Date of Success:
Anna owes her love of storytelling to her Uncle Billy, who took her out on his fishing trawler when she was three and entertained her with scary stories about sharks and the deep blue sea. His efforts to terrify her failed abysmally when she instead fell madly in love with sharks, became a marine biologist and spent three months on a boat in South Africa hanging out with Great Whites.
Anna spent most of her career writing fisheries policy, until she finally saw the light in 2017, joined the Inner West Melbourne CYA Writers Group and started writing for children. Her first junior fiction story, PD McPem and the Agency for Mysterious Mysteries, is soon to be published with Yellow Brick Books.
Anna lives in Melbourne with her daughter Rosie, their puppy Scout and an imaginary octopus named Hans Gruber.
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
In 2017, I joined a writer's group in Melbourne with bright-eyes, high hopes and precisely no idea about the children's publishing industry. When one of those wonderful group members suggested I go along with them to the CYA Conference, I signed up - thinking it would be a fun weekend talking about books with the added bonus of a small escape to the Brisbane sun.
As it turned out, it was fun and there was certainly sun, but there was also new networks and friends, a huge amount of learning and invaluable encouragement and feedback from publishers. The feedback I received in 2017 encouraged me to turn a picture book I'd submitted into a chapter book, which was then requested by two publishers in 2018. Sadly that one didn't quite make it through BUT the year after, I met with Rowena and Georgie from Yellow Brick about a new junior fiction series I'd written, PD McPem and the Agency for Mysterious Mysteries. Luckily for me, they loved PD and I loved Yellow Brick and so PD will very shortly be making her way into the world!
I'm so grateful that I've had the opportunity to attend CYA - it's the highlight of my writing year (did I mention the fun/sun?) and I've grown so much as a writer from the experiences I've had there. I'm looking forward to the day we can all catch up again in person, but until then - hope to see you online!