In December each year, we give you a snapshot of ‘the year that was’, with – A Year in Review.
This year we celebrate six years of supporting the children’s writing community from emerging to established authors and illustrators from all around the country. Our list of members continues to grow from ex-teachers to new dads. No matter who you are or what your profession we are happy to assist you with your hobby or career aspirations as a children’s author or illustrator. We pride ourselves on offering an eclectic mix of services to educate, assist and nurture your existing talents.
Navigating your way through the writing world can be daunting and lonely, but we are here to help. From carefully designed hands-on services such as our online critique group and members forum to a smorgasbord of other services like our popular blog that addresses a wide range of topics, our publishers listing, Top tips and many other services. The most important thing we want you to know is you are NOT alone. We are always here for you.
Here’s our snapshot of the year that was.
Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern joined us this year. Jacqueline has been writing the introductions for our featured guests for most of the year. Her insightful content has complimented our interviews beautifully. She has quickly become a valued member of our team and we are looking forward to having her contribute to our blog in 2018.
Eileen has been an integral member of our team for the past few years. This year she focussed on the CKT Critique Group and has captained it flawlessly. Now made up of four small groups, Eileen has everyone rostered and on schedule. Our members have enjoyed the open discussion and valuable feedback they have received. We are looking forward to welcoming more members to this group next year.
Rod has continued working diligently behind the scenes. Ensuring there is back content for SEO to bring our pages up in the search engines. These are things I know I don’t think about and I am blessed that I have a husband who is generous with his time and supportive of my work. In addition to the CKT site, Rod designed and built a fresh and inviting author website for me, www.georgiedonaghey.com.au
And then there is me ?. I don’t know what I would do if I weren’t surrounded by my writing community. It is a pleasure to work with and assist you. Your successes no matter how big or small are extremely rewarding for me. Thank you. x ?
People we’ve chatted with
Over the past six years we have chatted with lots of wonderfully talented authors and illustrators, 2017 was no different:
- Jen Storer – February 2017
- Judith Rossell – March 2017
- Justin D’Ath – April 2017
- R.A. Spratt – May 2017
- Katrina Germein – June 2017
- Glenda Millard – July 2017
- Margaret Wild – August 2017
- Gus Gordon – September 2017
- Tohby Riddle – October 2017
- Libby Hathorn – November 2017
- Bruce Whatley – December 2017
We’ll be chatting with more authors and illustrators in 2018.
Manuscript Assessment Service + Author Personal Training
Since we introduced the Manuscript Assessment Service in 2016, we have assisted many talented people with polishing their stories, building their story arcs and strengthening their plot, so their manuscripts can stand alone.
Since offering our Manuscript Assessment Service, we’ve realised how much people would benefit from tailored one-on-one guidance. We think we have come up with the solution, from 2018 we will be offering the Author Personal Training – More than Mentorship Service. This will incorporate our Manuscript Assessment Service but won’t stop there. Our new service will help not only develop your manuscript but will upskill your existing talents, so you can become empowered to get those publication doors opening.
Our personal trainers will begin by assessing your writing and giving feedback in the most appropriate manner depending on where you are at in your learning. You will gain from their expertise and experience. We will work with you to help you fully develop your manuscript. During the process, you will increase your knowledge of the craft and gather tools to use through any of your creative journeys. The skills you gain will stay with you for life.
We’ll be sharing more information about this exciting new service in the New Year.
Creative Kids Tales Critique Group
We renamed the CKT Writer’s Workshop earlier this year to the Creative Kids Tales Critique Group. Now more popular than ever we thought rather than tell you about this group our members could do a much better job. Here’s what they had to say:
Michelle Wanasundera – I have loved being a part of the CKT critique group. When I reflect back I think receiving really valuable and practical feedback on my writing seems just one part of much bigger gains – learning from reading other’s critiques, the great feeling of helping others with my own critiquing, the pleasure of seeing someone’s story evolve and improve, and being a part of a warm little community of writers. Thank you Georgie and Eileen for all of your hard work 🙂
Caroline Tuohey – The CKT Critique Group is an integral part of my writing career. I find the group incredibly insightful, intelligent and creative. We treat each other with respect and understanding and are totally committed to treating each other’s stories as if they were our own. It’s a joy to read the wonderful manuscripts and receive feedback on my own.
David Lewis – Writing with the CTK team has made a big, enormous, stupendous, universal difference to my motivation, inspiration, passion and pleasure for words, not to mention the joy of sharing words with writers all over Australia. Thank you.
Susan Hili – CKT’s critique group is a valuable learning opportunity for anyone who needs feedback on their stories – without prejudice. The people are wonderful and understanding. They’re a committed group of people that are eager to help achieve the best out of each other’s writing. The helpful feedback is worth its weight in gold. I also leant that giving feedback has been a tremendous help with my own writing. I can’t express it enough that without this group I would be chasing my tale. Forgive the punt!
Jo Saunders – Joining the CKT Critique group has been the best thing I’ve done so far in my writing career. Writing is such a solitary occupation, so it’s just wonderful to be part of an Australia-wide group of caring, supportive writers who really understand the blood, sweat and tears that go into creating each text, and who provide quality, non-judgmental feedback. I’ve learned so much from my fellow critique group members, not only in terms of what they have showed me about my writing, but also because it helps me focus on the work of other authors and look for ways in which it could possibly be enhanced. Such a great way to learn! I love that this group is always at the end of a FB message, whenever you need a hand with an idea. There is absolutely no hint of competitiveness, which you might expect. Just loads of support and friendship. Just fabulous!
Eileen Magee – Being part of the CKT Critique Group is an excellent way to keep your mind focused on writing. I’m impressed with the commitment and support of participants. Each of the groups work well together – in the time taken to review the work, the advice given, and genuine encouragement and respect shown toward each other. It’s a pleasure to provide feedback on the inspiring works of others as much as it is to receive their insightful input on my own work.
Vanessa Jean – I’ve only been a part of this group for a short period of time but have already learnt a lot. Not only have a learnt about my writing but I’ve also grown in confidence about my writing! Working with others in this flexible environment is a great way to share new ideas and keep positive!
Geoff Richards – I have been a part of the group a little over one year and it has continued to grow in such a short space of time. It has been a great environment to not only share your stories, but to also have the opportunity to read others, which for both is hugely rewarding and provides a great sense of achievement. Thanks CKT and happy birthday!!
Hayley Hunkin – For the past two years, the CKT Critique Group has been an integral part of my writing routine. I have learnt so much from the others in the group and not only about fixing my own stories. I love reading the other stories and learning to critique others’ work helps you to be more critical of your own work too. My writing has improved exponentially and I also enjoy the friendships I’ve made with other authors from this group. The group keeps growing and that’s because it is such a wonderful concept and well administrated to keep us all on our toes, helping each other in our writing adventures. Thanks CKT and Happy Birthday. I look forward to many more years writing with you!
If you have been considering joining an online critique group, why not try the Creative Kids Tales Critique Group.
Our CKT blog has now become our most viewed page. Hooray!
Our list of bloggers has also grown with the addition of Artelle Lenthall, David Lewis, Jo Saunders, Ashley Howland, Brydie Wright, Hayley Hunkin, Shaye Wardrop, Sharon Boyce, Pamela Ueckerman, and Lynette Duffy. Eileen and I also continued to add to our blog titles.
We continue to blog on hot topics from the writing world, such as – An interview with Kate DiCamillo, Manuscript Assessments v’s Critiques, Music and Writing, Faber Academy Alumni and Tips from Faber Academy, Spreading my Author Wings part 1 & 2, Getting the most out of Writing Competitions, How to Get Inspired, Questions People Ask, Finding Time to Write, Why Emerging Authors should attend Conferences and a variety of other posts to wet your creative appetites.
All CKT members are encouraged to join our blogging team and share their knowledge with our readers
Creative Kids Tales Story Collection
By far our biggest achievement this year was the bringing together of 40 of our authors and illustrators to create the first Creative Kids Tales Story Collection.
The aim of this project was to give our emerging authors the full experience of being published; beginning with submitting a story, going through the editing process, story layout, printing and then sales and marketing.
Introducing you to the Creative Kids Tales Story Collection – available now.
The first Creative Kids Tales publication has arrived, and it’s a cracker!
Bursting with fifty-three stories to entertain and entice you.
The Creative Kids Tales Story Collection offers stories from 40 of our emerging authors and illustrators.
This eclectic mix includes tales and verse that are funny or serious, crazy or adventurous, thought-provoking or mysterious. Stories for the young and young at heart.
Our forum was a little quite this year while we focussed on other areas. But don’t despair we have some exciting things planned for 2018 but you do need to be a member to gain access. So what are you waiting for?
This is a secure private environment where you can talk about your current WIP, meet others from the CKT family and who knows, a collaboration might be born.
We ran two competitions this year; Magic, Mystery or Skateboards and Wings, Superheroes and Determination.
We do love themes at Creative Kids Tales.
Magic, Mystery or Skateboards Competition
The wonderful people at Faber Writing Academy at Allen & Unwin sponsored this competition.
Faber Writing Academy offer exciting writing programs covering a range of courses from one-day workshops to longer courses devised by the foremost practitioners in their fields.
We were flooded with entries. Our judges had a tough job in choosing the winners.
- 1st place – Shaye Wardrop – Far and Near (Winner of the Faber Academy prize).
- 2nd place – Angela Costigan – Age Old Magic (Winner of a detailed critique of your entry through the CKT Manuscript Assessment Service).
- 3rd place – Georgina Moore – The Mystery of the Lost Teeth (Winner of a $50 book pack and one-year membership with Creative Kids Tales).
I was fortunate to attend the Faber Writing Academy this year and it was great! I enrolled in the Getting Published as a Writer for Children course which happened to be the one our 1st place winner, Shaye Wardrop attended.
Shaye and I both blogged about our experiences here:
Wings, Superheroes and Determination competition
Our second competition for the year and our most popular was the Wings, Superheroes and Determination competition. Our annual anthology competition always attracts lots of attention and this year was no different.
Our fourth anthology, published through Smashwords, was in the theme of Wings, Superheroes and Determination. Our judges were on the look-out for humour, twists and turns and the extremely entertaining. We invited entrants to let their imaginations run wild.
Here are our winners:
1st place – Jo Saunders – Pirate Princess
2nd place – Letitia McIntosh – Mary the Wary Cassowary.
3rd place – Angela Harvey – Superhero Day.
4th place – Kim Stewart – My Brother the Superhero.
5th place – Margaret Bailes – Simon’s Special Superhero Suit.
6th place – Wenda Shurety – The Tail of Sizzle the Sausage.
7th place – Jaz Stutley – Bad Vlad.
8th place – Sharon Boyce – The Dog Ate My Homework.
9th place – Jonathan Waters – Our Hectic Holiday.
10th place – Dhana Fox – Hot Chook.
11th place – Georgina Moore – Fly Poppy, Fly.
12th place – Kellie Nissen – Geckos Can’t Be Superheroes.
13th place – Kimberley Colman – The Turtle Who Couldn’t Find a Home.
14th place – Michelle Morgan – Double Bluff.
15th place – Allan Dadd – Spiderboy Ky.
The cover for our Anthology was again won by Michele Furlong.
Be sure to visit our site for updates on future competitions.
We’ve had a wonderful year, with Creative Kids Tales reaching many people both in Australia and overseas.
On average we receive well over 200,000 hits per month, with between 7,000 and 9,000 unique visitors each month.
Creative Kids Tales YouTube Channel
Still one of our most popular features, the Creative Kids Tales YouTube Channel has 32 interviews, including interviews from my time on The Author’s Shelf.
Each interview has been matched with a slideshow of photos and book covers of the corresponding author/illustrator. The great thing about having an audio file is you can listen to our interviews anywhere like on the bus, the train, while gardening or even relaxing in the bath. However, you choose to listen we thank you and hope you find them informative and inspiring.
Bits and Pieces
For me personally, Lulu was re-released through Wombat Books and has been added to Kinderling Kids Radio.
My second picture book, Clover’s BIG Ideas was released through Little Pink Dog Books and has now been picked up by a French publisher. Yay! I signed with LPDB for my next picture book, In the Shadow of an Elephant which will hit shelves in 2018.
My author website went live thanks to my talented husband, Rod. You can check it out here www.georgiedonaghey.com.au
One of the highlights for me this year was getting to meet Kate DiCamillo. Thanks to the team at Walker Books, I joined Kate for coffee and a chat, for 90 blissful minutes.
We also interviewed Kate for our International Author series. Her interview can be found here:
If you are looking for the ideal writing companion look no further than the Pilot Writer’s Diary.
The 2018 addition is stuffed to the gills with writerly wisdom and is the essential writer’s resource!
For the practical creative there are monthly writing exercises, more than 200 writing competitions, festivals and awards, tips on manuscript layout, submission, grammar, punctuation, editing and style, and an A–Z of essential resources for writers.
Pilot 2018 is softcover and wire bound. It opens out flat, a sensible detail for a writer’s dairy.
We’ll be giving away copies during our annual Birthday celebrations but if you can’t wait pop over to www.pilotpress.com.au and order a copy.
We love supporting the writing community there is no question of that and for the past two years we have sponsored the KOALA Awards.
KOALA is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers (teacher/librarians, public librarians, teachers, publishers and other supporters of children’s literature).
Every year, young readers from all over New South Wales judge their very own literary awards. By voting in the KOALA awards they can reward the Australian children’s books that have most inspired, amused, terrified, enlightened and engaged them.
This year we were invited to join in the celebrations. It was amazing! The teachers and children of North Rocks Public school were great hosts. Authors Jacqueline Harvey, Deborah Abela, who received the Legend Award, Kate Forsyth, Belinda Murrell, Meredith Costain, Oliver Phommavanh, Will Kostakis, John Heffernan, Rowan McAuley and Tim Harris joined by illustrators Tony Flowers and Danielle McDonald all came together to celebrate children’s literature.
We’ve put up our hand to join the KOALA committee in 2018 and further support this great organisation.
You can read more about the KOALA Awards on our blog.
See you next year!
2018 is going to be filled with excitement and new adventures. We hope you will join us.
Don’t forget there are hundreds of pages on our website; something for everyone no matter where you are on your creative journey. How many have you visited?
From Eileen and Jacqueline (CKT Assistant’s), Rod (website guru) and myself (Georgie) we thank you for your support and allowing us to share in your journey.
Take care and happy writing!