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Jess Horn



Date of Success:

Jess is an Australian children’s author, passionate about empowering kids and sparking imagination. Her stories are full of humour and heart, often exploring the world from a neurodivergent perspective. With a background in speech pathology and disability services, Jess now pursues her love of words by weaving stories with a subtle message of inclusivity. Aside from writing, Jess enjoys coffee (who doesn’t?) and spoonerisms (doo husn’t?!).


In 2021, having recently embarked on my children's writing journey, I entered the CYA competition and was astonished to hear I won second place in my category! As a new author, that was a huge confidence boost, and the feedback I received on my entries was extremely helpful in facilitating further editing of my stories.


A year later, I booked my first CYA editor assessments, and the lead up to these and the competition really drove my creativity for the first half of the year. Meeting the editors was a fantastic opportunity to learn from the experts and receive guidance on my manuscripts. During my session with Coral Huckstep from Affirm Press, I was excited to hear that she thought my stories could find a place in the Affirm Press collection! A short while later, I signed the contract for my debut picture book. I was over the moon and so very thankful that I had this opportunity through CYA.


My debut picture book, Bernie Thinks in Boxes, is a story about thinking differently and navigating change in a neurotypical world. It’s due for release by Affirm Press in July 2024.


Read Jess's blog post for the AWC

CYA is not affiliated with the AWC.

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