I’d been writing for children for some time, from picture books through to middle grade. I’d won SCBWI’s Slushpile Challenge and had some positive agent feedback when I discovered Amy’s six-month mentoring opportunity on Twitter. I was delighted to be chosen. We really clicked.  Amy and I worked to refocus my novel and soon I shared my picture book ideas too. Amy taught me the importance of scansion in rhyme and how to balance pace with emotional hooks in all my writing. Having feedback and encouragement changed everything. Amy’s belief in me inspired me to be bold and push my ideas further, striving to produce a portfolio of manuscripts.    

Since working with Amy my middle grade fantasy was longlisted in the Guppy Publishing Open Submission, another middle grade adventure was shortlisted for Chicken House Publishing’s Open Coop and my Chapter Book was longlisted in the Writing Magazine Chapter Book Prize.

Amy noticed that I had many ideas and enjoyed the challenge of writing different age ranges and genres, so she suggested branching out into short stories for Middle Grade readers. With a tight word count, rapid world building and fast paced plot, it was an exciting change. Drawing from my history degree I wrote a Viking adventure. My short story, “Oskar and the Giants,” was published in Aquila Magazine for the July/August 2022 – Time Travel issue. I hope to write more for this inspiring magazine in the future.

You can subscribe to Aquila here.