Volume 1 Issue 8 September 2018
To be captivated, delighted or taken
by something; to be held spellbound
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e n t h r a l l e d m a g a z i n e
Editor: Susan Day
Contributors: Dianne Bates, J.R. Workman, Just
Right for Kids, Tienny, Goldie Alexander, June
Perkins, Juliet Clark, Jill Smith, Steve Heron OAM,
Layout & Graphic Design: Susan Day
Additional Articles: Susan Day
Images: Stock Photo Secrets
Subscribe / Donate:
Published In: Dunolly, Victoria, Australia,
We value your privacy. If you have supplied
enthralled magazine with your social media
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permission only. Your details will not be shared
with any third parties. Every article published in
enthralled magazine is for the benefit of our
contributors and subscribers only.
A word or two about words…
Contributions made to this publication came from all over
the world. So as not to get bogged down or begin a trans-
Pacific war on words, the editor has made the decision to
leave each article in its original format. You will see
different forms of English used in different articles. This may
to some seem inconsistent, but we believe in the
universality of the written form, and wish to engender a
wider tolerance of its use.
This month’s theme is fantasize ~
“daydream, imagine, picture, invent”
Enthralled magazine creates a place for authors and
writers to share their ideas and journeys. A place
where they can speak and be heard. It will be the role
of enthralled to empower, educate, inspire and challenge
all writers and authors with articles, news, tips,
advice and more. While its initial creation was the idea
of a few people, each issue will be a collaboration of
ideas from writers and authors from across the globe.
Welcome to the latest issue of enthralled magazine.
Well, the sun is finally making an appearance in the Southern
Hemisphere as it bows out of summer in the North.
Changes in temperature and weather conditions often change the way
we view the world, and of course, for writers how we relate to our own
experiences in words.
August, in my part of the world meant Words in Winter. This is an
amazing program that runs for four weeks and celebrates everything
from poetry, stories and words. It is growing each year and is a great
I am lucky to meet some interesting people in my shop. They come
from all walks of life. Recently, a local poet dropped in, and put
together a short poem about his thoughts. It was such an honour to
have my small shop recognized and celebrated in words. How
many people have a poem written about something they are
passionate about by someone else?
Interestingly, there are studies now looking at the way video
games and emoji's are challenging academics’ thoughts on
what is literacy. Love them or loathe them, smiley faces, for
example, are a form of communication. As too are new words
created by video game developers: All adding to the richness of
our language. Do you agree? Is an emoji an improvement or
So that we can make this magazine free forever, please consider a
donation. Every bit helps, and is much appreciated.
Well, that’s enough from me; stay enthralled and enjoy.
- Susan Day, Editor
from the editor
50 Shifting the Author: Platform Building
22 Poem: Someone Who Cares
16 Buzz Words: The Latest in
56 Author Interview by Jill Smith:
32 Reinventing the Classics
14 Writer’s on Writing: Fay Weldon
34 Contribute to Our Special “Blue” Issue
24 Pitch It!
64 A Glimmer of Hope: What Inspired Me
31 Poem: Cave
40 Publishing Reimagined: Discoveries of a
74 What Did You Make of Last Month’s Cover?
72 Word of the Month - Nimiety
76 Your Turn to Write - This Month’s Cover
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Fay Weldon shares some of her inspirational wisdom on
what it means to be a writer. This was selected from Writers
on Writing. It’s a great read, and has something for new
writers and old experiences hands.
(The Latest Buzz on
Buzz Words (The Latest Buzz on Childre
By Dianne (Di) Bates
In 2006 I started a subscriber-based
online magazine exclusively for people
in the Australian children’s book
industry such as writers (new, midcareer
and experienced), illustrators,
librarians, editors and publishers – in
fact, anyone interested in children’s
As the Buzz Words’ compiler, I gather
material from many sources and
sometimes commission material.
Buzz Words aims to keep readers
abreast of what’s happening in the
children’s book industry and to give
them as many opportunities as possible
to advance their career and/or to
keep them informed.
Every issue contains markets, competitions
and awards, publisher profiles,
profiles of people in the industry, industry
news, an interview (editors,
publishers, designers, etc), opportunities,
festivals and conferences, workshops
and article/s. Links are frequently
provided to help readers.
Recent additions are ‘Who’s Who in
Children’s Books’ (profiles of publishers,
editors, agents and packagers),
‘Book Creators’ (featuring famous and
outstanding children’s authors and
illustrators of the past such as Enid
Blyton, Dorothy Wall and Eve Pownall)
and ‘Resources’ such as Australian
children’s book publishers (an up-todate
comprehensive list), writing tips,
income for writers, children’s
bookshops, popular Facebook groups
for children’s book creators and so
Buzz Words is as subscriber-friendly
as possible. Preference for interviews,
articles, profiles, etc is always given to
subscribers. They are also given the
opportunity to advertise for free if
they have a product and/or service
they wish to promote.
Often publishers take up this offer as it’s a very inexpensive way of promoting
their latest titles.
There are many ways readers can show-case their books and/or their writing or
editing services: Buzz Words interviews both commercially and self-published
authors for ‘The inside Scoop’. Questions are generally directed in such a way
as readers can learn about how to get feet past publishers’ locked doors, or
which resources (such as designer, editor, printer and distributor) that selfpublished
authors used and how effective they were.
Subscribers are also invited to submit samples of their writing or illustrating to
be showcased on the Buzz Words website www.buzzwordsmagazine.com Twice
a month there’s also an ‘Achievements’ section on this website and reviews of
current children’s books.
There is a team of 15 reviewers, all of
whom are subscribers. And, too, the
website is available for subscribers to
post material, such as a blog tour,
book launch or forthcoming title.
Articles are often commissioned
(payment is offered) and have included
‘My Experiences with Literary
Agents’, ‘How to Crowd-Fund to Publish
Your Book’ and ‘The Art of Picture
Buzz Words is exactly the kind of resource
which I wish was available
when I first started writing for children.
And it’s ideal for anyone in the
industry who wants to place their
work and/or learn what the latest
trends in writing for children are and/
or what’s happening in the industry
here in Australia or overseas.
If you’d like to check out the latest
issue of Buzz Words, I’m only too
happy to send you a complimentary,
obligation-free copy; go to the website
and click on ‘Contact’. Cost is $48
per year (for 24 issues). The magazine
is distributed on the 1 st and 15 th of
Dianne (Di) Bates has been in the industry
for decades. She has published
over 130 books for children, some of
which have won state and national
awards, including two children’s
choice book awards (WAYRBA and
KOALA). She is a recipient of the Lady
Cutler Award for distinguished services
to children’s book. Di is married
to award-winning children’s author
Bill Condon; they live in the Wollongong
“Someone Who Cared” by J. R. Workma
I know that you're not perfect, I know you've made mistakes, but
just know that I forgive you, mom, I'm proud of who you became.
When I was young you were the only one who would buy me the
clothes I desired. You bought me them from the little money you
had and that I greatly admired. You have learned a lot in life
through all that has transpired. I hope that you go far in life and do
all that is required. Thank you for all the delicious food we’ve had
together, memories only for last minutes but they will stay with us
forever. You’ve grown so much--you’ve transformed from a seed
into a tree. I am proud to say that you’re the one who has given
birth to me. If you ever need someone just know that I am always
there. Thank you, for being here for me when I needed someone
Copyright © 2018 J.R. Workman
Photo Credit: Photo by Arnold Exconde on Unsplash
Just Write For Kids C
ompetition – Pitch It!
Just Write For Kids Competition – Pitch
Just Write For Kids is very excited to announce the very first writing competition;
If you’re like most writers, you’re probably itching for the chance to skip the
slush pile and get your manuscript directly on the desk a publishing editor. I’ll
bet you also wouldn’t mind your manuscript appraised, or a subscription to a
leading kidlit industry magazine. Am I right? Well, believe it or not, now you can
have the chance to jump ahead of the rest simply by writing a knock-out pitch!
Here’s what you need to know to enter…
September 1, 2018
September 30, 2018
All writers within Australia, published or unpublished in the children’s book industry.
Each entry will be based on the pitch of an unpublished manuscript. That is, the
manuscript you are pitching for is NOT already published.
Write a pitch for a children’s manuscript to a publisher. Be creative! Provide a
hook. We are looking for pitches that jump off the page and excite us. Make us
want to know more!
Please follow these specific guidelines:
Word count must be between 100 and 150 words.
The pitch is written for either a picture book, chapter book (JF or MG), or young
The pitch must include your hook / blurb, manuscript word count, title, genre
(PB, JF, MG, YA), target market and comparative titles (if applicable). NO author
biographies or identifying details.
Your name DOES NOT appear on the pitch entry.
DO NOT send in the manuscript. Pitch only.
The winner will have their pitch and accompanying manuscript forwarded to
Commissioning Editor and Publicity Coordinator of Wombat Books, Emily
Lighezzolo, for a publisher appraisal and edit.
The choice between a manuscript appraisal by award-winning author and editor,
Dianne Bates, OR a one-year subscription to leading kidlit e-magazine, Buzz
A $60 Boomerang Books voucher; Australia’s Online Independent Bookstore.
Multiple entries are accepted but must be submitted with separate entry emails
Entries must be in English.
Entries must be typed, 12 point Times New Roman font.
Submissions are to be emailed to jwfkcompetition (AT) gmail (DOT) com:
In the Subject Line:
JWFK Pitch It Competition Entry_(Your Name)
In the Body of the Email:
Your Manuscript Title
Your Phone Number
Pitch Entry document as .doc or .docx saved with manuscript title (NO name,
Proof of payment (screenshot image)
Payment of $5.50 per entry (including transaction fee) is payable at the time of
submission to paypal.me/justkidslit.
All entries will receive acknowledgement upon receipt via email within 24 hours.
Incomplete entries will receive a second chance offer via email to complete
within 24 hours, thereafter will be disqualified.
By entering this competition you agree to the terms and conditions listed in
We cannot provide feedback for entries.
Please see below links for help with writing a strong pitch.
Entries will be judged by awardwinning
author and editor Dianne Bates of Buzz Words Magazine, awardwinning
author Debra Tidball, and author and professional copywriter Kellie
Byrnes, with the shortlist judged by Editor / Publicity Coordinator, Emily Lighezzolo
of Wombat Books.
Judges decisions are final and no further correspondence will be entered into.
The winners will be announced on the Just Write For Kids website and social
media pages by the end of October 2018 (TBC).
Please contact us at jwfkcompetition (AT) gmail (DOT) com with any questions.
The winning entry is not guaranteed publication by Wombat Books. All entries
will be discarded after competition close.
HELPFUL ARTICLES ON WRITING A PITCH
Kate Simpson Finding Granny Pitch
In the midst of the ocean
There is an empty brown wet cave
Providing shelter from the rain
What lies beneath the cave?
By Tienny Website
Copyright © 2018
Reinventing the Cla
Reinventing the Classics
By Goldie Alexander
The historian Yuval Noah
Harari argues that large
numbers of strangers
only co-operate by a
belief in common myths
perpetuated in our folk stories and
accepted by our religions. These
infiltrate into literature and with
time, become our guidelines.
Though the worlds they describe
might be different, they provide a
torch for solving present day moral
and ethical dilemmas. Immersing
students into the great books and
ideas of Western civilization is an
excellent way of preparing them to
meet the challenges of life.
The Guinness Book of Records lists
over 500 feature-length film and TV
versions of Shakespeare. Some remain
faithful to the original script.
Others blend characters, plots and
themes into something ‘new and
strange.’ I have written over 90
books for all ages, most for young
readers. But before I took to writing,
I was a high school History and
Students were often flummoxed by
Shakespeare’s wonderful, if archaic
language, to the point that plot,
character and language became
lost in the need to translate.
Some might think me cheeky to
attempt to rewrite the classics. But I
had already done this twice: once
for the middle grade novel
‘Neptunia’, and then in the YA verse
novel ‘In Hades’, both loose adaptations
of Homer’s ‘Odyssey’. I also
wanted to show how timeless
Shakespeare is by using vastly different
I began with ‘The Tempest’. What if,
instead of a magic island, in some
distant future, Prospero and Miran-
da have been exiled by wicked
brother Alonso to a spaceship in
some lonely part of the universe?
What if the only other inhabitants
are the aliens Caliban and Ariel? In
‘The Trytth Chronicles’ nineteenyear-old
Miranda, along with her
father Prospero, the rightful director
of the Naples2Meta-Planetory-
Corporation, has been exiled by her
uncle Alonso, to an isolated spaceship.
Also on board are Ariel - a Trytth.
And Caliban - a Xrobb. Prospero,
using Blue Power, creates a
tempest of meteors to destroy
Alonso’s small spaceship and
brings his brother, his nephew Ferdie
and those that help run
Alonso’s mega company to his giant
As in the original play, Miranda and
Ferdie fall instantly in love. But
Alonso’s subordinates have murder
on their minds. And evil Caliban,
wanting to make Miranda his bride,
steals a tube of Blue Power and
flies Ariel and four humans to the
beautiful but dangerous planet of
Trytth. What happens then tests
Miranda’s courage to the limit.
My problem with ‘Macbeth’ was
relating it from the perspective of a
contemporary youngster. It has always
struck me that ‘overvaulting
ambition’ is universal, and there are
many ways to destroy an opponent
apart from daggers, swords, bullets
Our media delights in following the
rise and fall of our more brazen
business entrepreneurs. And don’t
many young people have trouble
finding employment? In ‘Gap Year
Nanny’, Merri Attwater is home too
early from her gap year, the only
work she finds is as a nanny where
she develops a crush on her employer,
the charismatic Stuart Macbeth.
One night she overhears Stuart’s
ambitious wife Lorna, persuade him
to pay three Internet Gurus for advice
on becoming more successful.
Using Merri as his sounding board,
Stuart admits to destroying his old
boss Duncan and taking over the
As the year progresses, Merri’s life
improves. But Stuart’s overwhelming
ambitions start to destroy him.
What I did change from the original
play was allowing Lorna Macbeth,
who truly doesn’t deserve it, another
lease of life.
When it came to the setting of
‘Romeo and Juliet’ I found a building
in Berlin only rediscovered in
2008. Originally named ‘The Hummingbird
Restaurant and Theatre’,
it reached its full glory in 1920’s
during the Weimar Republic when
Berlin was a centre of cultural Europe
but the building fell into disrepute
after the 2nd world war.
Twenties Berlin had enormous creativity,
strong divisions between
rich and poor, a weak government
and too many small and aggressive
So many instances still occur of
youngsters from different ethnicities
and religions falling foul of
their conservative families. In
Melbourne based Taylor and her
grandfather, visiting Berlin in July
2017, are exploring this old building
now turned into an art gallery.
Though Taylor wants to audition
for entry into tertiary dance
schools, she’s told she won’t make
Worse still, her two closest friends
are betraying her.
Hit by a chunk of cornice, she regains
consciousness in May 1928.
Rom, the Hummingbird’s junior
manager, takes her home to his
impoverished family. Now Taylor
only survives by dishwashing, clearing
tables, sharing a tiny room with
dancer Juliet, and eventually joining
Rom and Juliet are deeply in love.
But as they come from different
religions, both sets of parents are
totally against their marriage. When
Taylor hears that Hitler is coming to
Berlin, she persuades Juliet and
Rom to help her poison him and
thus prevent the Holocaust and
WW2. But can Taylor really change
The Sydney based company Five
Senses Education took on Shakespeare
Now! Three books each averaging
270 plus pages was a
mammoth effort, and I worried that
a one-fits-all cover would be quickly
My good fortune was finding the
artist Paul Taplin who created some
startling results. Now all I can hope
is that the youngsters who read
these novels will be interested
enough to go back to the originals,
because there is no way any contemporary
author can attempt to
reproduce Shakespeare’s wonderful
‘SHAKESPEARE NOW! A TRILOGY ’
Launch to happen at ‘Readings
Kids’,315 Lygon Street Carlton,
3053 Saturday, 22nd September
2018 @ 2.00
If you are enjoying
at this very moment, make sure you
don’t miss next month’s issue -
Discoveries of a Multiplatfor
Discoveries of a Multiplatform Storyteller
by June Perkins
Stories are important because
they can inspire,
challenge and transform
the person creating or experiencing
them: to do this for
more than their creators they need
to connect with an audience.
The journey to find an audience for
even hard working and talented
writers can be a long and arduous
one, full of rejections, and a long
wait before publication.
However, if one reimagines the
publishing process and sees it as
existing far beyond and prior to a
printed page, and the big publishers
in the world, the journey itself
can be purposeful, educative and
integral to the development of your
creative abilities. One can make
one’s own luck!
In my personal journey as a writer
looking for her audience I have
avoided boxes of fitting into a single
art form, genre, and working on a
single platform, to make the following
You can effectively publish through
reading a poem in an open public
reading: on radio, or in person and
sometimes dramatizing it.
A poem need not be a static, a never
changed creation, but can be one
which an audience help shape. It is
especially fun to do this with reading
to children or even anti-poetry fans,
who are so honest in their responses!
open to poets reading on air and
check out online podcasts
You can set poems to music, or use
music to set the metre, and rhythm of
If you can win them over in your
reading you know the poem has
done well in reaching a wider audience.
Often these public readings can lead
to the opportunity for a paper publication
or to run a workshop. Podcasting
and YouTube are other places
where poems after now often shared.
Try community radio especially, look
out for open readings or start your
own, the ABC in Australia can be
Singing your poems attracts people
who may not listen to them otherwise.
It often alters the structure as
you fit the poem to the metre of the
melody. Song writers have a much
wider audience than poets, and yet
many song writers are actually poets!
A tribute to Leonard Cohen was featured
at last year’s Queensland Poetry
Song writing competitions and open
music performances at festivals can
be places to share your work. This
article on Song writing and poets
may be of interest Song Lyricist
dot point, for ease of reading online
copy. Always take the time to edit
your work and research it if it will enhance
Why use images with blogs :
Blogging is an underestimated and
often much maligned publishing
However, this can be done, individually
but also in groups to create
group publications and longstanding
By understanding how blogging
works you can be more effective in
this form through the effective use of
images, short blogging paragraphs,
Blogging is keeping alive art forms
like journal keeping, and poetry by
making publication accessible to anyone
who has access to a computer /
laptop/mobile phone and an imagination
to share in these formats.
There are also groups encouraging
bloggers to have ethics and standards
in their writing.
Key thing: get started, persevere,
strive for blogging excellence to
Photography can both inspire writing
and accompany it to enhance its
reach to an audience.
Illustrating or having your poems or
stories illustrated might potentially
increase your audience. This can be
done through photography or art, if
you are an artist. Or you can collaborate
to have this happen.
Taking photographs when you are
researching writing can also see photography
inspire the writing process,
and potentially lead you to blogs or
exhibitions where words exist alongside
Visual culture is something that is on
the rise, as people engage more with
Visual media enhance and have a
powerful relationship to written and
spoken words is a plus for today’s
Exhibiting words alongside art, both
photographic, and painting, is a powerful
thing and many galleries worldwide
have been increasingly using
this for public engagement.
Public engagement programs take an
interest in working across art forms,
Developing digital storytelling skills
(integrating video, photography and
writing), can lead you to video broadcast
readings of your own work, reflections
about your creative processes,
as well as create short creative
films of your poems or stories. These
can be done artistically and innovatively
as you want!
so that writers can see a gallery as a
fertile place for their imagination and
a potential space to share text on
walls or read works aloud.
If you have the opportunity to have
your written response work to art
exhibited, or performed in a gallery
or at an artist’s opening do so! See
the potential of these spaces to help
you create a story!Check out Ekphrasis
Add to this the rise of phone apps,
games, social media and other spaces
The more I observe writing communities,
writing groups, people passionate
about sharing stories with the
potential to make a difference in the
world, the more I see varied and diverse
publishing pathways as giving
them opportunities that may not
have existed in the past to find their
I still love printed books, but my own
experiences have shown me that engaging
with diverse platforms enhances
the journey of a printed book.
The publishing journey when approached
more laterally can be full of
small to large triumphs, leading to
the continual and ongoing development
of storytellers: who adapt and
grow in their creative work and are
empowered to discover who their
audiences are through an ongoing
Dr June Perkins a multiplatform storyteller’s
latest project was recently
commissioned to write poems or stories
inspired by art in the Australian
collection of QAGOMA for their
Words and Pictures project. It will be
running at the Queensland Art Gallery,
from September to November
2018. She is the author of Magic Fish
Dreaming, a crowd funded, illustrated
poetry book for children and families.
You can find June at her website and
on various social platforms
@gumbootspearlz Her website is her
Be part of our special edition series…
We are always trying to think, and of course
write, outside of the box here at enthralled.
While we welcome stories and poems, the
first purpose of enthralled is to educate and
inform authors and writers. The articles
publish in each issue are chosen to help
those of us who love to write to go one
better, and to further our creative journeys.
But, who doesn’t like a good story or
inspirational poem, right?
With that in mind, we have decided to put
together a collection of short stories and
poems. And, already many talented writers
have sent their contributions in.
The theme is simple so those of you who
would like to contribute can take any
direction your writing muse inspires you to.
If you are interested please send your
contribution to Susan at
Our first theme is “blue” so pop that in the
The rest is up to you.
Platform Building Paradigm
an Assessment at a Time
Shifting the Author:
Platform Building Paradigm an Assessmen
By Juliet Clark
Is your content connecting
with your audience?
If you don’t know your
audience, chances are
the answer is a resounding NO!
A couple months ago, I began volunteering
with a local entrepreneur
group. As I sat at a table with a group
of entrepreneurs one afternoon, I
heard the same problems over and
over. None of them were connecting
with any audience in a meaningful
When I got down to the problem, all
of them had a broad audience that
they felt they were serving. After getting
down to the key question, “who
is your target audience,” here were
some of the answers:
Anyone who wants to be happy.
Anyone who is looking for
mentors for extreme sports.
Anyone who wants help with
human resource issues.
Anyone who wants tutoring for
their child in science.
Anyone who wants to be
All of the audiences were vague and
many were ambiguous. None of them
were niched down.
Let’s take the first one… “Anyone who
wants to be happy.” As I queried further,
the woman said, “Everyone
wants to be happy, right?” Well… no!
There are many people who hold on
t at a Time
to patterns that keep them stuck and
those patterns serve them in some
Further complicating the happiness
niche is the fact that happiness is
subjective. If you ask ten different
people what makes them happy, you
are likely to get a multitude of answers.
Here is the crux of content disconnect:
not knowing your audience. The
content you create must match your
audience’s needs, interests, and relevant.
Not in a broad, general way. The
content must connect in a meaningful
and specific way that creates actionable
bites of information that
differentiates you from your competition.
What does that mean? That you must
be able to conduct an in-depth audience
analysis before you think about
selling products, services, or writing a
Conducting an audience analysis begins
by building a client/reader avatar
with demographic and psychographic
profiles. In other words, connecting
with your target market and
Who are they?
What do they do for a living?
What are their activities in their
What is important to them?
What do they struggle with?
What do they lose sleep over?
When I first started out in the publishing
industry, I thought I was serving
all writers and potential authors. I
quickly discovered that there were a
lot of starving artists out there who
wanted everything for free.
They were not going to be my ideal
audience if I wanted to create income
from my dream business. As I talked
to more and more people who were
bringing their books to me to publish,
realized that most of them write their
book to establish themselves as experts.
They wanted to create more
income in their business. The problem
was that many of them had not
communicated with an audience before
penning the book.
The result was disappointing book
sales that did nothing for establishing
themselves as experts. They wrote the
book that they thought an audience
needed, not the book that people
So, you are probably thinking? How
do I know what kind of content my
The answer is Assessment Marketing.
One of the reasons that many of our
clients write books is because they
want to be an expert/ influencer and
they find themselves creating programs
and services that are not selling.
When they ask why these products
and services are not selling, the answer
they get from other experts is,
“You need a book.”
Now it is truth time…if your products
and services aren’t selling, a book will
be another failed product. The answer
is connecting, via an assessment
that generates leads.
Assessment marketing allows you to
see the patterns of people who are
taking the assessments and where
they are telling you they need relevant
Knowing what your audience wants
and needs allows you to provide the
content they need and write the book
they really need as well.
The bonus in assessment marketing is
that this method also allows you to
schedule Discovery Calls through the
lead generation function and gives
you the opportunity to speak to more
people directly and sell them into
existing products and services.
In short, Assessment Marketing shifts
the old paradigm of Publish, Promote,
Profit to Promote, Profit, Publish.
How well do you know your audience?
Take our Promote, Profit, Publishing
Juliet Clark began her career in traditional
publishing and then moved on
to advertising. She has big agency
experience, working on the billiondollar
Nissan account. She has also
worked at Mattel Toys, another billion
-dollar ad account.
In 2008, she wrote her first book and
found the self-publishing world a
strange world that rarely served the
author’s best interests. Her third book
was an international best- seller that
spend time at # 38 on the Amazon
bestseller list wedged between Sue
Grafton and Janet Evanovich. She began
her publishing company, Winsome
Media Group in 2010 with a
mission to help non-fiction authors
understand how to build a platform,
sales and marketing funnels, and visibility
in the marketplace for their
books and their businesses.
Today, she owns a second company,
Super Brand Publishing, which includes
publishing packages with platform
ew with Author, Steph Bowe
Interview with Author, Steph Bowe
This interview was generously provided by author, Jill Smith.
You can read more about Jill’s great work and her interviews
Interview with Steph Bowe…
Steph Bowe is a 24-year-old who has already written three
Jill Smith great books YA novels NIGHT SWIMMING (Text Publishing,
April 2017), ALL THIS COULD END and GIRL SAVES BOY. What
an inspiration to writers who think they can’t get published. I’ve read ALL THIS
COULD END and can only say that Steph has a unique and fresh approach
that I loved. http://www.stephbowe.com
Q 1 When did you start writing?
I’ve written for as long as I can remember – before I actually knew how to
write words I scribbled nonsense into notebooks. I decided I wanted to be an
author when I was 7 – I was a pretty serious 7-year-old.
Q 2 What were your first writing efforts?
I first tried writing a novel when I was 7 and enamoured with Enid Blyton
books – my first? novel? was a very thinly-veiled Magic Faraway Tree-inspired
story that was essentially about a magic faraway escalator.
Q3 Your blog says you write for young adults? Have you written children’s
or any other genre?
I’ve been writing (or trying to write) Young Adult fiction since I first started
reading it when I was around 11. I think my earlier efforts would have been
more like children’s fiction. I have yet to branch out into other genres, though I
would like to at some stage.
Q4 At Somerset you said you started with your blog, then you wrote your
book. Did you get an agent because you had a blog?
I think that the contacts I made through my blog and the fact that I could
demonstrate my passion for YA and my ability to promote my work both
worked in my favour – but I don’t think I would have been able to find representation
had the book not been good enough. The work itself is what really
Q5 What do you gain most out of attending writing festivals?
Writing is an isolating profession and you rarely get to speak to your audience
directly, so actually getting to present to kids and talk about books and literature
is a lot of fun, and I think helps to remind me why I write the kind of books
I do. (Plus it is awesome to meet kids who have actually read my books, and
getting to sign books remains a really terrific – and surreal – highlight.)
Q6 Do you draw from your own life experiences/family/places to write?
Absolutely! Sometimes in quite direct ways – in Night Swimming, the character
of Kirby’s grandfather is heavily based on someone in my family who has dementia
– and sometimes more indirectly – in All This Could End, Nina’s parents
are bank robbers, which is not from my own life, but I drew on my own feelings
of being loyal to family, as well as that process of growing up and realising that
your parents aren’t perfect and that adults don’t know everything. (It’s a little
more extreme for Nina but it’s still essentially the same emotional experience.)
Q7 When you wrote Girl Saves Boy did you approach an agent?
When I finished writing Girl Saves Boy, I queried a few agents based on recommendations
from another writer and ended up signing with an agent who had
equested my manuscript through a contest on a blog. With a previous novel, I
had submitted to a few publishers and had received some very kind rejection
Q8 How long after Girl Saves Boy did you write All this Could
End and Night Swimming?
I wrote Girl Saves Boy when I was 15, and All This Could End and Night Swimming
was predominantly written when I was 17 and 21, respectively.
Q9 Do you think of your audience when you write or do you write for your
It’s a mix of both for me and it also depends on the novel – when I wrote Night
Swimming I very much had my teenage self in mind, but with my other novels, I
wasn’t as specific. I think tapping into the things I experienced as a teenager is
useful for those universal experiences, but it’s important not to be too centred
on my own experience, I think – and working with teenagers helps with having a
sense of what they’re looking for in books and what is relevant to their lives.
Q10 Do you write short stories or articles?
I have always tried to write short stories but I don’t think I am succinct enough –
they always turn into novels. I have written plenty of articles, though – writing
about YA literature and youth issues. I also had an essay on feminism in Destroying
the Joint: Why Women Have to Change the World (UQP, 2013).
Q11 Where do you see your writing career taking you?
I’m very much at a stage now, where I’m focused on the process of writing and
enjoying that as much as I can and not really thinking about my goals down the
line! I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities – to visit schools and libraries
and festivals, and travel and meet awesome readers and writers and teachers
and librarians – so it’s been terrific so far.
Books by Jill Smith
A Glimmer of Hope – What i
nspired me to write
A Glimmer of Hope – What inspired me t
By Steve Heron, OAM
About 20 years ago a
boy asked me if I
could write a kids’
book about a boy
who gets bullied in the toilet. Other
than my immediate concern for the
boy I thought to myself, I don’t write
books, I failed English at school.
I had little more thought about this
until I was driving along a quiet street
when I came across a group of Magpies
on the side of the road. It appeared
as if they were picking on one
and trying to force it onto the road
like a game of chicken. There’s bullying,
right there I thought.
Maybe I could write a story about
that. My picture book writing passion
started that day. Some years later the
book ‘The Magpie Who Wasn’t A
Chicken’ was published along with a
series of five others by the organisation
I was working for.
The BUZ Feel Safe Feel Right Books.
My early picture books were probably
more like short stories that I compacted
into picture books. Six years
ago, I studied a Diploma in Children’s
Writing and Publishing. One of the
assignments was to write the first
chapter of a middle-grade novel.
Novel? That’s a lot of words. I only
wanted to write picture books.
A personal encounter with a magpie I
named Maximus was the spark that
ignited the inspiration for me to write
a longer story. The chance meeting
with this bedraggled magpie was
analogous to the pastoral work I was
involved in with children in and out
Maximus had been rejected by the
flock and was flailing like many children
I came across with friendship
and family issues.
The story was in me looking for an
opportunity to wiggle its way out. I
wrote 1,000 words before I realised I
only needed to write 500 for the assignment,
so I sent chapter 1A and
chapter 1B for assessment.
Years of working with exceptionally
ordinary children struggling with life's
assortment of challenges, the compelling
urge to tell their stories respectfully
and anonymously, and the
connection with the magpie bolstered
my desire to write Maximus.
I kept writing. 25,000 words later
Maximus was finished, so I thought.
After critiques, beta reading, editing,
submissions, and rejections – nothing.
Along came an opportunity to
pitch at the Rockingham Writers Convention.
Yay. I signed up.
The problem was, I didn’t realise I
signed up to pitch for a romance
novel. I contacted the organisers who
quickly contacted the publisher. Fortunately,
they said they would still
look at my manuscript. It was a serendipitous
pitch with Serenity Press and
with their belief, Maximus my first
middle-grade novel is now a reality.
Stuff happens - to everyone. Hope is
what pulls us through the sucky bits,
and there is always hope. The story
strikes at the heart of everyday issues
that many pre-teens experience and
will hopefully help children realise
that grief and other life challenges
affect their emotions, and in turn,
those emotions affect their selfconfidence
and social connection.
When you’re down you lose power,
when you lose power, you become
vulnerable. Balancing the power
when you think someone is not treating
you with respect is important.
Maximus is a story about balancing
the power and encouraging hope.
Life is like riding a wave – when you
catch a good one enjoy the ride.
The tapestry of real-life issues that
intertwine with the main and subplots
accompanied by believable characters,
easy to follow language, and
appeal to both boys and girls, make
the book quite unique.
While marketed to 9-12-year-olds,
Maximus is a book to be read by people
of all ages who have some connection
with children. Teachers, parents,
chaplains, grandparents, carers,
and any children’s professionals will
find a treasure chest of gems in the
story that will encourage and inspire.
Many might even say, ‘Where was this
book when I was a kid?’
The story would make a perfect class
novel to be read with and by children
in years 5 and 6, especially connecting
with the social and emotional
learning in the curriculum.
In my previous pastoral work, I used
children’s books and had an extensive
collection. I found that many of
the ‘self-help’ books don’t engage
children, not like the fun ones. I wanted
to bridge that gap.
Occasionally I came across a children’s
writer who had done this (e.g.,
Alexis O’Neill with The Recess
Queen). I wanted to write kids’ books
so that not only are they entertained,
they come away with something, a
glimmer of hope. After listening to
children talk about the stuff that matters
I was gathering stories and ideas.
I wanted to tell their stories in the
most creative, powerful, hopeinstilling
and sometimes quirky ways I
could. I set out to write picture books
and discovered I could also write
I have now written twenty-one picture
books (all looking for publishers,
except one), a second novel and am
part the way through my third novel.
Steve Heron OAM has a passion to
power hope in children, especially
through children’s literature. His love
of picture books is shown by his extensive
collection. He craves to write
quality picture books and novels that
engage children, at the same time aid
with handling things life can throw at
them. He aspires to keep it real and
unreal for kids in his books.
Steve is the founder of Nurture
Works Foundation and developed the
acclaimed ‘BUZ – Build Up Zone’ social
and emotional programs and initiatives
used in many schools
throughout WA. In 2016, he was
listed in the Queen’s Birthday honours
and received an Order of Australia
Medal for contribution to the
social and emotional wellbeing of
Steve recently retired from 40 years of pastoral work
with children to focus on his writing. Maximus is his
first middle-grade novel published by Serenity Press
He has been called an affirmative vandal and a hooligan
1: marked by extreme calm, impassivity, and steadiness : serene
Did you know?
There is an interesting time lag between the appearance of imperturbable and its
antonym, perturbable. Although imperturbable is known to have existed since
the middle of the 15th century, perturbable didn't show up in written English
until 1800. The verb perturb (meaning "to disquiet" or "to throw into confusion")
predates both imperturbable and perturbable; it has been part of English since
the 14th century. All three words derive from Latin perturbare (also meaning "to
throw into confusion"), which in turn comes from the combination of per-
(meaning "thoroughly") and turbare, which means "to disturb."
The imperturbable captain did not panic when the boat sailed into the
path of a violent storm.
"Synchronicity is no stranger to sports. Back in 2016, a clip of
two synchronized swimmers, strutting toward the pool like
cool, imperturbable twins, went briefly viral." - Vinson Cunningham, The
New Yorker, 17 January 2018
Our challenge to you is to insert the word ‘”imperturbable” into your next piece
of writing or randomly use it in a post and share it with us - Facebook Page.
WORD OF THE MONTH WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Merriam Webster
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