My life as a children's author while juggling being a mum, a wife and professional volunteer. (Sometimes it gets complicated)

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Katapult - Edition 7 - July, 2018


Welcome to Katapult!

July is one of my favourite months of the year! Both my children were born in July so it’s like Christmas at our house. Cards, balloons and wrapping paper can be seen everywhere. One party is sadly over, but we still have one more to go.

It’s a beautiful, sunny day as I write this newsletter today - something we haven’t seen enough of around here recently - we are water-logged! 

So what’s been happening at my desk since the last time we had a chat? Plenty!

What’s Up?

CBCA NSW Branch Inc Newcastle Sub-branch Meeting: 

Our latest meeting featured Ed Wright from The Creative Wordshop. Ed shared with us how his business is helping local writers of all ages and experiences improve their writing skills. 


Puppy Update: 

Our puppy, Ivy turned four-months old on the 28th June. She has certainly claimed her spot in our family and we adore her. The good news is she is 100% clear of any health issues and we managed to avoided surgery last month for a reoccurring abscess. She is happy and busy - just the way puppies should be. We’ve completed puppy school now and things are going well. Fingers crossed they stay that way! I could waste time looking at her all day long - similar to when you bring newborns home. I just wish she would stop stealing things and chewing them! She's so cheeky.

And of course I have a picture book story plan thanks to her puppy antics with a box.



Kids and YA Festival: 

I attended the biannual Kids and YA Festival last weekend hosted by Belinda Murrell and Writing NSW (formally the NSW Writers Centre). Lots of engaging and entertaining panels filled the day with inspiration and hope. I was lucky enough to have been chosen to pitch a picture book manuscript to a panel of three children’s publishers during the last session (Scholastic, Hachette, HarperCollins). Two of them wanted to see the manuscript after the pitch. I've sent it off now so cross your fingers for me :)

I love catching up with all my writing and illustrating friends from afar at events like this. It's such a warm and friendly community!


Photo 1: Belinda Murrell in conversation with Jacqueline Harvey
Photo 2: Dub Leffler, Sarah Davis (chair), Aura Parker, Kirli Saunders and Paul Russell


Photo 1: Dub Leffler
Photo 2: Me, Marian McGuinness, Belinda Murrell, Lindy Batchelor


Photo 1: Jacqueline Harvey (chair), Tim Harris, RA Pratt and Oliver Phommavanh
Photo 2: Kate Forsyth, Jane McCredie (Writing NSW), Belinda Murrell

Bookings for Books Week School Visits:

If you’d like me (or Kirrili and I as an author/illustrator team) to come to your school, shoot me an email so we can organise one that is perfectly designed for your school’s needs. Preschools, Primary Schools and High Schools welcome!





I'm also represented by: 

Greenleaf Agency (Greenleaf Press)

Upcoming Events

I’m doing a monthly story time event at Harry Hartog, Kotara until the end of the year. My July visit is on Wednesday, 11th July at 10:30am - first week of the school holidays.

All my 2018 story time dates can be found here.


We are going to see Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton on stage taking about their latest release, The 104 Storey Treehouse during these school holidays. Andy is my hero and I can’t wait to see both of them on stage. They released a second show in Newcastle recently. Tickets for the second show can be found here.


Publishing Update

I’ve been working with Kirrili and our publisher this week on all the draft internals of Up To Something due for release May next year (EK Books). OMG! is all I can say. Our book is coming together beautifully. We tweaked a few pencil lines here, and a few words there to make it the best book it can be. Kirrili is now ready to splash the colours around and start the final illustrations. We can’t wait to share this one with the world!

I’ve also seen some draft internals of No Baths Week today, due for release early 2019 (Big Sky Publishing). These are full of magic too. Cheri Hughes is a very clever chook. 

My fifth picture book, Isla’s Family Tree (third one with EK Books) has found a home on an illustrator’s easel who is busting to help my words jump off the page with the help of beautiful illustrations. I saw some of the concept drawings this week. My heart is singing. Her full identity will be revealed soon. This will be a 2020 release.

I know … when it rains, it pours! All three books in the one week! I have three beautiful illustrators working on my stories at the moment and I feel like the luckiest author in the world!

Anything to Share?

The Hunter Writers Centre is hosting a children’s writing workshop with Sue Whiting on the 11th Aug from 9:45am. If you'd like to join us, please follow the link here.


Recent Book Purchases?

Teacup by Rebecca Young and Matt Ottley (This one took my breath away.)
Errol by Zanni Louise and Philip Bunting (This one is simple and cute but clever.)


Where can you find me on social media?

I’ve made it easy. Just click on the live links below and like or follow me.


Feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email: author@katrinamckelvey.com

I’d love to hear from you!



Some photos of my winter Camellias I popped onto Instagram last week. 


I love receiving drawings from my daughter.