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Matt Samuel



Date of Success:

Matt Samuel has worked in Sydney and London as a primary school teacher, and for the last 24 years he has been working in magazine advertising.


He is a co-founder of Australia’s largest performing-arts event for schools, WAKAKIRRI (, and proudly sits on their executive committee.


Matt completed the AWC’s Writing Picture Books course in late 2020 and will have his first story The Other Side of the Clouds published in July 2024, by Riveted Press.


He loves the many ways a great story can spark young minds. His hope is that his stories will one day do the same.


I first heard about CYA when I was doing the AWC’s Writing Picture Books course in late 2020. From everything I heard, it sounded just the thing I was looking for in terms of developing my writing skills and learning about the industry.


I eagerly signed up for the virtual conference in 2021. And I submitted stories to 3 different publishers. Since finishing the Writing Picture Book course at the end of 2020, I’d written several stories and have submitted them to a handful of publishers. But I always knew that submitting unsolicited manuscripts was going to be a challenge in understanding first-hand what publishers and editors thought of my work.


When I signed up for the 2021 CYA conference, I was very excited about the opportunity to get some direct feedback, with their Editor Assessment sessions. I had never done any pitches or face to face with editors or publishers before, so I was more than a bit nervous.

I received some great feedback from a couple of editors. And one of these editors was Rowena Beresford of Yellow Brick Books (now Riveted Press). Rowena and I only had 15 minutes to discuss 2 manuscripts. But in that time, she suggested a few things to help improve one story and she invited me to submit that story to her once I had made the changes. I took her feedback on board and submitted within the week. Then a few weeks later I was offered a contract.


Without CYA, I would never have had the chance to meet Rowena. Which means without CYA, I wouldn’t have a book being published!


I bookmark the CYA every year now. As I know I am guaranteed to meet new people and learn lots of different things through fantastic presentations and workshops.


Thank you, CYA.

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