Date of Success:
Sam-Ellen Bound is a writer, editor and children’s author. From humble beginnings as an eight-year old writing Goosebumps rip-offs, she now has many years experience working with books – as an author, bookseller, reviewer, editor, production and marketing coordinator, in education, you name it!
A huge supporter of #LoveOzMG, Sam-Ellen has been shortlisted for numerous short story awards, including most recently the Peter Carey and Write Around the Murray short story awards. She was also shortlisted for the Vogel Prize in 2018 and been a recipient of a May Gibbs Creative Time Fellowship. Her first novel What the Raven Saw was published in 2013 by Penguin Random House. The first book in her four-part middle-grade fantasy series, Seven Wherewithal Way, will be published by Affirm Press in October 2021.
Sam-Ellen was born in Tasmania but now lives in Melbourne. A few of her favourite things include: ballroom and latin dancing, singing, gardening, folklore and her brown lop rabbit – small in stature but big in attitude.
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
I was in a bit of a writing rut prior to 2020. My professional career was going well but I felt like my creative career needed a little bit of TLC! After finishing up one job at the end of 2019, I decided to make 2020 the Year of Writing. I entered as many competitions, awards, and writing opportunities as I could, and one of those was the 2020 CYA Published (Children and Young Adult) competition.
I ended up getting Highly Commended for my middle grade fantasy manuscript, Seven Wherewithal Way. This helped give the manuscript a bit of a credibility boost when my agent and I were pitching it to publishers, and not long after the competition, I signed a contract with the brilliant Affirm Press, for all four books in the series. The first book will be out in October 2021.
The written feedback I received from the CYA comp was INVALUABLE for pointing out a few little things I tidied up before we pitched it. It was also the loveliest confidence boost and initial encouragement that this series I had been working on for years just might have some legs.
I am SO excited to spend the next few years working on this epic portal fantasy series, and the CYA comp was such an important stepping stone in getting there.