Wombat Books Blog

Wombat Books blog is the place to keep up to date with all the goings-on in the world of Aussie kid's books.

Call for Early Reader submissions

Further to our update on submissions last week, we are now calling for submissions for Early Reader titles. Please ensure you have also read our general guidelines if you are interested in submitting your manuscript.

Wombat Books is increasing our publication of Early Reader titles by building a new list for 6-8 year olds. We are open to submissions for Early Reader titles as of the 1st of November 2013.

We are looking for Early Reader manuscripts that consider the following guidelines:

  • between 5,000-10,000 words
  • family friendly
  • features relatable characters or those that children can look up to (good role models)
  • is encouraging, positive and uplifting
  • engages the family and leaves a lasting impression
  • can feature issues (health, allergies, social awareness etc)
  • structured in short, easy-to-read chapters
  • appeals to both boys and girls
  • aspires to our motto of “books you will want to share”

Please refer to our current early reader chapter books to see the types of stories we are looking for:

littlegoodwolfes

         theanythingshopes

These stories engage children with an entertaining story that portrays family friendly values while being adventurous and fun to read. Please refer to the general information above if you wish to submit your manuscript.

For further details on submission requirements visit our submissions page.

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An interview with Lizbeth Klein

An interview with Lizbeth Klein

Hi, I’m Lizbeth Klein and my dream is to hide away from the world in some cave where I can write in relative peace and quiet. I mostly write YA fantasy but I do enjoy mysteries and sci-fi, too. I live in Sydney with my husband, but I would love a forest change. 

Question 1: What is your favourite part about being an author?

Being able to create amazing worlds, incredible characters and great adventures.

Question 2: What is the hardest part about being an author?

The hardest part about being an author is finding the time to write when I’m not falling asleep at the keyboard. Working a split shift 6 days a week is really difficult. Holidays are precious and I seem to achieve a lot then.

Question 3: What do you do for fun?

Sadly, there’s not much time in between for fun at present, but I do like to grab a takeaway lunch and my poor neglected husband and I go and sit beside the sea. Then we might go for a walk or a drive. Watching a good movie is also fun. 

Question 4: What writing genre do you like to do the most?

The genre I prefer above others is YA fantasy.

Question 5: What do you consider your biggest achievement?

Getting published—finally! It always seemed out of reach, a bit like the moon.

Question 6: What is your favourite time to read?

Probably Sundays when I’m all alone.

Question 7: What book are you reading right now?

Trying to get through The Hobbit again. Really enjoy Tolkein.

 

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Jennifer Gress
Have just finished reading Book 1 of the Bethloria Series by Lizbeth Klien and loved the story. Am using the text as an instructio... Read More
Friday, 01 November 2013 07:33
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Submissions update

This blog focuses on our general submission guidelines. Next week we will be providing more information on specific lists that we will be seeking submissions for. So stay tuned!

Wombat Books accepts unsolicited manuscripts for review to be considered for traditional publishing. We have limited spaces for publication. We are looking for entertaining original manuscripts that leave a lasting impression. We are primarily looking at children's picture books at this time. We strongly recommend you have read our recent releases. It is important to demonstrate in your cover letter an understanding of the type of manuscripts we will be interested in.

Please do not send us query letters, either submit your manuscript using the POST or EMAIL process, as we generally do not respond to query letters. Is it vital you include a cover letter with your submission.

Turn around time for manuscripts is anywhere between 4 and 8 months.

Manuscript Formatting guidelines

Please follow our guidelines carefully in order for us to be able to assess your manuscript. Your manuscript must be:

  • Typed and printed
  • 12 size font
  • Times New Roman 
  • 1.5 to double spaced
  • Pages should be numbered
  • Include your name and address

Cover letter

Please demonstrate your understanding of the industry including any achievements or awards you have received or any events you have presented at. If you have specific ideas on marketing for your book please include some of your plans.

Please investigate other titles similar to your own in the market to ensure your book is unique.

We are happy for you to include editor or assessor comments in the submission.

Posted manuscripts

We request you include a PREPAID envelope that will fit your ENTIRE manuscript for return. Your submission will not be considered if you do not do this with postal submissions.

Post to:

Attention: The Children's Editor
Wombat Books
PO Box 1519
Capalaba QLD 4157

Emailed manuscripts

Manuscripts should be attached to the email. The cover letter and author details must be in the body of the email. No attachments will be opened if details are not given in the email. Email submissions will be invalid if this procedure is not followed. There should only be a single attachment for the manuscript. If you are submitting illustrations this way please enquire first. Attachments larger than 10MB will need prior approval and will be invalid unless an enquiry has been made first.

Email to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please note: Our submissions email address is not monitored daily so ordering enquires or other enquires should not be directed to this email.

 

 

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Jennifer Gress
Looking forward to hearing the exciting news!
Friday, 25 October 2013 17:59
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How do you find hope when lifelong dreams are shattered?

How do you find hope when lifelong dreams are shattered?

The Celtic Stone, by Nick Hawkes is due for release on 1 November and you can win a copy!

Subscribe to our blog and leave us a comment with the name you subscribed with below to go into the draw!

This romantic adventure is centred on the wild, storm-battered islands of the Scottish Hebrides.

“I felt an instant resonance with this story. It reminds me of the adventure romances I devoured growing up. But it’s better, deeper, richer. It’s a lavish homecoming feast for heart, mind and soul. Tick, good clean romance. Tick, adventure. Tick, flawed heroes and even more flawed villains. Tick, mystery and intrigue. Tick, plot nicely tied up. Plus, surprise twists and unexpected connections. I loved it.” said multi-award winning author, Anne Hamilton.

Here’s a little of the story to whet your appetite:

Chris Norman's dreams of being a commercial pilot are shattered when he crashes his light plane in central Australia and is badly wounded. His life hangs in the balance, a balance that is swayed by the intervention of an aboriginal bushman bent on his own murderous mission. The bushman leaves Chris with a mysterious and incongruous legacy, a Celtic cross made of stone.

Partly blinded and in deep grief at no longer being able to fly, Chris finds his way to the inhospitable islands off the west coast of Scotland where he seeks to unravel the secrets of the Celtic stone.

A blind Hebridean woman, shunned by many in the local community, becomes his reluctant ally, along with a seven year old boy who is as wild as the storm tossed seas. Two other allies in the form of a game-keeper with his own dark secret, and an alcoholic writer with a love of sailing, introduce Chris to the culture of the islands.

It becomes apparent that the violence of the island's history has carried on into the present. Chris needs to recover from his grief, discover his identity... and avoid being murdered.

The author, Nick Hawkes, says, “Absolutely nothing beats a good story. The best of stories enrich us and become a strand in the fabric of who we are. I hope this is one of them.”

Nick’s life prepared him well to be a writer. He has lived in several countries and collected many an adventure. Along the way, he has earned degrees in both science and theology and has written books on both. Since then, he has turned his hand to novels, writing romantic thrillers that feed the soul.

 

The Celtic Stone is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

 

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Jennifer Gress
This resonates with me on many levels. Combines all favourite genres. Celtic (addicted since reading Diana Gabaldon),Koori culture... Read More
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 15:28
Guest — Cathy
Known Nick for years!!! Sounds like a great book, love to win a copy as I am of Scottish descent all my kids wear kilts!! Dancers ... Read More
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 15:47
Jennifer Gress
This ticks the boxes for my favourite books. History, adventure, disaster, growth, life-at-risk... all in one book. It's certainly... Read More
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 16:20
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An interview with Dawn Meredith

An interview with Dawn Meredith

Hi, I’m Dawn! I love robots and gadgets, cartoons and dragons and enjoy hanging out with our animals. I teach kids of all ages, just one at a time, to read & write and have loads of fun doing it! I have lots and lots of goofy ideas banging around in my head, waiting to jump out onto my computer screen. If only I had five pairs of hands! Or had five clones of me…

Question 1: What was your first book published?

Donald Bradman for the Livewires series in 2000

Question 2: What is your favourite part about being an author?

Hearing kids talk about my books and the characters they love. It still makes me tingle all over!

Question 3: What is the hardest part about being an author?

Working at writing, when you’d rather be watching Ben Ten Alien Force

Question 4: What do you do for fun?

Hang out with our dogs, chooks & cat, watch cartoons, do art, make stuff, go bushwalking with our horse and grow magnificent flowers in our garden.

Question 5: How do you test out your stories? Or who do you test them on?

I have test readers. Some are kids, some are adults. My ‘first’ test readers read the raw stuff, as it comes, and give me feedback pretty much straight away. Other test readers often read a whole manuscript, up to 100,000 words!

Question 6: What was your favourite children’s book when you were a kid?

Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’ series, but I also loved the classics, such as Black Beauty, Robinson Crusoe, Heidi and Alice in Wonderland and Little House on the Prairie.

Question 7: What is your favourite children’s book now?

Probably Cornelia Funke’s Reckless

Question 8: Have you ever travelled overseas as an author?

Yes, I travelled to Cornwall in England, the rough sea coast of pirates and smugglers to write a novel for teens set there.

Question 9: What writing genre do you like to do the most?

I like fiction and non-fiction, but love fantasy and sci-fi the best.

Question 10: What do you consider your biggest achievement?

Finishing four full length novels

Question 11: Where do you see the future of children’s books (ebooks/apps/print)?

I think there will always be people like me who love the smell, feel and look of a real book in their hands, so I’m not worried about e-publishing taking over. One of my books, The Anything Shop, is both print and ebook. So is my new release of my first book, Sir Donald Bradman.

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The YA reading revolution

Reading seems to be an ‘in’ thing for young adults at the moment. It’s easy to see even when I look in a department store. YA books are usually clearly displayed. Many of them are being made into movies. That’s another thing that tells you how big reading is at the moment. Movie moguls don’t waste money on products that don’t sell.

We should rejoice that young adults are enjoying the reading experience so much. It’s great to see that it’s ‘cool’ and I hope it continues.

However, I have noticed a tone of concern with some parents who have approached me about the YA books that we publish. A couple of times lately parents have said, ‘What’s in this book? Is there bad language? Is there any sex?’

I have heard this concern expressed by a number of people in the industry as well. When it comes to YA books, restraint in these areas seems to have gone out the window. There doesn’t seem to be any hesitation in loading these books with all kinds of explicit content and putting them into the eager hands of teenagers.

Some may say that teens already familiar with all these things, so we shouldn’t hesitate to put it in to keep it ‘real’, but does that mean it should be this way? Were teens so educated in these things before we provided them in books? I don’t know, but my conversations with parents have made it clear that some of them, at least, want some restraint shown.

For the record, the books we publish keep a firm moral compass when it comes to these things. Any content that is included in our books will not be explicit. If you would like more information on the content of any of our titles, especially those for young adults, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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Did you ever want to run away from home?

Did you ever want to run away from home?

Without Me?, by Kayleen West has just been released and you can win a copy!

Subscribe to our blog and leave us a comment with the name you subscribed with below to go into the draw!

Without Me?, is a light-hearted story about a runaway child, who wants to leave home, but before he can, he worries about those he will leave behind. As he reflects on the impact of his departure, he realises ultimately where he belongs. This new picture book written and illustrated by Kayleen West, has an entertaining approach as it journeys the reader through a common reaction–fight and flight.

"A fun and engaging story that helps children explore how emotions can influence decisions.  Kayleen's playful illustrations bring the story to life...and even add another story of their own!  This is a great resource for both parents and teachers to help prepare children for life's tricky moments," Natasha LeBrocq, Primary Student Welfare Officer.

Children often struggle to navigate their relationships, emotions and reasoning––Without Me is a picture book for ages 5-9 that introduces escapism in a simple story that will make children (and adults) smile. Over the course of 10 minutes, the child reflects and highlights the simplest pleasures of relationship. The lovable but comical plot ends with a sense of belonging and safety that will gratify the reader.

“Arguably, we’ve all thought of running from difficult situations.  Without Me was created for our kids, who live in today’s fast-paced, rash mouse-click decreed internet world. More and more, children struggle with social acceptance and are somewhat virtually socially taught. I created a fun unassuming story that journeys a child through inner dialogue, emphasising healthy reflection with a message of value in reciprocal relationships,” said Kayleen.

“I suggest teachers and councillors use Without Me in conjunction with Edward de Bono’s six thinking hats, to build on effective evaluation skills.”

This is Kayleen’s second published picture book in 2013. She is working on 2 more tiles for 2014 release. Motivated by stories that encourage and equip children, Kayleen writes and illustrates with a child’s future in mind.

Without Me? is available in all good book stores or buy online now.

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An interview with Dr Joe

I am Dr Joe, scientist, author, edutainer. This means I go about trying to get children (and teachers) to understand how to create knowledge through science. I have a lifelong passion for philosophy (particularly epistemology) science (as a social phenomenon) and fantasy, having written award winning fantasy for the Living Greyhawk campaign setting. I enjoy spending time with my wife and family, attending church, and in challenging people in what they think and in what they think about what they think. I also play flute. 

Question 1: What was the first story you ever wrote and has it been published?

The X-or story, based off a dream I had when I was 8, and it's taken over 30 years to write down. One day, we will publish, but not yet.

Question 2: What was your first book published?

The Tae'anaryn. My sci fi story Arrendrallendriania came out first, as a self published book, but I don't really count that since I learnt everything I learnt about writing by working with the talented staff and authors at Wombat Books, who published The Tae'anaryn.

Question 3: What is your favourite part about being an author?

Disappearing into a fantasy world of my own creation.

Question 4: What is the hardest part about being an author?

Being avid enough to love it, but not established enough to give up my day job.

Question 5: What do you do for fun?

I write.

Question 6: How do you test out your stories? Or who do you test them on?

I read them to my children, and sometimes to select fans.

Question 7: What was your favourite children's book when you were a kid?

The stories my Dad made up at bedtime. Trumps all.

Question 8: What is your favourite children's book now?

The Tae'anaryn. I would have loved that book as a child!

Question 9: Have you ever travelled overseas as an author?

No. The internet is as far as I'd like to travel outside Australia, at least at this point in my life.

Question 10: Have you met anyone even more famous than you that was exciting?

Yes. Small children are often more enthusiastic to see me than they are to see themselves. Hang on, is that what you meant? Did I misunderstand that question? (adjusts microphone nervously).

Question 11: What writing genre do you like to do the most?

I know it may not show, but science fantasy. That's science fiction that's too unbelievable to be merely enhanced reality, yet given such plausible theory as to be almost? scientific.

Question 12: What do you consider your biggest achievement?

Marrying Samantha

Question 13: Where do you see the future of children's books (ebooks/apps/print)?

Books. We love paper, and turning pages. That'll never go completely out of style!

Question 14: What is your favourite way/time to read?

On a computer

Question 15: What book are you reading right now?

Motive Games, a good read!

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Corruption, secret identities and a world overtaken by magic

Corruption, secret identities and a world overtaken by magic

The first book in the Bethloria fantasy series, Firelight of Heaven has just been released and you can win a copy!

Subscribe to our blog and leave us a comment with the name you subscribed with below to go into the draw!

Firelight of Heaven is the first book in a series of fantasy adventure novels. Two brothers are forced to make a perilous journey over the forbidden mountain. They soon discover that things are eerily different on the other side. It is a gripping story of loss, elusive destinies and painful discoveries. It explores the resilience of the human spirit under intense pressures and how faith underpins their ultimate success.

Firelight of Heaven is a thoroughly mystifying, sinister glimpse into a world overtaken by magic. Nothing is free from its stranglehold. Two brothers share secret identities where the painful truth is buried in their past. This debut novel by Lizbeth Klein explores the terrible consequences of magic.

“There are always some mysterious leads to keep us enthralled,” said author Paula Vince. “One of the mysteries is revealed at the end of this book while others are left dangling, to tantalise us to read the sequels. It begins and ends with exciting events, and the middle sections are fast paced enough to keep us turning the pages too. It’s all really good.”

Check out the Book Trailer:

Firelight of Heaven is available in all good book stores or buy online now.

 

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Guest — J.R.Poulter
Congratulations Lizbeth and Rochelle on bringing young readers a great addition to the fantasy genre. Marvellous trailer!
Friday, 11 October 2013 11:11
Jennifer Gress
Stacey Gladman
Sunday, 13 October 2013 14:01
Jennifer Gress
The world of Bethloria is definitely a place my avid nine year old reader would love to explore.Deirdre Blackmore.
Sunday, 27 October 2013 22:50
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An interview with Robert Vescio

An interview with Robert Vescio

There’s something you should know about me and that is I like to talk about my books, but I don’t enjoy talking about myself.

I started writing children’s stories about five years ago but I’ve always enjoyed writing, even way back in high school.

It wasn’t until I left fulltime work in 2007, to become a stay-at-home dad, that I began to take writing more seriously. I had a great excuse to spend hours in the children’s section of bookstores. The love of reading books made it all the more easier for me to delve into the world of picture book writing. Also, having my own children helped as well. All I had to do was to observe them and the ideas started rolling in.

I enjoy writing stories and sharing my passion with children of all ages. All I want is for my stories to be read, like all aspiring and emerging writers, and to inspire and educate children. If I can change one child through my writing, then I’ve fulfilled my calling.

I love to read and I’m a self-confessed hoarder of books, especially children’s books.

Question 1: What is your favourite part about being an author?

I consider myself a storyteller because I love to spin a good yarn! All I want to do is to share my stories with children. As an author, I want to inspire, encourage and challenge children to dream big and to believe in themselves.

Question 2: What is the hardest part about being an author?

Finding a publisher who wants to publish my stories.

Question 3: What do you do for fun?

I love spending time with my children, who are an endless source of humour and inspiration. Together, we enjoy watching movies and eating popcorn.

Question 4: What was your favourite children’s book when you were a kid?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And now it’s one of my children’s favourite, along with their daddy’s books, of course! Also, I grew up reading The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is my favourite. And the Harry Potter series.

Question 5: What is your favourite children’s book now?

Lost and Found. I love all of Oliver Jeffers picture books. He is, in my mind, the master of picture books.

Question 6: Have you met anyone even more famous than you that was exciting?

Bryan Adams – singer turned photographer. It was when I was working as a Photo Editor for a magazine publishing company. Bryan Adams submitted to me a photo shoot of Kate Moss for our consideration for publication. I loved the photo shoot and accepted Bryan’s work for publication. When Bryan Adams was on tour here in Australia, he called me and asked if I would like to have lunch with him at Circular Quay in Sydney as a thank you for publishing his work. I didn’t need too much convincing. I asked my editor to join us. It was an amazing experience and NO he doesn’t have a husky voice. Bryan Adams was so down to earth and easy to talk to. Overall, Bryan Adams was a really nice guy!

Question 7: What writing genre do you like to do the most?

Picture Books. I love picture books and the way they express emotions and ideas in simple ways.

Question 8: What book are you reading right now?

The Twilight series. I always love a good book I can sink my teeth into. Yes, I’ve seen all the movies but I’ve never read the books. 

 

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Jennifer Gress
Awesome interviews!! Great stories! Love them all!!
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 14:51
Guest — Robert Vescio
Thanks for visiting Brenda! Robert Vescio
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 17:27
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Welcome to the Wombat Books blog!

Welcome to the Wombat Books blog!

Welcome to the Wombat Books blog! This will now be the place to keep up to date with all the goings-on in the world of Aussie kid's books.

You'll stay up to date with all of our latest releases, events and news and gain further insight into the authors and illustrators behind the books you love. 

We also hope to provide a forum for discussion about the future of the children's book industry. We'll have contributing experts to help us delivery to you a fun, informative and interesting blog.

I have a passion to see Aussie books provide quality, entertainment and a lasting impression for today’s kids and into the future.

 

Subscribe and stay up to date!  (And watch out for all our competitions this will be the place to find out more!)

Rochelle Manners

Director, Wombat Books

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Guest — Robert Vescio
Looking forward to it! Robert Vescio
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 20:02
Jennifer Gress
I will be keeping my eyes and ears on this exciting blog. :-)
Thursday, 10 October 2013 20:26
Jennifer Gress
I will be keeping my eyes and ears on this site for exciting news in Children's book world. :-)
Thursday, 10 October 2013 20:30
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