Date of Success:
Megan Forward is a Children’s Book Council of Australia shortlisted illustrator and author with a BA in Visual Arts and Education. As a child she loved art and reading, often creating little picture books for herself. Now she delights in combining her published picture books with connecting children and families with her love of nature, because you care for what you love.
Megan facilitates interactive STEAM (Science, Technology, English, Art and Maths) workshops for children using her picture books as stimulus. She is passionate about teaching sustainability to children, engendering a love of nature through literature, and helping them make real world connections across curriculum subjects. Megan has extensive experience speaking to children, families and educators, touring libraries, schools, kindergartens, environmental education organisations and community gardens. She holds a BA in Visual Arts and a BA in Teaching.
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
Hello. My name is Megan Forward. I became involved with CYA in 2013 and have attended three conferences so far. I cannot say enough about how CYA helped me on the path to being published.
Before attending, I had years of experience in image making after graduating from the QLD college of art with a BVA in visual art. I have also worked as a sales rep for Penguin Books. I had long harboured a dream of illustrating and perhaps writing a children’s book, but didn’t really know where, or how to start.
A friend, Julie Fison, a published writer, who also made her start at CYA, recommended it to me and I’m so glad she did. The competitions, and conference sessions, as well as mixing with others in the field, really helped me to hone my skills, and understand the professionalism required to make headway in the world of publishing.
I entered the illustration section of the CYA competition three years in a row. In the second two conferences my illustrations won first and second prize consecutively. This really helped to build my confidence, and to realise that what I had to offer was worth pursuing. I’m sure I’m not the only one to struggle to believe in myself in the often solitary world of art and writing, and my CYA experience really helped me to feel part of a community and to commit to my goal.
In one of the CYA conference sessions in my second year there, I came up with an idea for a book, which I then worked on over the next twelve months with the goal of submitting it to the CYA competition the following year.
I entered it was thrilled to be awarded 2nd place. This gave me the confidence to continue to finesse the work, and take into account the feedback I received from the judges. Once I felt it was as good as I could possibly make it, I set about contacting publishers.
I am very happy to tell you that at the beginning of this year, Penguin Books Australia signed me up to publish my book “A Patch from Scratch”. I would never have got this far without the guidance, support, and industry knowledge I gained through CYA.
I am very grateful to Tina, Ally and the gang.