CKT's Years in Review

Creative Kids Tales - A year in review 2014

In December 2013 we tried something a little different. Instead of bringing you an interview with an emerging author, we featured ‘Creative Kids Tales - A Year in Review’. It was a hit! So much so that this year we decided to do it all again.

We hope you enjoy our 2014 ‘Creative Kids Tales - A Year in Review’.

12 Inspirational months

During our planning for 2014 we came up with the idea for 12 Inspirational months. Each month we posted various pictures on our Facebook page aimed to inspire you.

In January we began with ‘New Beginnings’, February was ‘Growth’, March 'The Journey', April 'Hurdles', May 'Perseverance', June 'Bare your soul', July 'Eureka', August 'Run with it', September 'Achieve', October 'The finish line' , November 'Reflection' and finally December ‘Celebration’.

Each theme was designed to be pieces of a puzzle and come together to form a complete writer’s journey. As happens with writing, we addressed the highs and the lows. We hope it helped inspire you along the way.


In 2014 we chatted with lots of talented authors and illustrators from Leigh Hobbs, Wendy Orr, Serena Geddes, Tristan Bancks, George Ivanoff, Anna Fienberg, Michael Gerard Bauer, Dee White, Adam Wallace and Dave Hackett.

We have an exhilarating assortment of authors and illustrators who'll chat with us in 2015.

Emerging Authors

This year we welcomed both new authors and illustrators into the Creative Kids Tales family. We continue to offer publishers and readers quality submissions from our now 50+ strong list.

In 2015 with our new website this list will grow stronger. Some of the new features on our website were created to provide you with more opportunities to spread your wings.

 Festivals & Conferences

Wow! What an exciting and busy year we had this year.

There were many highlights for me. I was honoured to be invited by the NSW Writers’ Centre to chair their Writing, Pitching and Publishing a Series discussion at the NSW Writers’ Centre Kids & YA Festival 2014. Together with panellists Jacqueline Harvey, Wendy Orr and Catherine Jinks we had a colourful discussion filled with tips, tricks and the dos and don’ts when writing a series for publication.

CYA Conference - This year’s CYA Conference was my second and particularly special as I had been shortlisted in the Primary Picture Books category. I came third!

I left feeling amazed and full from the day’s sessions plus a very sore thumb which could have been from the 200 plus tweets and Facebook posts I did in my duty as Chief Social Media Correspondent. I’ll be first in line to secure a seat for next year’s 10 year CYA celebrations.

SCBWI - After being awarded a partial grant to attend July’s SCBWI Conference, I packed my bag and headed for The Hughenden in Sydney. It was two days and one exciting dinner filled with inspiration and energy. The conference ran over four days but I wasn’t able to attend for the complete agenda.

I had a ball being a part of Sheryl Gwyther’s Roving Reporter team.

CBCA Big Book Day Out – It was back to the NSW Writers’ Centre in August for their inaugural Big Book Day Out.

It had all the excitement of the Easter Show with balloons filling the sky, stalls bustling with fellow lovers of the written word and children eagerly awaiting their chance to steal a moment with their favourite author.

It was a great family day. I hope the NSW Writers’ Centre will hold the event again in 2015.

A full report on these festivals/conferences can be found under our Conference Wrap Up option in the What's New tab.

Books reviewed

Our CKT Book Reviews and now Goodreads pages are bursting with reviews from the latest release children’s books.

This year we welcomed lots of new reviewers who reviewed books from Scholastic, Allen & Unwin, Walker Books, Penguin, Ford Street Publishing, UQP, Harper Collins and the National Library.

We also receive books directly from authors. It’s like Christmas every day!

Along with my fellow reviewers, Julie Anne Grasso, Allie Mokany, Sandra Wigzell, Angela Kirin, Tricia Simmons, Jackie Randall, Kelly McDonald, Olivia Tolich, REC Pearson, Leigh van der Veen, Romi Sharp, Christina Krebs, Kathy Creamer, Bernadette Smallwood, Angela Kirin, Julie Whelan, Irene Buckler, Leah Mason, Em Horsfield and Mel Williams, we thank you for allowing us to introduce these wonderful new books to you.

You can read all about your favourite reviewers on our ‘Meet our book reviewers’ page.


Again we did our best to keep you up to date with the various writing competitions around Australia.

This year we held our first eBook competition asking authors to write a 500 word submission using any one of the following themes:

  • The Journey
  • Never Give Up
  • The Finish Line.

The submission had to be suitable for readers aged between 5 -12 years old.

After many agonising hours 12 winners were chosen to be published in The Journey  by Creative Kids Tales available for free through Smashwords. We also ran a competition for illustrators with the winning entry gracing the cover for our eBook.

Earlier in 2014 we ran The Key  competition, the theme being the key which needed to be incorporated into the story suitable for children. We were inundated with many quality submissions.


As the word continues to spread about Creative Kids Tales, our readership grows. On average we receive 90,000+ per month.


This year we added a few new tips pages ‘Securing that Grant’, ‘Mind your Mentor’ and ‘Don’t lose the plot’. We hope you have benefitted from our growing library of tips. Look out for more next year.

Children’s Publishers Australia

In 2013 our most popular page was our comprehensive children’s publishers listing.

In 2014 it was still our most viewed page.

If you are looking for an up to date list of children’s publishers in Australia together with their contact details then look no further. We have them all listed here.

The Author’s Shelf

There were lots of laughs and secrets revealed this year from the guests who visited The Author’s Shelf.

Some of the guests I enjoyed a laugh with on the show, Andy Griffiths and Belinda Murrell.

Tony Flowers and Nick Falk was a great pair to interview together. I had to be on my toes with those two.

Dav Pilkey was my first international guest and an absolute delight to talk to.

Susanne Gervay, Kate Forsyth and Jacqueline Harvey were like chatting with old friends.

Jackie French had such a great time she visited twice!

I have to admit chatting with the wickedly funny Posie Graeme-Evans was a highlight for me. And it rounded off a very interesting year of bringing you something a little different.

But as all good things must come to an end so did The Author’s Shelf, well at least put on the shelf for a while, while I focus on my publishing ambitions.

My decision paid off, with my first picture book being published in March 2015, with Dragon Tales Publishing.



It’s been a fantastic year for us. We hope you have enjoyed being a part of the Creative Kids Tales family and we look forward to bringing you more resources and features in 2015.

MORE, MORE, MORE is our theme, with more interviews,  more authors,  more competitions,  more tips  and more services.

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to continuing or embarking with you on your creative journey in 2015.


Take care and happy writing!


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  • 'Wow! Creative Kids Tales is a fantastic resource for writers, no matter what stage of their writing journey they are at. Congratulations, Georgie, on your attractive, easy-to-navigate website, your generosity to your fellow writers and your constantly evolving ideas. Thanks on behalf of all of us.' -

    Wendy Blaxland
  • 'The Creative Kids Tales site is great fun and full of information about authors and their books!' -

    Isobelle Carmody
  • 'CKT is such a valuable site for anybody wanting to learn a bit more about making children’s books. When time travelling becomes possible, I’ll steal all the info from this site and deliver it to my younger, aspiring self.'


    Peter Carnavas

  • 'CKT is a great resource for both established and emerging authors. I like the way you're always coming up with new and exciting initiatives at your site. And I love reading the fascinating journeys and achievements of the writers you profile here.' -

    Dee White
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is such a great website for navigating this industry – not just for authors and illustrators, but for parents and teachers and librarians and publishers and kids and storytellers of all sorts. It’s awesome!' -

    Jules Faber
  • Writing can be a lonely profession. By necessity, you need to work alone much of the time. But it is wonderful to have a website which eases that by connecting creators with each other and with a wealth of information and resources.
    Bravo! -

    Sally Murphy
  • 'Congratulations to Georgie Donaghey for her hard work and enthusiasm in setting up a site that has been sorely needed to promote current Australian children's writing. Not just for the established, but for up and coming, Creative Kids Tales showcases talent and provides information essential for anyone in the industry.' -

    Dianne (Di) Bates
  • 'The long-distance marathon of writing, illustrating and publishing usually begins along a very foggy road, in the dark, shoeless. But wait! What's that light on the horizon? A glowing little cafe, full of a bunch other runners plotting out mud-maps on napkins and exchanging anecdotes, warning about ditches and praising short-cuts. Stop for a while, have a cup of tea, maybe even a shoe-fitting, then get yourself back on the road for the long slog to sunrise.' -

    Shaun Tan
  • 'This is a great website. Nowadays, when getting published is so hard and staying published not much easier, everyone needs all the help they can get. And here's Help with a capital H!' 'Go Georgie! Creative Kids Tales is an inspiration for all writers of children's and YA fiction.' -

    Richard Harland
  • 'Georgie Donaghey’s Creative Kids Tales is deservedly going gangbusters! What a wonderful forum and multi-storeyed resource for shiny new authors, legends of the industry and every writer in between!'

    DC Green
  • 'Congratulations on a brilliant site, and a superb first year!'.
    Jackie French is Australian Children's Laureate for 2014 – 2015

    Jackie French
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a fabulous community of passionate, hardworking and committed writers. If you're looking for new and exciting talent that's dedicated to the children's book industry - look no further than CKT!'


    Wai Chim

  • 'Creative Kids Tales offers new writers the joy of publication on their journey of craft and creativity.'
    'It’s a warm and wonderful home.'

    Susanne Gervay
  • 'Emerging from one's chrysalis of anonymity into the prodigious world of creative children's writing and publishing is a daunting prospect. Georgie Donaghey's Creative Kids Tales is a superlative source of inspiration and information for the bourgeoning writer and illustrator. She has created an invaluable platform from which writers, both developing and established, can view, promote and share each other's work, and most importantly aspirations. A fun, friendly, and informative forum that everyone in the kids' lit industry can benefit from.' Keep it up Georgie! -

    Dimity Powell
  • 'I stumbled on to Creative Kids Tales by accident. I thought it was kid's tails. I'd been doing some research about goats and how their tails were actually a fifth leg, a very long time ago. Or did I just dream that? In any case, I was bitterly disappointed at first to find not tails, but tales. However, while I was at the site I had a wander around, and soon discovered that it was even better than a goat's site - no kidding! This is a brilliant haven for writers, new and not so new; a place to showcase their work and to learn from others.' Well done, Georgie. You've done a fantastic job. -

    Bill Condon
  • 'Having been a publisher and an author and now proprietor of Pinerolo, the Children’s Book Cottage, I am passionate about promoting children’s books. Creative Kids Tales is such a welcome part of this network and I salute them for their support and their inspiration to so many. On their seventh birthday I wish them many, many happy returns.'


    Margaret Hamilton

  • 'Creative Kids Tales will jump-start adults seeking to become writers!' -

    Jeff Kinney
  • 'Georgie and the team at Creative Kids Tales have a wonderful passion for children’s stories, and this site is a wonderful place to visit to find and share ideas!
    Well done guys!' -

    Nick Falk
  • 'Creative Kids Tales contributes a wonderful sense of community to the Australian kids’ book scene, from sharing insightful interviews, to writing competitions and now a conference. It’s a great organisation to follow online and be a part of!'


    One More Page podcast

  • 'If there's anything emerging authors struggle with (beyond the dreaded writer's block), it's receiving recognition or even acknowledgment of their work – battling for a slice of that incredibly elusive publishing pie. Georgie Donaghey has created a priceless promotional and networking station that allows new authors to not only share their work, but gain the courage and nous to take their work to a whole new level. Creative Kids Tales is a valuable addition to Australia's burgeoning children's book market.' -

    Tania McCartney
  • Creative Kids Tales offers a brilliant platform for established and emerging creators to keep in touch and learn from each other. That is a great thing for this most isolated of all professions (apart from On-site Antarctic Penguin Imitators). -

    Terry Denton
  • 'Everything you need is here, on Creative Kids Tales! Oh, how wonderful this would have been for the young Emma Quay, knowing she loved children’s picture books but not knowing a soul in the industry. Down to earth, comprehensive, friendly, realistic and encouraging advice — this is an invaluable resource. Bravo!' -

    Emma Quay
  • 'The thing I like about the Creative Kids Tales website is that the authors come across as real people who face the same problems that beginning writers do and that there’s plenty of practical advice.' -

    Duncan Ball
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a lovely online meeting space brimming with support and ideas for writers.'


    Katrina Germein

  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a fantastic resource for aspiring writers that showcases emerging and published authors and illustrators and provides links to publishers' websites, helpful hints and competitions.'

    Rachel Keyes
  • 'Wow! What a wonderful resource.
    Congrats to everyone involved with Creative Kids Tales.'

    George Ivanoff
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a treasure trove of resources and insights, compiled with dedication and enthusiasm. A wonderful resource for anyone who is interested in picture books and children's literature.' -

    Sarah Davis
  • 'It's about time that we had something like Creative Kids Tales. It's a treasure trove for information and news, plus it showcases talent from aspiring writers. It's a wonderful springboard for anyone who wants to dive into the Children books world!'
    Keep up the fabtastic work! -

    Oliver Phommavanh
  • What a terrific, enthusiastic, informative and creative resource - of value and interest to so many people.
    I'm delighted to be a part of it.

    Ursula Dubosarsky
  • 'I would have loved to have had access to when I was starting out! It's an invaluable source of information, inspiration and encouragement for both emerging (and fully-emerged!) writers.' -

    Andy Griffiths
  • 'CKT is informative, relevant, recent and fun! It’s an exceptional resource for anyone involved in children’s literature.'


    Tim Harris

  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a unique and valuable online resource for new and established authors. The site provides a wealth of information and insight into the children's writing world.' 'Thanks for all your support, Georgie, and keep up the good work.' -

    Aleesah Darlison
  • 'The details available on this site, for emerging writers (or those emerged) is incredibly helpful. From creating stories- plotting, dialogue and character building- to the support writers can seek for their work, be it mentoring or seeking a publisher, it’s all there. An excellent easy-to-access writers’ site!'


    Libby Hathorn

  • 'Creative Kids tales is the perfect place to go for inspiration and to recharge the creative batteries.'


    Frané Lessac

  • 'Creative Kids Tales has inspired, encouraged and supported not only the published, but also us hopefuls still learning the ways of the publishing world. Thanks for providing not only an amazing site to scroll and learn through, but also providing friendship and a real sense of chasing our dreams.' -

    Kelly McDonald
  • 'I’m thrilled to be Creative Kids Tales author of the month.' 'I hope in some small way by me taking part, I might help and inspire young authors and artists to follow their own artistic path.' 'The key I believe is to seek to enjoy what you do. Even though doing your best is a constant challenge I find it is a worthwhile one. So, get drawing and / or writing.' Good luck ! -

    Leigh Hobbs
  • 'What can I say? Well if you have clicked this far and uncovered these words you KNOW that this (Creative Kids Tales) is a terrific resource full of ideas and connections.
    SO dig deeper and get connected!' -

    Christopher Cheng
  • "What a wonderful website and wealth of resources. I wish I’d discovered it sooner - but I can still enjoy it now, and have added it to my list of resources for new writers."
    "Keep it up, Georgie!" -

    Wendy Orr
  • 'Once you find an easily-accessible, up-to-date and vibrant source of writing help and encouragement, you should value it and use it! Thanks to Creative Kids Tales, that’s all available, just with the tap of your finger:
    Well done, CKT team!' -

    Janeen Brian
  • 'What a great asset you are to the children's book industry, Georgie.
    Long may Creative Kids Tales rule!'

    Paul Collins
  • 'It's easy to feel alone when writing, and clueless about what happens next. Creative Kids Tales offers answers and community - invaluable resources.'


    Claire Saxby

  • 'This site is such a wonderful resource for writers and illustrators at every stage of the journey. I've learned more about some of my favourite people in children's literature here, but also had the joy of discovering whole new worlds of talent.' -

    Anna Branford
  • 'I wish Creative Kids Tales had been around when I was first starting out! What a brilliant way to connect with other authors and find out about the lovely world of kids books.' 'Go Georgie! I think you're amazing.' -

    Deborah Abela
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is an awesome resource you should totally check it out.' -

    R.A. Spratt
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a great forum for people who spend most of their working time alone. It is interesting and inspiring to see and hear what other authors and illustrators have to say.' -

    Lucy Cousins
  • 'What a great site! We all tend to work in isolation in our own little caves. It’s great to see all the other cave dwellers out there and realise we are not alone. What a great resource!'


    Bruce Whatley

  • 'CKT is like the friendly and helpful colleague I could have done with when I started out. Back then I didn’t know anyone who was a writer or illustrator of books.'


    Tohby Riddle

  • 'Creative Kids Tales provides such a valuable service. Writing can be a lonely business at times, and seeking publication can be daunting. So it is especially wonderful for writers to be able to access such a comprehensive site where information, experiences and the ups and downs of writing for kids can be shared.' Well done, Georgie! -

    Sue Whiting
  • 'Creative Kids Tales would’ve been mighty handy to know about back when I was sitting about drawing and writing and having no idea what to do with any of it! Go explore and create knowing you have such an amazing resource at your back!'


    Heath McKenzie

  • "Whether just starting out or with many books under your belt, Creative Kids Tales is the perfect place to go for all things writerly. Sharing the inner world is a wonderful thing for solitary writers, and it's all there on Georgie's website.
    Happy reading!" -

    Anna Fienberg
  • 'Thanks for being such a strong advocate for children’s literature, the power of stories, and reading.
    Keep fighting the good fight and call on me anytime.'

    Tristan Bancks
  • 'Creative Kids Tales deserves all its accolades. Thanks to its creator, the site provides brilliant support, inspiration and encouragement for anyone who loves creating children's books. I have no hesitation in passing on your link.'
    Well done, Georgie! -

    Sheryl Gwyther
  • 'Buckets of thanks to Georgie for creating Creative Kids Tales. There’s a wealth of wonderful information and resources for everyone interested in creating books for kids – and a warm sense of community.'

    Meredith Costain
  • 'Thanks for having me on Creative Kids Tales. It's a great resource for emerging writers and illustrators and I hope it will have a long future.'

    Sally Rippin
  • 'I love the grumpy cat videos, hahaha it's so grumpy ... oh, wait, wrong website. Ah yes, Creative Kids Tales. Brilliant! Getting published is an amazing, frustrating, brilliant, lonely, creative journey, and is awesome in that it helps both published and pre-published authors by providing support, inspiration, a community, and by allowing authors to learn from other authors, and who better is there to learn from .. .except maybe that grumpy cat, hahaha, hilarious.' -

    Adam Wallace
  • 'If a website can be described as 'homely' or 'a friendly place for emerging writers to visit' then that's how I would describe Creative Kids Tales. It's probably the only Australian website for children's writers that I visit regularly and actually feel part of. When I need motivation, interesting writers to read about, or just a peek at my own 'baby steps' towards being a published writer, I visit the Creative Kids Tales family.' A big thank you to Georgie and Rod for a great website. -

    (Pat) Patricia Simmons
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a brilliant resource – for established writers and those just starting out. I wish it had been around when I was a new writer. There are lots of invaluable tips and great advice.
    Congratulations Georgie – it’s fabulous.' -

    Jacqueline Harvey
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is ambitious, specific and professional - the Top Tips section alone is a must-read for every aspiring children's writer.' -

    Jack Heath
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is great. You can pick the brains of people who make stuff without having to stalk them or do anything illegal.' -

    Aaron Blabey
  • 'What a wonderful website Creative Kids Tales is, supporting and helping Australian authors in their quest through the dark thorny forest of the publishing world. Georgie should be congratulated for all her hard work and fearless leadership!' -

    Kate Forsyth