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Melissa Wray



Date of Success:

Melissa is an Australian author living on the Bellarine Peninsula. Melissa is passionate about education, in particular literacy, and believes the ability to read and write offers the power to change.


Melissa’s writing has won honourable mentions and has featured in several published anthologies Her novels include, Summer Change (Wombat Books/Rhiza Edge), The Ruby Locket (Odyssey Books) and Destiny Road (Morris Publishing). Melissa was selected for The Maurice Saxby Writers Mentorship Program in 2015. She completed a Master of Education in 2017 writing a thesis by research on Picture Story Book use in the classroom setting. A summation of this thesis was published in the online Teacher magazine.


Melissa believes everyone should Dream Big … Read Often.



In 2012 I first entered the CYA writing competition for a middle grade fiction I was working on at the time. I was very new to writing and the feedback received at the time spurred me on to keep writing. In 2014 I entered the YA category for Summer Change. The feedback score was 90%. I couldn't believe the judges thought so highly of my writing.

In 2016 I entered again and got 94%. At the time I also submitted another entry into the YA category called The Ruby Locket. Once again the feedback received was incredibly valuable. In 2019 I submitted to the Chapter Book for Younger Readers category for The Lost Loot of Lima. More wonderfully supportive feedback!

From these three entries and feedback I have since signed a contract for each manuscript. In 2019 I signed a contract for The Ruby Locket that was published by Odyssey Books in 2020. Then in 2022 Summer Change became contracted and in 2023 it was published by Wombat Books/Rhiza Edge. And in 2023 The Lost Loot of Lima was contracted with Wombat Books/Rhiza Edge to be published in 2024. Three entries, three contracts - amazing!

The CYA writing competition gave me the opportunity to craft a submission, receive feedback and develop confidence in submitting to publishers. This led to the ultimate goal - publication!

There is no doubt in my mind CYA has been a big factor in my publishing success. Thanks CYA!

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