My 2019 in Review

Dear Fellow Children’s Writers and friends,

What word would you use to describe your 2019? Hopefully some variation of ‘good’, although realistically I know this cannot have been the case for all of you and I can only hope that 2020 is kinder to those of you who didn’t have the best 2019. For me, I would have to say my word for 2019 has been full!

Full of work, both writing (unpaid) and teaching (I’m a casual, so this varies) not to mention home, family and community work too!

Full of learning and growth, full of friends

and books.

Full of illness, no photo, who wants that? I had the flu shot for the first time this year and that coupled with a longstanding and possibly *ahem somewhat neglected *ahem condition left me riding an exhaustion vs determination rollercoaster. ‘Who can afford to be sick, there’s too much life I need to be living right now?’ (New attitude, possibly a result of a double figure birthday last year) Full of family. Full of opportunity and full of gratitude and determination to make 2020 even better, but perhaps a little less frustrating.

To enable this, I’m completing Julie Hedlund’s #12daysofChristmas again this year as and for the first time Leonie Dawson’s #MyShiningYear2020Life Workbook (pic) to give thanks and let go of 2019 and welcome in dreams, goals and plans for 2020. I came up with two full pages of Successes in my 12 Days of Christmas reflection and although these are only meant to be writing related, I’m adding in a couple of non-writing related ones and not sharing the whole detailed list, because as I said, 2019 has been fabulously, frustratingly, fantastically, ‘familialy’, fatiguingly, festively full!


3 writing festivals (one online)

3 plays/musicals/concerts

5 Courses (one a mini course)

at least 10 book launches


Emerging Writer’s Group at The Children’s Bookshop, which was so full of wonderful speakers, camaraderie, ambition, assistance, critiquing and opportunity to meet and possibly even make some wonderful contacts within the industry.

4 writing related Facebook Groups


A short speech at the CKT Festival about the CKT Critique Group

A workshop on Junior Fiction at Eastwood/Hills FAW for which I also set and judged the monthly competition

The words of Western Sydney Writers, myself included, over a megaphone as part of Hasta Bella Vista by Tina Havelock-Stevens

My poem, Hope at ZineWest Word


18 mss (some to more than one publisher) received interest in 4 of these

At least 8 of these for critique or ms assessment at CKT Critique group, FAW EWG and with the wonderful Amelia McInerney who I cant recommend enough for her thorough, insightful, accurate, positive and reasonably priced assessment service

2 grant applications for myself and assisted in the preparation of one for our Duckie leader, Jen Storer


The Duck Pond Facebook group with the help of my five other ‘Mods’ colleagues


6+ competitions (didn’t keep track, whoops 😬)


52 Week Picture Book Challenge 2019-2020 completing about 3/4 of prompts so far


2018 12 Days of Christmas

52 Week Picture Book Challenge 2018-2019 with 52 new PB stories or fleshy ideas under my belt! Woohoo!


At least 10 CKT Critique Group stories and many more at EWG and FAW


With the help of my incredible family, hosted 52 family and friends at our house, plus teed up OS calls for my Dad’s 90th birthday!

Christmas for a much smaller portion of the extended family just 4 days later exhausted 😴


A new (paid) position as Sacramental Coordinator in my Parish

The opportunity to write a spiel about the benefits of being part of the Duck Pond and learning from Jen Storer. Now up on her website as part of the testimonials for the courses she offers


many cousins and old family friends, Parish families,

many, many writers and professional authors


A new way of presenting my work at Festivals, courses and the like


Far too many medications, clothes…. and books….. if there is such a thing 😉

Well that’s it for me, for 2019 fellow travellers. Wishing you a full, productive, happy, hopefully cooler and wetter, fulfilling 2020!

Savour the quest,


Posted in Networking, Organisation, Submitting For Publication, Work/Life Balance, Writing Conferences, Writing Groups | 2 Comments

19 Gifts for Writers, 2019 Christmas Edition

Hello fellow Children’s Writer’s and Friends,

This month, I’m reblogging again, rather than re-inventing the wheel, Tara Lazar has done all the hard work of finding Christmas present suggestions. If you’re after something with more of an Aussie flavour, check out my previous Christmas Gifts for Writers lists here, here and here.

Merry Christmas fellow travellers,
Savour the quest,

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

I had a little visit with Santa and whispered all of these goodies in his ear! I hope you find just what you want under the tree this year.

The Book Seat

Besides a book, this is the perfect writer’s companion. It’s a sturdy pillow with a ledge to cradle your most precious possessions.

Get it:

Once Upon a Time Card Game

Fancy a fractured fairy tale? Well, this one will definitely crack you up.

Get it:

Wacky Wavy Mini Tube Guy

I dunno ’bout you, but I like silly things on my writing desk to entertain me. Enter this panic at the disco.

Get it:

Margaret Atwood Masterclass

What can I say other than WOW!?

Get it:

The Writer’s Toolbox

Doing Storystorm this year? This will keep your creativity turned up to 11!

Get it:

Hemingway Typewriter Pencil Cup

A few years back, I…

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