The next draft of my gold rush story, based on the life of Clara Saunders, is nearly ready. This week I am gearing up to do one last trawl-through the manuscript before I send it out into the world again. Fingers crossed.
Meanwhile I have been judging the Tim Winton Awards, with a team of other people, and marvelling at some of the stories that have been entered. There are so many talented young writers in our schools that it is always hard to choose the winners. So if you entered and don’t win a prize this year, don’t give up! Try again next year. You will have learned so much by going through the process this year. Feedback from the judges, and reading other people’s successful entries, will give you a lot of helpful tips so that by next year you will be much closer to winning in the future.
At Balingup two weeks ago I was talking to an author who told me she had wanted to write books ever since she was a little girl. After she left school she worked as a journalist, married, had children and now has grandchildren. But she never gave up on her dream of writing books. She kept writing and re-writing, getting better and better at it, and now she has a flurry of books coming out. Picture books, novels and short stories, some of them from ideas she had and stories she began to write many years ago.
So keep writing – and never throw anything away.