Sunday, 4 September 2016

Picture Book Spotlight: Father's Day

A great father son book
Perfect for fun Dads

Gorgeous baby and Daddy time book

Bear Dads are just cool

Celebrating the musicality of words

Sweet and suits both boys and girls

Beautiful book to share and discuss

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Using Play-Doh as a tool for literacy and numeracy

Teaching little ones the basics of letters and numbers doesn't have to be hard work. The more fun it is for both of you, the more they will learn and the more they will want to keep learning.

Play-Doh has always been a favourite with my 3 boys and it is an amazing tool to help introduce your child to basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Simply make the Play-Doh into balls and count...not rocket science and do degree required, but it works.

When they get a bit older, add balls or take them way for an introduction to basic addition and subtraction.

Children need to start learning the different letters as a fundamental part of literacy and reading. Make the different letters by either modelling from an ABC book or start with spelling out names. It's great fun and amazing for their fine motor skills as well.

I wholeheartedly believe we have lost our way with teaching kids the basics they need for when they start school. Forget about all the new fangled theories coming out of test groups that focus on the wrong thing. Learning should be simple, fun and effective and sometimes the old ways are the best ways. Parents need to step back from the sometimes intimidating rhetoric about how to best teach children these days and do what is proven to work and work well.

What are your thoughts?

talk soon,

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Submission to the Productivity Commission in response to Copyright restrictions on the parallel imporation of books

Submission to the Productivity Commission

In response to
Copyright restrictions on the parallel importation of books

Please may I voice my opposition to the proposed changes to the Copyright Act to allow the open parallel importation of books? First, let me start by saying I am not an economist, a lawyer or political commentator. I am a picture book author. My opposition comes based purely on my practical experience with children while conducting school visits, preschool visits, book store signings, library storytelling and author workshops. We have an amazing groundswell of unique and eloquent Australian stories that will be lost if you pursue the proposal to turn our country into an open market that would allow booksellers to import overseas titles without restrictions. It is for the next generation of story tellers, the ones still in school who are the future of our nation, that I make the request for you to reconsider the Parallel Book Importation changes.

When was the last time you had a conversation with children who are still finding out what is means not only to be Australian, but finding a voice and being brave enough to speak out and share their story? They really are an amazing bunch of kids. Parallel Book Imports deny Australian children the right to celebrate story in their own culture. If we lose the ability to pass story down from generation to generation about what it looks, sounds and feels like to be part of this great diverse nation that for so long has prided itself on the ability to spin a yarn, we begin to lose a very important part of our national identity.

From the independent research I have conducted and the information I have received from the groups I am a part of, including the Australian Society of Authors, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and by speaking with fellow authors around the suggested changes to shortening the author's copyright protection and expanding fair use in the educational context, I can only come to the conclusion that these changes would damage not only the careers of so many aspiring Australian authors, but the Australian Publishing industry itself. Furthermore, I can see no evidence of the changes actually making the savings to the Australian consumers that you propose based on comparisons to the changes made in New Zealand.

In conclusion, people of the book are not an easy bunch to ignore. We are passionate about sharing our stories, the future of our industry and the legacy we are leaving for the next generation. I lend my voice to the many others that oppose the proposed legislation changes.

Thank you for the opportunity to make this submission to your inquiry,

Michelle Worthington

Author of Empowering Picture Books for Children of All Ages

Friday, 27 May 2016

Share Your Story Author Seminar

Share Your Story is for aspiring authors who would like to learn from published authors and industry professionals as they share the story behind the story. The journey towards publication is different for each of our guest speakers and they will be sharing tips, trials and triumphs in a series of talks and Q and A panels in the one day seminar. If you have a story you are wanting to get published, come and learn from those who have been there, done that to learn what worked and what to avoid. We will also be showcasing the guest authors works and they would love to personally sign books for you on the day. Tea, coffee, refreshments and a light lunch are included in the price.

Stay tuned for a full list of presenters.

You can join the Facebook Event here:

You can buy tickets here:

Please email with any  questions or dietary requirements.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Expressions of Interest Now Open for Share your Story Publishing Seminar

Call for expressions of interest:

Authors, would you like to share your journey to publication with aspiring authors on Brisbane's Bayside on Saturday the 3rd of September? Please contact me at with a 100 word bio if you would like to be a guest speaker and sell your books on the day.
Looking forward to hearing from you and sharing our knowledge to help others realise their dreams of sharing their stories with the world.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Power of Signs

I have always been a big believer in signs. It drives my husband crazy. Leading up to the wedding, I freaked out over crows on the hen house, breathed a sigh of relief when I saw ducks in our yard and even know, every time I turn the radio on, the song is sending me a message from the universe. Yep, I know I'm loopy, but I have always been looking for a sign from the universe that I am on the right track, or not.

This is even more true when it comes to my writing and in particular, whether I should stick with my goal to be a full time, award winning, best selling children's book author. Things have been a bit shaky lately and there has been no signs that I should keep trying. In fact, things were getting tricky to the point that all the common sense in my brain was screaming at me that enough was enough. That was, until yesterday. I got a sign.

After a crazy, cranky, confidence crushing morning of trying to get the 3 boys delegated to family members to transport or look after, I was ready to cancel my plans of going to a breakfast hosted by Those Two Girls featuring The Young Mummy to talk about how Sophie rose to Instagram fame and how I could possibly apply it to my goal of being more well known as a picture book author. As hubby was driving me there in the car, I was in tears, ready to throw in the towel and start working full time again in a soul destroying job that I really hated. The stars were just not aligned.

That was until I was in line with two beautiful girls who also were at the breakfast by themselves and a photographer asked if we would I had never met them before in my life, but little did I know that they were my signs that all was not lost. There was hope for me yet.

After chatting while waiting for our coffee, I discovered the dark haired girl who was effortlessly beautiful was a midwife, and had just finished her internship at the hospital that Tom was transferred to after being in ICU at the Mater Mothers in Brisbane. We chatted about the nurses I remembered from that time and I showed her the pictures of Tom in the Special Care Nursery where she was now going to work. What a coincidence!

But wait, there's more. After we sat down, the gorgeous blonde young mum who had a little boy the same age as Tommy asked me what I did for a living. Usually, I give the safe option of saying part time bank teller, but I backed myself and said I was a children's book author. That raised eyebrows, but in a good way and she told me how she had often thought of writing a book herself. I offered to help straight away because I genuinely love helping aspiring authors achieve their goals of becoming published. She told me her friend had a book published and guess what? That friend had attended one of my writing workshops and I had edited her manuscript and told her which publisher to send it to for the best chance of getting it published! What a coincidence!

Naturally, I was feeling like I was in the right place at the right time now and I forgot about my crappy morning and absorbed everything Sophie and the girls had to say. I even asked a question which I never usually do, about blogging, and got a great response. I am back on track to world picture book domination because the best sign of all was yet to come...they had DUFFINS!!!

Thank you universe. I know I should belive in myself more, and it is probably all just hosh posh, but every now and then it is so nice to be reminded by the magic of serendipity that all the hard work and sacrifice hasn't been for nothing and better things are yet to come. And they are. My faith has been restored, Signs or no signs, I won't give up.

Me with Those Two Girls Unplugged hosts, Lise and Sarah, 
not the girls I was sitting next to, maybe one day...

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Author Spotlight with Robert Vescio

Coming Soon: Barnaby and the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville
Barnaby wants a garden, but the mayor won’t agree until Barnaby comes up with a clever plan. Soon the mayor has all the bunnies digging – for treasure!

The bunnies seek the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville. But along the way, Barnaby creates something wonderful on his own and the bunnies soon discover where the real Treasure is kept – right under their very own little pink noses!

A story to remind us of the true value of our earth and the gifts it produces – a treasure trove of all good things living and growing.

This is a celebration of what the earth does best!



What inspired you to write this book?

My parents enjoyed getting their hands in the dirt and reaping the tasty rewards of their labour. They have always maintained healthy gardens consisting of carrots, tomatoes, peas and strawberries. I wanted to write a story that demonstrated how one’s positive encounter with nature can make a difference for others to enjoy. This story introduces and encourages children to plant and grow outdoor/indoor gardens in a fun and creative way. Planting makes you happier, healthier and smarter!



What has been your journey up to this point?

My picture books include, Marlo Can Fly (Wombat Books) listed on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge for 2015, No Matter Who We’re With (IP Kidz). I have more picture books due for release soon.

Many of my short stories have been published in anothologies such as Packed Lunch, Short and Twisted, Charms Vol 1 and The School Magazine NSW.

I’ve also won awards for my children’s writing including First Place in the 2012 Marshall Allan Hill Children’s Writing Competition and Highly Commended in the 2011 Marshall Allan Hill Children’s Writing Competition.


As a child, what was your relationship with books?


I grew up reading The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. My favourite is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.


What is the most important thing about what you do?


For me the most rewarding part about being a picture book author is sharing my stories with children.  Not only do I create fans for my books, but it’s great to see how I can make a difference in a child’s life.

I enjoy visiting schools because it connects kids to books and gives them an appreciation of the process involved in creating the books they love. It’s a much more powerful way than simply reading them.


Do you believe picture books can change the world?


I love picture books because of the way they express emotions and ideas in simple ways. Picture books invite engagement – a connection. That’s why I enjoy writing picture books because it supports an adult-child conversation. The pictures help to initiate a discussion with young children and express their feelings.


What do you hope people will take away from this experience?


A love and appreciation for the written word. As a writer, I put myself out there in a way that will help change people’s lives and to better understand their world and relationships. I hope my stories leave children energised and inspired with a new appreciation for reading and writing.


What is next?

I have more picture books due out soon. I can’t say too much. But it’s all very exciting.
You can follow Robert's journey on his Facebook page.