Writing for Children: the Power of Community

I recently spent an entire weekend with an incredible group of children’s writers and illustrators. Some published, some not, but all of them passionate about one thing – bringing stories to life for kids.

It was planned and executed flawlessly by Susanne Gervay and her incredible team from SCWBI Australia East and NZ.

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Nancy Conescu (Walker Books), Zoe Walton (Penguin Random house), Bruce Whatley

From our opening pages, to synopsis, character and plot, we were treated to inspiring keynote talks from publishers Zoe Walton (Penguin Random House), Nancy Conescu (Walker Books), Tania McCartney (author, illustrator and founder of Kids’ Book Review), Deborah Abela (author) and the amazing illustrator Bruce Whatley.

With their words of wisdom buzzing around the room, it was time to get to work.

In small peer groups, we read and shared our thoughts on each other’s writing and that’s where the magic truely began.

I was so lucky to be working with authors Susanne Gervay, Deborah Abela and Julie Anne Thorndyke – I felt like I’d won the lottery!

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My incredible peer group at work making magic

By both receiving and sharing ideas about my writing and the pieces they were working on, I learnt a very important lesson – we are all on a learning curve, sharing doubts and success. The wonderful thing about writing is that process never really ends.

Writing can be such a isolating career and that’s why connecting with fellow writers is so important. Organisations like SCWBI prove just how powerful being part of a community can be.

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With Susanne Gervay

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Me, my roommate Jodie Wells-Slowgrove and Deborah Abela

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