Date of Success:
Born and bred in New Zealand, Maura Finn now lives in Melbourne with her husband and two young daughters. In her early writing days, she ran a rather lucrative playground business, swapping tailor-made poems for lunchbox leftovers. Now, many years later, she has rediscovered the joy and value of picture books through sharing them with her own children, and is delighted to think that her stories may contribute to other children’s love of reading.
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
I first entertained the idea of writing for children when my youngest daughter turned 1, and I put aside all her precious naptimes to devote myself to learning the craft. I must have stumbled upon the CYA comp when doing a search for competitions, and I couldn’t believe my luck that they would actually provide impartial feedback, for such a reasonable fee.
I have been lucky enough to have a few wins in the CYA competition over the years – both 1st and 3rd places in the 'pre-school category' 2016; 2nd place ‘pre-school category’ 2014; 1st place ‘preschool category’ 2013; - and 2 of these wins have now successfully been contracted with publishers (one due to be released June 2017 and the other in May 2018.)
The CYA competition has meant so much in my journey as an emerging children’s writer. It has provided deadlines, boosted my confidence and encouraged me to keep going, given me something to write on my publisher pitch letters (!), and most importantly, provided me with that impartial feedback that is so essential, yet so difficult (and expensive) to find.
Whenever someone asks my advice on how to get started as a children’s author I always refer them on to the CYA website.
Thank you CYA Team. I look forward to visiting you next year!