If I hadn't attended the 2018 Creative Kids Tales festival, I would never have made friends with Max, and if I hadn't made friends with Max she would never have said, 'You must check out 'The Duck Pond!'
The Duck Pond is a facebook group dedicated to aspiring and already published authors and illustrators, run by children's author Jen Storer. It is the most supportive community of any of the creative arts that I have ever been involved with. Wait for it....people actually want you to succeed! And give you hints, and tips and generally share the love. Amazing!!!
So I became a Duckie.
From 'The Pond', I discovered 'Scribbles', an online course designed to help you rediscover your inner child whilst (hopefully) squashing your inner critic. It's fun! But whilst the end result of writing for children is often fun, it's also very hard work, so when the opportunity to enter the inaugural Scribbles creative writing awards came up, I knuckled down.
The competition was judged by industry professionals Gabrielle Wang, Judith Rossell, Lucinda Gifford and Jen Storer. Knuckling down became biting knuckles, as the Duck Pond and Scribbles facebook groups counted down the days to the announcement. I tried not to care. Impossible.
Max messaged me. 'You seen your email?!!!!'
My email that said I'd been shortlisted. The email that I'd been sure I would never receive.
But I did. Another proof to myself that if you 'do the verk', at some point, it has to pay off.
I didn't win. and I genuinely didn't care. I was so happy and excited for those that did, that it felt like I had won anyway. The whole experience was a roller coaster. I was thrilled to ride it with others who are equally passionate about what they do, and who are doing it better, because those are the people I want to be around, and that is the type of person I want to be, for someone else like me. Thank you Jen and judges for giving me an opportunity to have my work read by you.
I'll be meeting some of the Scribbbles gang in May when I head to the Kid Lit conference in Melbourne. I'm sure it will be a wonderful play day.