I began writing children’s picture books after completing a course online with the Australian Writers Centre. I learnt the basic parameters and learnt to look at picture books with a critical eye.
With 6 grandchildren to read to, I soon found the ones that entranced them, particularly those by Julia Donaldson, although I do not aspire to write in rhyming verse! I submitted a number of manuscripts and had good feedback.
I joined the FB page of Just Write for Kids as well as Girl and Duck and found great support and helpful information. I also listen to a weekly podcast by author Jen Storer, called Q&Q Fridays. The other useful source is the newsletter by Di Bates Buzz words and Pass it On. I also joined the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) and SCWBI. I joined an online critique group through SCWBI and receive great feedback on my Picture Book stories from four other members.
I also belong to Jen Storer’s group Scribblers and recently had two of my stories short listed in the Creative Writing Awards. At the end of last year (2018) I had a story included in an anthology called ‘Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas; it was titled ‘Christmas in the bush,’ and I have submitted other stories to three other anthologies. Two of those were recently launched…Creative Tales No 2 ( I have a story in each section; Enchanted and Things that go Bump) and Spooktacular Tales by Share Your Story.
I have had two poems published in The School Magazine and another waiting in the wings.
This week I received a contract for my first Picture Book, from Little Pink Dog Books, a great small publishing company in Armidale, NSW
In October 2019 I entered the Scribbles Creative Writing Awards again and was excited to see my Junior Fiction story was short listed. Stay posted! And on Melbourne Cup Day, I found I had been awarded a Highly Commended for my story The Bird, the Bear and the Book,
This week I received the advance copies of my debut Picture Book, “Buster Follows his Nose’. It is totally amazing and a joy to hold in my hands. The illustrator Jenny Hale has created such memorable images that are so full of affection for Tilly and the old dog Buster. We are planning a launch after the official release on May 18th. Pre-orders can be made by going to the link in my bio in Instagram, @pmstevo7