Tools of the Trade

Pilot - A Diary for Writers

Pilot - A Diary for Writers

The 2016 diary is a beauty! Pilot  is loaded with inspiration, writing prompts and advice from industry professionals PLUS more than 150 competitions, festivals and awards. This user-friendly resource is the perfect gift for writers. Manage your writing year in organised style with Pilot.  You can find Pilot  on Facebook, follow on Instagram and view images of the diary at

I don’t know about you, but I search for any tool that can assist me with my writing journey and when I find one I grab onto it like it’s made of chocolate. A few months ago I came across Pilot - a diary for writers. With my interest sparked, I contacted Pilot Press to learn more about this promising new resource for my writing desk. Within a week, my new diary was delivered to my door.

Its simple, sturdy cover will help keep the pages crisp and clean and more importantly allow you to write notes with a firm backing. No more bendy books to lean on when note taking. The ample spiral binding is perfect to conceal your pen with the diary itself produced on 100% recycled paper.

The Australian made diary comes complete with a Contents page, 2016-2017 calendar, Australian Public Holiday and School terms listing. This is a great bonus for writers who have to balance a busy family life with their writing life.

The Pilot team have worked hard to produce a diary that is crammed with information to help you strengthen your writing skills. They share tips for getting published, how to dodge writer’s block, a user-friendly competition listing, weekly and monthly writing prompts and comprehensive industry information with lots of clean white space to note your bursts of inspiration.

The Pilot Pages are filled with delicious treats from the diary’s contributors that you will want to refer to all year long. Pilots ‘Quick Tips’ section summarises their 52 weekly writings topics to trigger improvisation, Word of the Week, monthly writing exercises and the much coveted Australian literary journals and magazine listing.

I found the ‘Craft Pages’ to be a wonderful resource as they cover best practice when submitting to a publisher. Each publisher has different submission guidelines, the Pilot diary gives a guide to submitting from margins, titles, headers & footers and fonts to line spacing. Very handy. There is a glossary of literary terms beneficial to not only emerging authors but also seasoned professionals.

Along with a page dedicated to punctuation, there is also a detailed list of editing references. The ‘Cover letter, synopsis and bio’ page answers the question of what to include in that all important cover letter when sending out your manuscript, but it doesn’t stop there. It also addresses what to include in your bio when submitting to competitions and journals. That all important 50 words can either help or hinder, so it’s crucial to get it right.

‘Save the Date’ is great for those planning their competition deadlines with a month-by-month breakdown complete with website addresses.

As any writer knows it is important to take the opportunity to network and attend as many festivals as possible, to help, you plan your festival travel there is a month by month listing of festivals for 2016.

Before you get to the convenient ‘Traffic Control’ section that allows you to keep a register of your submissions, there is the all-important ‘Awards’ listing. After all, post-publication this is where we hope our journey will take us.

The weekly calendar is set out for easy planning with ample space for notes. The adjoining page is blank for those times when your pen just won’t stop writing. It’s also ideal for those who use visual aids and might like to paste pictures or articles to assist their creativity.

Although this diary is only a couple of editions strong the editors have included a lot of well thought out content to assist writers from all genres.

The back of the diary includes an A-Z listing of national literary organisations and writers’ centres. Another golden resource for writers are books on writing, and there are plenty listed in the final pages of the diary.

This must have resource finishes with a lined section to note your reading list and lots more blank pages. It’s perfect for writers from all genres and for $29.95 plus postage, it would make an excellent stocking filler for Christmas.

Pilot Press logo

The Fantastical Flying Creator

The Fantastical Flying Creator

E-Workshop for new and established authors, illustrators and creatives who really want to soar

Tania McCartney’s 25 years of writing and editing, publishing and marketing experience is all wrapped up in a very pretty bundle, with stacks of insider info, advice, exercises, revelations, thoughts, dares and double dares.

It's for authors and illustrators mostly, but it's also for writers, bloggers, artists, artisans, and crafters, and anyone else who wants to connect with their creative core and work towards a full time, rewarding and successful career. There is some focus on the Australian children's book industry, with specific links, but much of the content can also apply to the adult industry and book industries world-wide.

Tania McCartney
Author | Editor | Illustrator | Reviewer
website | blog | facebook | twitter | pinterest | kids’ book review | 52-week illustration challenge
a PO Box 1753 Woden ACT 2606 Australia



REVIEW - by Georgie Donaghey

I have long admired Tania McCartney for her sassy business acumen, her tenacity and her class, so having the opportunity to read her latest offering; The Fantastical Flying Creator E-Workshop was a no brainer.

What an amazing resource! This E-book contains over 300 pages and 25 years of information. It’s bursting at the seams and is ideal for those beginning their publishing journey, for those who have secured their first contract and also for those who have been in the industry for some time.

Having personally been in the children's book industry for almost ten years, through my involvement with the CBCA, Creative Kids Tales and The Author's Shelf, I have learned a lot, but Tania has taken it to a whole other level. Her knowledge of this industry is flawless. Tania opens up about her experiences, her successes, her mistakes and everything in between. It is open and honest, but most of all a powerful tool and a must for all creative types.

This E-book covers everything from beginning, finding your audience, your target market, social media, blogging, manuscript and portfolio assessments, hiring an editor, groups, organisations, interns, mentors, creative blocks, procrastination, self-sabotage, confidence, what publishers want, etiquette, awards, festivals, conferences, competitions, networking, submitting, selling your work, writing your submission letter, query emails, detailing with rejection, criticism, contracts, agents, self-publishing, promoting your brand and lots, lots, lots more.

Available as a PDF, to read on your computer or mobile device, I chose to print off my copy and read the old fashioned way, this is one resource or bible if you like that will become your new best friend. It’s like Tania is right there holding your hand and guiding you every step of your journey. Tania’s insight has opened my eyes to a whole lot of possibilities, especially tips for my impending first picture book launch.

This E-book is overflowing with essential information and 70 exercises designed to get the creative juices flowing. As if all this wasn’t enough, Tania has included a bonus at the end for picture book creators, and two free mini e-books; How to Get Your Book Reviewed  and KBR’s Picture Book Writing Tips.

The Fantastical Flying Creator includes content from four of Tania’s most popular workshops – Book Marketing and Promotion, Blogging for Authors, Social Networking and Creating a Picture Book. This e-book is offered at the bargain price of $120. Normally you would pay this and sometimes more for writing sessions such as these. The knowledge contained within this e-book will melt away years of sourcing the information yourself.

But be careful it comes with a warning:
WARNING: The contents of this workbook may cause intuitive connection and bursts of creative hyperactivity. High levels of excitement and drive may perplex or frazzle the people around you. Ignore them.

To find out how to secure your copy of this essential resource, visit:


Tristan Bancks

Story Scrapbook

The new storytelling tool by Tristan Bancks

Story Scrapbook lets you bring together images, video, music, text and web grabs on virtual pages, making creative writing interactive and fun. It is based on my own multimedia-fuelled writing process, bringing the writing process alive for people who think visually, interactively and aurally, as well as textually.

Q. Tell us how the idea for Story Scrapbook came about?

A friend, Ben Train, is a storyteller and he creates smartboard apps for an education company. We were throwing around story ideas and we both like to use technology and images and video and music when we're brainstorming so Ben created an early form of the app for us to share ideas and build a story. I gave feedback and made suggestions and we decided to build a more advanced version that other people could use.

Q. How can it assist authors?

It allows you to bring together Google Images, Youtube videos, text, Google Maps and other transmedia objects on virtual scrapbook pages. It allows you to tell yourself the story and to discover the tone and feel of your story with a range of tools, not just text.

Q. In addition to pictures can you incorporate sounds into your scrapbook?

We have been having some trouble with Soundcloud so it's not in the latest version but we are working on an HTML (web-based) version of the app that will re-introduce music and sound. It should be out by the end of the year.

Q. Can it be used on PC, Mac, ipad, tablet etc?

Currently, Mac and PC but not iPad / iPod because it was built in Flash and Steve Jobs didn't like Adobe very much. The upcoming HTML5 version will, however, be useable across all devices.

Q. Does it come with ‘how to’ tutorial?

Limited. There's a pdf and a trailer at but it's pretty easy to use. Kids work it out in five minutes. Adults, sometimes a little longer. But it's free!

Q. Do you use Story Scrapbook in your writing process? If so, how?

I build pages in the early stages of brainstorming, when I am finding the story. Story Scrapbook allows me to capture the key images and videos and notes that define the tone of the story. For me, finding the tone, the mood, the gut-place I can tell the story from is the key and, often, I need more than just text to define that tone.

Q. How much does it cost?

Nothing! Woohoo!

Q. Where can we download it from?

You can download Story Scrapbook from:

Q. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about this ground breaking new writing/visual tool?

Just that I would love to hear feedback on the Story Scrapbook page. We're always looking to improve the app and we hope you enjoy it.

Tristan Bancks
Room to Read,Author-Ambassador
Author-Ambassador, Love 2 Read & The Reading Hour

Tristan Bancks



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

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

    George Ivanoff
  • '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
  • '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 is great. You can pick the brains of people who make stuff without having to stalk them or do anything illegal.' -

    Aaron Blabey
  • '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
  • '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 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
  • '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
  • '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
  • '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

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

    R.A. Spratt
  • '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
  • '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
  • '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 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
  • '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
  • '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
  • '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
  • '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 will jump-start adults seeking to become writers!' -

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

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

    Isobelle Carmody
  • "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
  • '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
  • '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

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


    Katrina Germein

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


    Tim Harris

  • '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
  • '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

  • '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
  • '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 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
  • '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
  • 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
  • '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

  • '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 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
  • '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

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


    Frané Lessac

  • '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

  • '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
  • '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
  • '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
  • '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