‘Magic happens outside your comfort zone.’
I’ve always loved this quote, but I’ve never found it more true than in my last twelve months.
After being made COVID redundant from my full-time job in July 2020 and with the prospect of securing another full-time job virtually non-existent, with COVID crippling offices around the globe, I refocussed my energies to turn my 10-year ‘hobby’, Creative Kids Tales, into my full-time business.
‘CKT is my heart and soul, but as anyone in the Arts would know, rarely do authors make enough to sustain a full-time living, especially with a large family to support.’
With author school visits no longer an option. I engaged the services of a business coach. The exercise helped me to see things differently. With Creative Kids Tales already an industry recognised site, I capitalised on those strong foundations. After six months of planning, Creative Kids Tales underwent a major change.
This year, CKT rebranded with a new website and a range of unique services for the Australian writing industry. Within a few short months, I was seeing positive results and even able to engage staff.
Influential people in the industry were taking notice too. One such person was fellow author Jackie French AM. As ex-Australian Children’s Laureate and Senior Australian of the Year, Jackie knows the importance of nurturing emerging authors. A long-time supporter of Creative Kids Tales, Jackie reached out to me and offered us seven exclusive workshops.
‘Offering our audience workshops with one of this country’s best storytellers, was a dream come true.’
All of Jackie’s workshops have sold out, and there are more lined up for 2021. Jackie will also be rejoining us in 2022.
The CKT Writing Academy Workshops offer content that is not offered through any other writing organisation.
With COVID completely reshaping how authors connect with audiences, this year’s Creative Kids Tales Writers’ Festival was pivoted into an online event. Almost two hundred participants joined in the online, two-day event, to hear speakers like Treehouse series author Andy Griffiths, current children’s Laureate, Ursula Dubosarsky, Nickelodeon’s Tina Harris (Lah-Lah) and a star-studded line-up of award-winning authors.
Early this year, I won a grant through Create NSW to launch CKT Publishing. Our first picture book, Tortoise’s Home, will be released in February 2022.
In August, I was announced as a finalist in the 2021 AusMumpreneur Awards in five categories. NSW/ACT – Business Pivot Award, Creative Entrepreneur, Author Award, Women’s Business School Student of the Year and the People’s Choice Award – Making a Difference in Children’s Education.
The September awards night was celebrated online. I was thrilled to receive silver in the Making a Difference in Children’s Education, and bronze in the Author/Writer category for NSW/ACT.
‘I am honoured to receive these awards in recognition of the community and resources I have built with Creative Kids Tales.’
In October, I was nominated for president of the NSW Society of Women Writers.
‘I feel as if I have earned my stripes and can totally own my success. I don’t believe Creative Kids Tales would be where it is today if I didn’t take that step outside of my comfort zone. It’s important to turn a negative into a positive. There is nothing stopping you from turning your passion into a business.’