Claire’s Blog

A new page

A new page

A New Page is a good thing? This is the scariest thing in a writer's life. A blank page. Or is that just me? I have many a beautiful notebook that remains in pristine state, because I'm too scared to make a mark on a page. I'm much better with exercise books, where...


It's been a big week!Emu has been shortlisted for the Environment Award. Then there was lunch with Walker and Black Dog peoples from both sides of book-making. I received my copies of the US version of 'Emu'. It has a dust jacket and looks very swish.That evening I...

A visitor!

In this centenary year of Anzac Day, it's not such a surprise that there are a few books on both sides of the Tasman about the Anzacs, but it was curious that the illustrators of these books (Max Berry and Bob Kerr) independently portrayed mateship in this same...

Book Week

I love Book Week. A chance to share all the things I love about books and writing. And at Firbank Grammar on Wednesday last, I was able to share with the whole school. And more. The gorgeous preps wrote me some illustrated letters complete with custom-made envelopes....

Twilight Zone

My middle son had surgery this morning to remove his four wisdom teeth. The procedure has been streamlined since my older son had the same surgery a few years ago. Much quicker, which has to be better for recovery. He walked into theatre, and walked out of the...

Reading Matters 2

I ran out of time the other day to really finish writing about RM conference, so here we are again. After the sessions on Friday there was a reception, peopled by delegates and speakers but also by many other Vic creators. It was quite difficult to move really...not...

Reading Matters

I'm just now surfacing after a fantastic weekend at Reading Matters Conference. This conference is held every second year and is an initiative of Melbourne's Centre for Youth Literature. The focus is works for young adults, which includes everything from Libby...

Happy New Year!

Two weeks into the new year and the publishing world is returning from holidays. I've had conversations about changes to an accepted manuscript and submitted some supplementary material for another book due out next year.And I've had my first rejection for the year....

The value of networking…

This time of year is always busy. Nuts, even. There are Christmas parties and annual get-togethers and all manner of things. There can even be unexpected work offers (see earlier posts).Networking is a nebulous thing. It's intangible and impossible to measure. I'm...

Which way will it go?

Our dog is about two years old, about three years newer than our extensions. We didn't factor in a dog door when we planned our extension, because at the time a dog wasn't on the agenda. But now we have Emmi and she's an inside/outside dog. For the past two years...

Update June 2021

Treasure, illustrated by Tull Suwannakit and published by Scholastic, was released on April 1. It is the story of what happens after Charlie finds a bag of pirates in the grass outside his home. He takes them in, feeds them and cleans them up. Are they grateful? Not one bit. Look out for the very curious octopus pirate!

Iceberg, illustrated by Jess Racklyeft and published by Allen & Unwin, was released on Feb 1. ‘Iceberg’ takes the reader on a year-long journey through Antarctic and introduces many of the animals who live there, or visit. It also explores Antarctic seasons and explores the importance of this wild place.


Update September 2020

  • Aussie Stem Stars: Georgia Ward-Fear is in the wild!

From a young age, Georgia Ward-Fear always felt a connection to wild animals and even wilder places. Her conservation journey has seen her travel teh world, empower young girls to become environmental leaders, and carry out trailblazing work to save native animals from the threat of cane toads.

An inspiring story of an adventurous spirit whose love of the natural world has made her a STEM superstar.

Look out for the other two books in this new series.

Update July 2020

  • Kookaburra is about to appear in the ‘real world’.

Kookaburra, illustrated by Tannya Harricks and published in Walker Books Australia’s Nature Storybooks series follows a mother kookaburra as she and her family prepare for nesting season. Like all titles in this series, there are two texts. The primary text is narrative about this kooka family, but each opening also includes non fiction information about the species.


Update March 2020

  • Haywire, my first novel, has hit the bookshops!

Haywire is based on the true story of the Dunera voyage and the internees who travelled to Australia from London to Hay, NSW, in 1940.

Life in Germany in 1939 is not safe for 13 year old Max Gruber so he is sent to his Uncle Ferdy in London, only to find himself sent to Australia aboard the famous ship Dunera. Arriving in rural Hay, and housed in an internment camp, he meets local boy Tom. The two new friends become allies, as their lives are affected by the growing conflict in far away Europe.

Haywire cover small

Published by Omnibus Books 1 March 2020

Update October 2019

Coming Soon (2020):

  • Kookaburra, illustrated by Tannya Harricks, published Walker Books Australia
  • Haywire, a novel Scholastic
  • Treasure! illustrated by Tull Suwannakit published Scholastic

Dingo is shortlisted for CBCA New Illustrator Award 2019

Dingo was joint winner of NSW Premier’s Literary Award (Patricia Wrightson Award) with Lorraine Marwood’s Leavetaking.

Dingo won a Whitley Award 2018

Koala was an Honour Book for the CBCA Eve Pownall Award 2018.

Koala has just been shortlisted for the CBCA Eve Pownall Award. Winners are announced in August.

Koala, illustrated Julie Vivas (Walker Books/Candlewick).  Available in Australia, US, UK and Denmark