Claire’s Blog

Good or bad idea?

In the last little while I've been working on a few projects. One is a second story in what may one day be a series. The others are in the research stage. The first is a story set in early Melbourne, but not to do with gold. The second is around traditional stories....

Last Friday was the Spring meeting of the Victorian SCBWI group. We had two member speakers (both illustrators) Marjory Gardner and Andrew Plant - and a guest speaker, Kaye Keck who is the Director of Dromkeen. Usually we hold these meetings on Saturday afternoon and...

Morning Tea

I occasionally host a writers and illustrators morning tea at my house, including one this morning. There is no agenda, and it's not a crit group. There is no prerequisite publication history to limit attendance.We talk about the industry and various projects. We talk...

From little things, big things grow

The last few weeks have been busy with school visits, editing bits and family events. There's been little time for generating new ideas. This is always a scary thing, because trapped almost-ideas become like bees buzzing inside my head. I don't want to forget that...

Spring Cleaning

Anyone who knows me well will attest that my name and 'spring cleaning' are seldom linked in a sentence, unless it's by something like 'anathema' or 'what's that?'. But in fact I have been spring cleaning this week.My computer threw a hissy fit early in the week and...

Sheep and Goat

Illustrations are in the early stages for my next picture book, Sheep, Goat and the Creaking Gate. I'm starting to plan how I'll share this book with school groups. I've developed a few strategies, one of which involves using stuffed toys as props. (not sure whether...

A good day, nay, a good week

I don't know whether it is that the moon is in the right part of the sky or just one of those things, but this week has been a good one. Not crack-the-champagne-I've-sold-a-mega-series-for-millions good, but more quietly so.It's not even that everything has gone right...

Home again

We've just returned from Queensland from a week's holiday on the Gold Coast. I decided not to take my lap top and to have a break. I did have a review book to read. 'Finding Darcy' by Victorian author Sue Lawson was a great read. I read it straight through (one of the...

Rollercoaster ride needs seatbelt

Writing is such a rollercoaster. Last week saw a big rejection on a project that looked very promising. I plunged. Gnashed. Wailed. All that sort of thing. Then by Wednesday I was more philosophical. There were many reasons that the mss could have been rejected and...

Presentation Skills

Last Saturday, thirteen other punters and I attended a whole-day Presentation Skills Workshop. We each had to prepare a 2-3 min presentation on something work-related. Twelve of us were writers/illustrators, one a teacher and the other two also worked in related...

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