As an intern at MidnightSun Publishing, every day brings something different. No two books are the same and so neither is the publishing process. I have the wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse behind the curtain, so to speak, to be a small part of every process involved in taking a project from its genesis as a humble manuscript, to its completion as a published and tangible book that people will hold in their hands and lose themselves in.
For children’s book author Steve Heron and illustrator Benjamin Johnston, that process is finally complete, with their masterpiece, Ling Li’s Lantern published on 1st September 2020. I had a chat with Steve and Ben about the making of their book and what the different stages of the journey looked like for them.
As with many fantastic books, the beginning of Ling Li’s journey was almost also the end. Ling Li’s Lantern was sent to many different publishing houses before MidnightSun fell in love with her story. Finally, after months of hearing ‘nothing but crickets and rejections’, as Steve puts it, from publishers other than MidnightSun, his manuscript was finally Continue reading The Making of Ling Li’s Lantern→
PB 368 | 198 x 128 | ISBN: 9781925227741
$19.99 | Young Adult | Also available as ebook
MidnightSun Publishing | November 2020
Distributed by NewSouth Books
The second book in The Burning Days series
The River People and the Mountain People have survived for another season. But at what cost? Pandora has returned to her village. She is haunted both by her failure to bring her friend home and the vision she has seen of the last days, The Burning, when creatures swarmed the city. How did these monsters come into being in the first place? And are the last remnants of humanity really safe from them?
Whilst Pan now knows how to shoot an arrow, she still does not know the shape of her own heart and the river stone remains in pieces …
‘River Stone is a cut above … I’m sure I won’t be alone in eagerly anticipating the next instalment in this stellar new series.’
–The Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Reading Time
‘… a gripping Young Adult dystopia with a unique flavour, filling the genre’s bones with its vibrant characters, relentless storytelling and a phenomenal world.’
Postage is $5 for Australia and $10 for the rest of the world.
The month of August has arrived and MidnightSun is now open for submissions. Thank you for your patience. It’s great to be back! We have managed to read through the slush pile (when I say ‘we’ I really mean our amazing editor Alicia) so now we are looking for new work.
We are especially interested in picture books that tell an intriguing story; it could be contemporary or historical. We love books that reflect the diverse society we live in, that considers the environment and give children hope for a better world. However, books that are didactic and only have a mission to teach, rather than to tell a story, bores us. We want stories about kids with two mums or two dads (or more), stories about kids who don’t conform to gender norms, kids who are adventurous, shy, scared, happy, travelling the world, looking after their parents. Stories that surprise and delight us. Most of all, we want stories where the language sings.
In terms of middle-grade books for 8-12 year olds we want books with strong protagonists who experience a lot in a short space of time and change through their adventures.
We are always on the lookout for edgy, contemporary YA stories. Maybe the characters are rebelling against gender constraints at school or explore their sexuality. Perhaps they are saving the world through activism, coping with the death of a loved one or are bullied.
Adult fiction is the backbone of MidnightSun and we love stories that are not easily defined or pigeon-holed. Stories that cross over several genres: literary fiction and thriller, crime and speculative fiction. We regularly publish short story collections, often by new writers, because we love them. As for all the books we publish, the language has to lead the way into the story.
In fact, the bottom line for every single book we publish is that we have to love it! So send us your most beloved writing and we look forward to reading it. Just remember to please read the updated submission guidelines carefully before submitting. Thank you!
Mandy Foot’s obsession with drawing animals began when she was two, with chalk, on her grandparents’ pavement. Now as a best-selling children’s book illustrator and author of over 20 books, her canvas has evolved and her studio is shared with her joined-at-the-hip Border Collies. An Ambassador for Raising Literacy Australia, Mandy shares her passion of literacy and drawing via workshops with thousands of school students every year.
Robert Moore lives in Adelaide and is a published author of several children’s books and fiction as well as numerous poems, articles and short stories. He won the inaugural Feast Short Story Competition and was awarded a special commendation by AsthmaSA for his play Breathe Easy which was written and workshopped in conjunction with children and staff from Para Hills Primary School.
Benjamin Johnston works as a mild-mannered architect by daytime but roams imaginary streets as a masked vigilante-illustrator by night. Add to this that he is also a husband and dad of two girls… and he is really looking forward to the day he might actually have enough time for everything he wants to get done. Drawing and illustrating for children have always been his passion. He is the illustrator and co-creator of the successful STEM-inspired Engibears series.
Steve Heron’s passion is to write quality kids books that will touch and tickle kids’ hearts and foster hope. Steve’s first series of picture books that focus on social issues were released in 2007. His first middle-grade novel Maximus was published by Serenity Press in 2018. Steve completed a Diploma of Children’s Writing and Publishing in 2015 and in 2016 received an Order of Australia Medal for contribution to the social and emotional wellbeing of children. Ling Li’s Lantern is Steve’s first stand-alone picture book.
During this time of isolation, until the end of June 2020, MidnightSun has decided to offer an unprecedented 30% discount on our entire range of published books (currently in stock) if you order over $50 worth of books. Plus FREE shipping anywhere in Australia. All you have to do is apply the code COVID19special at the checkout and it will happen automatically.
There are so many great books in our back catalogue, for readers of all ages. Why not delve into some clever short stories about frail Australian masculinity in Dominic Carew’s No Neat Endings or come along on an intense crime thriller ride in S.J. Morgan’s Hide?
Read about a refugee girl’s search for a new life in the stunning picture book Anisa’s Alphabet by Mike Dumbleton and Hannah Sommerville or fly high in the sky with a pioneer aviator in Beverley McWilliams’ CBCA Notable book Born to Fly.
For 8-14 year-olds we have the thrilling adventure story Cryptosight by Nean McKenzie. Young adult readers can find escape in the dystopian love story River Stone by Rachel Hennessy.
Or why not try some more short stories? We have collections by single authors, such as the masterful Wild Gestures by Lucy Durneen, as well as amazing collections by many writers such as Breaking Beauty and Crush.
Now is the time to stay at home and read good books for yourself or for your children. The sale will be on until the end of June 2020 so you have plenty of time to order, but don’t wait if you know what you want. Some books are going to sell out.
HB 32 | 256 x 216 | ISBN: 9781925227642
$29.99 | Picture book
MidnightSun Publishing | June 2020
Distributed by NewSouth Books
In 1956 Melbourne hosted the Summer Olympic Games. Student John Wing was so proud of his country, one of the friendliest places on earth. But when world tensions dominated the news, John wrote an urgent letter suggesting how to change the Closing Ceremony to bring all nations together Continue reading The Friendly Games→