Date of Success:
After working in public relations for five years, and for ten years as a primary teacher, Amy turned her attention to actively pursuing her goal of writing for children. In 2017 she founded Busy Bookworms, a weekly bookclub class for preschoolers, which used picture books to inspire exciting educational activities. She reviews children’s books for My Child Magazine, and hosts Storytime at local independent bookshop The Leaf. The first four books in Amy’s junior fiction series Tilda Teaches were released by Five Mile in 2020, with two more books in the series hitting bookshops in February 2021, along with her debut picture book, Turning Cartwheels (EK Books, illustrated by Amy Calautti).
When she’s not writing, teaching or reading, Amy can be found dabbling in watercolour painting, raising her two rambunctious, creative, exasperating yet amazing children, and catching up on the latest goings-on in Summer Bay.
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
At my first ever CYA conference in 2018, I booked an assessment with Anouska Jones from EK Books, and while the two manuscripts she assessed were not right for her list, she encouraged me to submit other examples of my work in the future.
Towards the end of our meeting, while we were chatting about our daughters, I mentioned another manuscript I'd written about the 'frenemy' dynamic that is common amongst primary school girls. I had actually put the manuscript aside some months earlier, but Anouska asked me to send it to her once I returned home to Melbourne. After a couple of small edits, Anouska took the manuscript to acquisitions, and I was thrilled to have it accepted a couple of months later. I signed the contract on New Years Day, 2019.
Unfortunately the release was pushed back by a few months, to February 2021, because of COVID, but the entire process of seeing the book come to life with Anouska and the fabulous illustrator Amy Calautti (yep, two Amys!) was absolutely fantastic.