Winners are grinners!

December 19th, 2022

To my astonishment and delight, Ella and the Ocean was declared the winner of the Minister for the Arts Prize for Books for Children and Young People at the 2022 Tasmanian Literary Awards last Thursday night.

The award itself is made of Tasmanian myrtle, and is beautiful.

Wooden trophy

I haven’t stopped smiling since. Especially when the lovely members of my online crit group sent me the most beautiful bunch of flowers.

Native Australian flowers in vase

Others on the shortlist were Aster’s Good Right Things by Kate Gordon, Shoestring; the Boy Who Walks on Air by Julie Hunt and Dale Newman, and Sea Country by Aunty Patsy Cameron and Lisa Kennedy. All beautiful, powerful books, and Jonathan Bentley and I were honoured to share the shortlist with them.

Other news:

I’m very excited about Spellhound: a Dragons of Hallow book, which is coming out next April. I’ve never written about dragons before, and this book was such fun to write. Not just because of the dragons, but because there’s also a giant magical pup, a child Queen, and a very small frightened minch-wiggin.

What’s a minch-wiggin, you ask?

Well, she’s sometimes mistaken for a pixie (except that pixies don’t climb trees and build nests). Her name is Flax, she lives in the Floating Forest, and she carries a famous sword and a satchel stuffed with—

No, I’d better not tell you any more. Not yet. There are very important secrets involved. But I’ve bought myself a dragon brooch to celebrate.

Silver dragon brooch with blue rhinestones.

I’ve also just finished writing Fledge-Witch, the follow-up to Spellhound. I sent it to my agent last week, and she just phoned to say she loves it.

Phew! It’s always nerve wracking waiting for that first feedback. And now I have to wait to see what my publisher thinks. I doubt I’ll hear from her until after Christmas/New Year.

Speaking of which …     

Hope you all have a great Christmas. I’m going to run a couple of competitions in the New Year, to celebrate the upcoming publication of Spellhound, so keep your eyes peeled!

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