Date of Success:
Tina Strachan is an Australian children's book author whose debut middle-grade series has been picked up by HarperCollins Publishers in a three book deal. Book 1 of the series is due for release in February 2024. Tina’s young adult entry into the 2022 CYA Conference was awarded first place by HarperCollins publisher, Lisa Berryman.
When not indulging in her writing, Tina is working as a conservation officer, focussing her efforts on protecting wild koala populations through research, monitoring, community education and mitigation of threats.
Tina lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland, with her husband, two boys and their cavoodle.
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
Hi! I'm Tina Strachan, and I'm so thrilled to announce my 3-book deal with HarperCollins Publishers! And it was all made possible by the 2022 CYA Conference!
Here's how it happened:
I had been writing fiction my whole life as a hobby. Last year I stumbled across the CYA Conference competition late one night and thought it would be a great opportunity to get some feedback on my work - I didn't consider ever being shortlisted. The wonderful thing about the CYA competitions is you receive all the feedback from the judges - an invaluable tool (and one that the CYA organisers work so hard to deliver to each entrant).
Then I received an email I had been shortlisted - I was so surprised! But not half as shocked as when my name was announced as the winner of the Aspiring Authors Young Adult category! And the prize for winning was something money just can't buy - a session with an editor.
That's when I met the magical Lisa Berryman from HarperCollins Publishers. She gave me some wonderful advice on my YA manuscript (basically, stop killing off all your characters) and then we started chatting about other things, including my twenty years of working with wildlife. We then discussed a middle-grade series about a girl who lives in a zoo - and the rest is history! Book 1 of the series is due for publication in February 2024.
As every aspiring author knows, cracking into the publishing industry is long, hard work. Making connections makes all the difference. So for anyone that is thinking about entering the comps or attending one of the sessions - DO IT! It will be invaluable for your career and you just never know where those connections can lead you.