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James Redden, Harry Hartog Picks ‘There’s a Baddie’ for Christmas

Christmas predictions: James Redden from Harry Hartog in Canberra

 

Children’s Books

Some of our favourite local authors have some magnificent titles for Christmas. Shelly Unwin’s There’s a Baddie Running Through This Book (A&U) A&U site is so much fun to read out loud with a group of kids. It invokes those same emotions we all felt when first reading There’s a Monster at the End of this Book (Jon Stone, Golden Books).Baddie_GOOD QUALITY

Jack Heath’s The Truth App (Scholastic), the first book in his ‘Liars’ series, is just plain fun. Middle-grade fiction that is perfect to thrill tech-savvy kids, it’s a bit like the TV series Black Mirror but for young readers.

Local picks

The Capital Cookbook 3 (Quicksand Food) has an amazing array of recipes from Canberra’s best chefs and cooks. Coupled with exquisite photography of the nation’s capital, this could be perfect just as a coffee table book.

I can also see Tania McCartney’s new children’s book Mamie (HarperCollins), hitting the top of bestseller lists. It’s a gorgeously illustrated picture book, with the author’s passion for May Gibbs flying off the pages. Something for adults and kids to enjoy.

For his full list of recommendations follow this link…

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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

jasper-rust-book-3

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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Year of the Horse

I have finally waved my little Princess off for her first week at big school, an emotional week for me. I’m trying to think of it as a start to a new era rather then the end of one, but we’ve had so much fun hanging out together for the last 4 and 3/4 years, and now I only have the weekends :(. It’s lovely to see her coming out of school beaming like a Cheshire cat and walking 10 feet tall, I know she’s ready and will have a fantastic time. It does also mean that I finally have some writing time again which is wonderful, although Big School days are very short, compared to day care days, so I’m feeling a little ripped off ;).

Now I’m back into it, I am forming a bit of a plan. I have signed up for another writing course, Writing for children with the wonderful Jacqueline Harvey which started this week and has certainly helped fire up my engines already ( I have more than one engine apparently??). I have already submitted several manuscripts, and I am meeting my chapter book critique group for the first time this year on Saturday.

It is all going to happen this year! I decided that at the end of last year, but now I am even more sure. The reason being… last night we went to a Chinese New Year celebration to welcome the Year of the Horse. I was born in the year of the snake, and the prediction for Year of the Horse, for a snake is as follows…

‘Snakes in the Design industry, strategy, arts or writing will have a creative and inspirational year. You will be well recognised for your talent. This will also be an auspicious year for examinations, auditions and interviews, and make the most of the opportunity to advance yourself.’

Year of the Horse

So there you have it!I’m convinced, now to convince the publishers!!!