zusak!

I don’t mean I want to be as successful as Markus – although obviously that would be nice! I mean I want to remain grounded, generous and honest.

I’ll elaborate…. Last night Catherine and I were lucky enough to attend the ‘In Conversation with Markus Zusak’ Evening at the Australian Society of Authors in Ultimo. Markus was amazing, so laid back and humble, he could have been speaking to any one of us on a one on one basis in his living room, such was his demeanour, he’s also pretty funny too. One of the things that I loved was that he didn’t build a mystique around his writing process, or make it sound like a higher art, he doesn’t consider himself super intelligent, or ridiculously well read, he is just very passionate and dedicated to what he does, clearly very talented and he has worked very hard. And he is still working very hard. It took him 7 years to get published, but he knew it was the one thing he really wanted to do and he stuck at it.

Catherine and I hung around to get our books signed at the end and Markus chatted to us for a good 15 minutes, he didn’t have to, we grilled him, it was all take an no give, but he was happy to give – I hope I can remember his generosity in years to come, when I’m pressed for time, have a book to finish and want to get home to the kids, but have two aspiring authors soaking up my every word. (Again, I live in hope 😉 ) I may sound like I’m gushing, but I suspect if you asked any of the attendees last night, they would all be gushing too! Thank you Markus! Now back to my novel!!

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