Why don’t you #askHAU

Recently a new Twitter hashtag has started called #askHAU. This is a great opportunity for children’s writers of all levels to ask editors/publishers at Hachette Australia questions about the writing trade, how to get published, what the editors are looking for, etc….

This is too good an opportunity to miss and yesterday I participated because it was Suzanne O’Sullivan’s turn to answer the questions from 3pm to 4pm. Suzanne is the Associate Publisher of children’s books at Hachette Australia and replied to a whole variety of useful questions with enthusiasm and great wisdom.

Here are my questions:

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I hope this has been useful for you, it certainly was for me. đŸ™‚

To read more questions and answers from other Twitterers go here: #askHAU

To find out who else from Hachette will be answering questions go here: Hachette.com.au

#illo52weeks – week 1 – eggs

Happy New Year everyone!


I hope to be as productive as I was last year but with new aspects of my writing journey. Last year I completed  Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 writing challenge which was fantastc because I completed 12 picture book manuscript drafts in 12 months. This year I thought I would develop another skill and therefore I will be joining in Tania McCartney’s 52 illustrations in 52 weeks challenge. For more information go to The 52-week illustration challenge or you can follow each participant through Twitter at #illo52weeks.

Here is my first illustration for the challenge:

Week 1 – eggs

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I used pastels and watercolour pencil crayons as seen in image below:

eggs in pastel


This was the first time I have attempted to draw an egg in an incredibly long time and it was surprisingly enjoyable. I hadn’t decided what medium to use until I fetched the egg from the fridge. Pastels just seemed the right thing at the time.


My kids decided to join in (as it is still the school holidays) and this kept them quiet while I attempted to illustrate the egg.


Here are their wonderful efforts:


By Ruby age 8
By Ruby age 8


By Joseph age 9
By Joseph age 9


Twitter pitches

I woke up early the other day (before the kids, etc.) and saw a post on Facebook about a contest/competition/challenge (whatever you want to call it) happening on Twitter. The challenge was to pitch your picture book or middle grade novel using only the 180 character spaces allowed within a tweet.


Not only was this a great opportunity to pitch to an agent but it was also very good practice in summarising the concept of your picture book. It is quite a challenge and can take a few tries. Even if you don’t enter a challenge like this, it is still worth using Twitter to practice a one sentence pitch keeping within the 180 character spaces limit. Just don’t press the tweet button as you are only practising.


The hashtag was #pitchsqueak if you want to go to Twitter and read some of the pitches that were sent. There are some great ideas out there.

Here is one of mine:

my tweet pitch
my Twitter pitch


Just be aware of two things as it can work two ways:

  • your pitch might sound more exciting than the actual story turns out to be
  • your pitch might not be as great as the actual manuscript is.

It may turn out that I am guilty of both – we shall see…

If you entered the challenge and were invited to send a query and a full manuscript to the agent, then well done and goodluck!