Heidi Cooper Smith
Date of Success:
Heidi rediscovered her love for drawing in 2014, when she joined an online illustration challenge. Six months later she was offered her first illustration contract with Koala Books, Scholastic. Inspired to start writing at this point, she went on to win the CYA illustrated manuscript competition (aspiring) in 2015 and 2016. This led to her first contract as author/illustrator for Kate and the Thing, with Wombat Books. Heidi now works as a regular illustrator for The School Magazine and has just signed her third contract as author/illustrator, with LPDB. Influenced by her three children growing older, Heidi is also exploring junior fiction.
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
Looking for direction after illustrating my first picture book, I entered CYA’s competition in 2015 and 2016. I found this to be hugely motivating for getting stories written and bringing illustrations to life, which would otherwise still be languishing in my head. In 2016, Rochelle from Wombat Books judged my section and offered a contract for Kate and the Thing. In 2018 I successfully submitted Six Sleepy Mice (my other entry from 2016) to Little Pink Dog Books. Following on from these books, I’ve since illustrated The Other Brother (by Penny Jaye) for Wombat Books and signed another contract as author/illustrator with LPDB for Too Many Ducks. In addition to the competition, I’ve loved attending the wonderfully engaging conferences, where I’ve learned a great deal and met a stack of inspiring creatives.