Date of Success:
Kellie Byrnes is a children's author and freelance writer with a BA degree in English Literature and Philosophy. Her first picture book Cloud Conductor, is contracted with Wombat Books, and will be out in May 2018.
Kellie has been a full-time writer for more than 3 years, and has written content for clients in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Her ghost-written work has been featured on sites such as Huffington Post, Inc. and Forbes; and she writes across a variety of categories including parenting, health and wellbeing, business, travel, law, finance, real estate and home decor.
Kellie has experience in the publishing industry, having worked in the editorial department and as a sales representative for Pan Macmillan, as well as a rep for Hardie Grant Gift (previously Taltrade Books). An avid reader across most genres, she is an enthusiastic book reviewer and blogger.
Kellie is also a member of SCBWI, the Queensland Writer's Centre, and Writelinks, and part of two critique groups.
When she's not busy writing or reading, Kellie can be found exploring the beautiful Sunshine Coast with her dogs; travelling (although not as often as she would like!); or checking out the latest movies, musicals and plays.
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
I booked pitch sessions at my very first conference - CYA 2016 - to give myself some writing deadlines, and as a way of receiving feedback from key people in the industry. I saw it as an experience to learn from, and never expected to receive a contract out of the conference, but was fortunate enough that this actually did happen!
Rochelle from Wombat Books expressed particular interest in one of the manuscripts she critiqued for my pitch session at CYA, and asked if I was happy to make a few changes to the manuscript. I was, and got in contact with Rochelle again after the conference, submitting a slightly revised version of my picture book story, plus some other information. After a number of weeks I had my first contract and was over the moon!
My picture book Cloud Conductor, will be released in May 2018.