Date of Success: Shortlisted 2010 and 2011, YA category
Signed by literary agent, Debbie Carter of Muse Literary Agency, NYC, 2012.
The years of Alison's childhood were not marked in the usual ways--by classroom teachers or juvenile illnesses--but rather by the books she read. As an independent reader, she followed the escapades of fearless girl named Pippi and an aspiring spy named Harriet. She cried over a gentle spider's death and trembled with a Jewish girl hiding in an attic. But it was the transformation of Mistress Mary Lennox at Misselthwaite Manor that was the turning point for Alison, when reading was no longer enough and when the dream to write memorable stories was kindled.
Her happy childhood memories around books has led her to volunteer with the Pyjama Foundation, an organisation that delivers literacy-based mentoring to children in foster care.
Alison works as a school counsellor in a private college. Cheering her on in fulfilling her writerly dreams are a wonderful husband, three daughters, and an overweight dog. Alison blogs and does freelance writing on exchange programs, travel, cyber-safety, and adolescent mental health.
www.e-quipped.com.au (A cyber-safety blog for parents)
www.oneyearinink.wordpress.com (My journey of writing A Thousand Miles to Meet and Summer of the Silk Dragon)
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME:
Alison's YA stories were shortlisted the CYA Conference Contest in 2010 and 2011. These little wins and the in-depth feedback from the judges boosted her confidence enough to answer a literary agent's call for books about exchange students. One of her 2011 entries, A Thousand Miles to Meet, was just such a story. As a result, Muse Literary Agency signed Alison to write Summer of the Silk Dragon, a book aimed at middle-grade readers about an American exchange student in Beijing. Working with an American agent has been a tremendous help in sharpening her craft and developing her author's profile.