"I feel like everyone should know about Beijing Tai Tai... it's the
Eat Pray Love
for mothers." - author Dee White

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Fantastical Flying Creator E-Workshop


Oh how I wish this had been around when I was starting out.
Tania McCartney is the real deal — she knows her stuff inside out.
And what’s more, she shares her knowledge with grace, wit and
unwavering enthusiasm. The Fantastical Flying Creator is a gift.
Grab it! I cannot recommend it more highly.
- author Jen Storer

Here it is--it's finally here. A compilation and e-workshop I've been wanting to write {and have been asked to write!} for a very long time. I can hardly believe it's here!

So, what is it?

Are you a creative who wants to create full time or take their work to the next level? This E-Workshop is for you. It's jam-packed with my blood, sweat, passion, laughter and tears. It contains over 25 years of writing and editing and publishing and marketing experience--all wrapped up in a very pretty bundle, with stacks of insider info, advice, exercises, revelations, thoughts, dares and double dares.

It's for authors and illustrators mostly, but it's also for writers, bloggers, artists, artisans, and crafters, and anyone else who wants to connect with their creative core and work towards a full time, rewarding and successful career. There is some focus on the Australian children's book industry, with specific links, but much of the content can also apply to the adult industry and book industries world-wide.

I'm not going to do the old Demtel talk-up, but anyone who knows me or who's done my workshops knows you get mega value with me. I give it my all, you get STACKS and I share openly, honestly, and with gusto.

In this E-Workshop, you will find content from four of my most popular workshops - Book Marketing and Promotion, Blogging for Authors, Social Networking and Creating a Picture Book. Each of these workshops run for 4 - 6 hours and cost around $120 each.

With The Fantastical Flying Creative, you get all these workshops for the price of one live workshop. PLUS, over 100 pages of extra content, two mini e-books thanks to Kids' Book Review, an extra chapter on creating picture books, AND two decades of experience, above and beyond the workshops proper.

At just over 300 pages and over 70 exercises to complete, you won't be disappointed.

Click here for a free sample so you can check out the layout.

As a talented author and illustrator, Tania McCartney is a creative force! Having worked with her on several picture books, I can think of no one better to share all the details of how to succeed in this industry.
- publisher Anouska Jones

Below is what you can find inside. It's long, so see you at the other end.


WARNING: The contents of this workbook may cause intuitive connection and bursts of creative hyperactivity. High levels of excitement and drive may perplex or frazzle the people around you. Ignore them. 

Who Are You?
Reconnecting With Your 8-Year-Old Self
What Do You Write/Illustrate?
Who is Your Audience?
Who is Your Target Market?
Plotter or Pantser?
Your Illustration Style
Run Your Own Race
Creating is Not a Hobby
Creating Full Time
Work/Life/Health Balance 

Your Craft 
The Gap
A Single Step
Writing + Art Courses
How much is too much?
Hiring an Editor
Manuscript + Portfolio Assessments
Mentors + Teachers
Groups, Organisations + Affiliations
Your Creative Setting
Your Creative Tools
Your Creative Schedule
Sharpen Your Axe
Maximising Your Time
Active Tips for Streamlining
Procrastination + Creative Blocks
Illustrator Portfolios
Illustrator Confidence

Building Your Career
Just Write, Just Illustrate
What Do Publishers Want?
Invest in Yourself
Database It
Awards + Competitions
Grants + Residencies
Festivals, Conferences + Events
- As Delegate
- As Presenter
Festival + Conference List

Your Industry
Industry v Market
Getting to Know It
- Obstacles
- Starting Out
- Social Media Networking
- Pros
- Cons
- Recommended SN Types
- Linking SN Sites
Other SN Capabilities
- Challenges
- The Facebook Cull
Live Networking
Collaborations + Contra deals
Crit Buddies
Asking for Help

Approaching Publishers
Know Your Target Market
Research Your Publisher
Have Your Work Edited
Approach Indie Publishers
General Subs
- What to send for general subs
- What not to send
Multiple Submissions
‘Selling’ Your Work
Query Emails
Writing Your Submission Cover Letter
Coping with the Submission Waiting Game
Rejection + Criticism
Contract Basics
Contract Changes
You’re Published—now what?
A Note on Self-Publishing
Taking it to a Worldwide Audience
Finding an Illustrator for Self-Published Picture Books
Joint Venture Companies

Your Presence
Online + In Person
Website v Blog
Your Website
- Website Platforms
- Website Content
- Important Tips
Your Blog
- Blog Pros
- Blog Cons
- Blog Content
More Online Ideas
Affiliated Websites
Guest Posting
Blog Tours
Book Trailers + Videos
Freelancing Elsewhere
More Tips

Marketing + Promotion
Visual Branding
Standing Out from the Crowd
Author Bios
Author Photos
Book Blurb
Addendum Product
Teaching Notes

The Media
Media Platforms
Media Access
The Approach
The Press Release
Advance Information Sheet
The Media Kit
Review Requests
Media Relationships
Media Nerves

Event Types
The Book Launch
- The Date + Time
- The Venue
- The Guest List + Invitation
- Sponsors
- Timeframes
- Schedules
- Activities for Kids
- Decorations
- Food
- Prizes + Goodie Bags
- Photographs
- Launch Tips
Book Readings
Festivals + Conferences
School Visits
- Organising a visit
- Presentation content
- Tips for success
Other Events
Event Payment
Event Tips
Event Nerves
Event Rewards

Selling Your Work
Earning Money
Selling Books or Artwork
Online Stores
Your Own Online Store
Schools + Libraries
Events + Markets
- Market Tips
General Selling Tips
How Much to Charge
A Note On Crowd-Funding

What Not to Do
Don't ...

When Your Career Takes Flight
Protect Yourself
Give Back
Give Thanks
A Final Word


For Picture Book Creators 

Two FREE mini e-books thanks to Kids’ Book Review!

  • How to Get Your Book Reviewed
  • KBR’s Picture Book Writing Tips

See, I told you there was a lot of content!

The Fantastical Flying Creator comes to you as a PDF file with active links to dozens upon dozens of sites and posts, containing even more content and references. These links make learning, interacting and referencing incredibly easy, as you'll get to witness any content described.

And best of all, you get to keep this e-workshop and refer to it forever and ever. Like a fairytale.

I hope you love is as much as I've loved creating it.

If you have any questions or would like to make payment by direct deposit or cheque, please don't hesitate to email me here


  1. Click the BUY NOW button. You will be taken to Paypal, which is safe and secure. You do need to have an account but who doesn't have a Paypal account? Vital when you're an author/illustrator!
  2. Once you have made payment, you will be taken to a confirmation page that provides a LINK. You must CLICK THIS LINK to access the PDF download page. 
  3. Once you reach the download page, be sure to hover your mouse at the top of the page and click the little DOWNLOAD arrow to download the PDF to your computer. This means you'll be able to access it quickly and easily, any time you like.

If something goes wrong or you click away from the link page by accident, just email me.

Your Paypal receipt serves as your tax receipt.


This E-Workshop dares you to take that leap. 
To walk to the edge of the creative cliff and soar. 
I double dare you.
{+ it's a tax deduction!} 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

#illo52weeks - Week 45: LEAVES

Watercolour, fineliner and pencil

Finerliner, white pen and watercolour on grey cardstock


Watercolour and fineliner

Fineliner and wastercolour

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Saturday, 1 November 2014

My Writing Studio on Andrew Skyberg's Tuesday Studio Tours


It was so utterly lovely to have my studio featured on Tuesday Studio Tours with Andrea Skyberg back in July. Yes, life has been such a blur, I failed to link to it! But it was a lot of fun. Click the image above to check it out! and you might like to look around at some of the other incredible spaces, too. One of my favourite light-filled spaces is here. Dreamy.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Ask Tania: Sending in Picture Book Submissions

Dear Tania, 
When sending a kids book submission to a publisher, how much content is best to share? Is half of the book or a couple of spreads (including words and pictures) enough? 

Dear Vanessa,

The best way to prepare any submission is to check the publisher guidelines. Most publishers have specific guidelines on their Submissions page, outlining exactly what they require.

If they don't have guidelines available, you can send as a General Submission (if they allow it), and for general subs, you should always send the full picture book text (as opposed to novels which are usually the first three chapters).

Unless they are high-text for older readers, classic trade picture books for kids aged 3 - 8 should be less than 500 words, as the pictures are the focus and low text allows images to do the talking.

You should never send illustrations unless a publisher says it's okay. I don't know of any publisher who allows this via general submissions, but if you happen to meet a publisher at a conference and you chat about your work and she wants to see both image and text, then absolutely you should send both. Ask them outright what they would specifically like to see/what format they require.

Most publishers like to assess manuscripts before they even think about illustrations, and most also like to appoint illustrators themselves--this is for a variety of reasons. For example, they might have house authors or people they have a relationship with and like to work with. They might feel your illustrations don't fit with their general list, or even benefit your own text. Or they might not think your images are to trade standard.

If your main focus is on pictures, not words, I would forgo sending a manuscript, and instead contact the publisher about sending in an art folio. Many publishers are always looking for new illustration talent, and once you get a dialogue going with them, you could always mention you have text you'd love to send them, too.

Another option is to send a brief query email asking them if they accept both text and image from emerging author/illustrators. You can only ask.

Like any industry, publishing is all about building relationships, showing you can follow direction and showing you would be easy to work with. It's also about showcasing your best talent then revealing the other 'feathers to your bow' as things progress. Bombarding publishers with everything at once is a sure fire way to add your submission to the 'too hard' basket.

I wish you every luck with your submissions!


See all the questions so far ...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

#illo52weeks - Week 43: BIRD

Pencil, fine liner and watercolour

Fine liner and watercolour from a tutorial

Pencil, fine liner and watercolour from a tutorial

Watercolour and fine liner

Watercolour and graphite pencil

Fine liner and white pen on grey cardstock

Watercolour, pencil, fine liner

Thursday, 23 October 2014

#illo52weeks - week 41: BLACK + WHITE

Graphite pencil on watercolour paper

Fine liner on grey cardstock

Fine liner and watercolour on grey cardstock

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Ask Tania: Writing a Literary CV

Dear Tania, 
I am entering a writing mentorship program that requires a literary CV. A google search is giving me various results and I was interested in your take on it.

Hi Stacey,

What an exciting undertaking! I wish you every success with it.

As with anything to do with this publishing industry, the first thing to do when applying for grants or mentorships is get really clear on the guidelines. It absolutely seems you're doing this, by researching exactly what they may require.

If they don't outline it for you, I do recommend contacting them to ask. Most large organisastions and small ones, too, encourage communication from applicants. Entering that dialogue is actually a good thing for your application, and shows you're serious about applying. It also shows you're personable and honest, and will more readily sink your name into the mind of the people involved.

If you feel you can't do this, or that option doesn't exist, asking around is a great idea.

A literary CV is really a breakdown of your working history in relation to writing. This could be published works but could also include your achievements, educational undertakings, residencies, workshops and conferences, media, awards, affiliations and memberships, and more.

If you're in doubt about what to include, I would cover most obvious bases (ensuring they are super relevant), but keep everything succinct.

As an example, my Literary CV simply lists the following, in reverse chronological order:

  • name and contact details
  • education 
  • professional memberships and affiliations 
  • conferences, festivals and residencies
  • workshops, presentations and speaking engagements
  • media appearances 
  • prizes and awards
  • freelance writing--in print and online
  • publications

I provide online links to those that are too numerous to list, but provide a few of the major ones. Under affiliations, I would list such achievements as Kids' Book Review and the 52-Week Illustration Challenge.

I hope this helps you put together an impressive Literary CV. Good luck!


See all the questions so far ...

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

#illo52weeks - week 40: ABSTRACT

Copic markers

Gelliprint using acrylic paint

Watercolour and gouche on brown paper, digitally manipulated

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Tickle the Imagination Kids' Issue 2014 is out NOW!


If you like your magazines stunning {who doesn't?}, you won't want to miss the latest issue of Tickle the Imagination magazine. It's all about kids and I have several features inside, including an entire article on making gorgeous decorations and inspiring creations from children's books!

Some of the creations include a cloud mobile, bunting, garlands, pinwheels and this super special origami bangle. All from the pages of books {though I do encourage readers to buy two copies of the book--one for making and one for keeping}.

You'll also find my latest Bookshelf finds ...

... and how I made this fantabulous papery mobile. It's nearly two metres high!

Tottie and Dot and Kids' Book Review also make an appearance ...

Other features in this issue of Tickle include gorgeous photo shoots--stacks of kids' fashion and crafting stories, fabulous finds, peeks into the lives of creatives and makers, and much more.

If you're in WA, look out for the magazine in your newsagent this coming week and everywhere else the following week. If you can't wait another moment, you can get the iPad version right here.

Happy drooling!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Tottie and Dot - everywhere!

Little Angel magazine

Get Ahead Kids magazine

Kidz on the Coast magazine

Taupo Times

Upstart Magazine

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