Beverley McWilliams has worked in law, corporate tax and at one point she even ran her own consultancy business, but she much prefers life as a writer. Beverley publishes work in children’s magazines and particularly enjoys writing historical non-fiction. Born to Fly is Beverley’s debut picture book.
HB 32 | 282 x 245 | ISBN: 9781925227567 | $29.99
Picture book | August 2019
Distributed by NewSouth Books
Born in 1889 on a farm in rural South Australia, Harry Butler was determined to fly. Follow Harry’s remarkable journey from studying the flight of his chickens to becoming one of Australia’s most significant pioneer aviators. Continue reading Born to Fly
Guest Post by Rachel Hennessy, author of River Stone
I started writing River Stone in 2015 because, as I talked about at the launch, it helped me re-find joy in writing. I had been living in Melbourne since 2009 but I had lost track of myself as a writer. Writing had slipped into that region of the tedious, the thing I was supposed to do, not what I wanted to do. I’d got caught up in judging everything I wrote against possible publication prospects, rather than enjoying the process itself.
Then came a tutorial with my creative writing first year students. I remember talking to them about what they were reading. One of them said Divergent by Veronica Roth and another The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Because I wanted to get a greater sense of what my students were “into” I read these novels – I missed them mostly when they came out because I was in small baby land – and became caught up in the dystopian worlds they imagined, and their kick-arse heroines. I couldn’t recall a whole bunch of strong female leads in my teenage readings: back then, Young Adult didn’t actually exist, so much of my reading was confined to the classics. (I do think Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice is quite kick-arse, but obviously in a very different way from Katniss Everdeen.) What struck me, though, with both Roth and Collins, was the lack of what I would call “realistic” vulnerability. So, in a rather arrogant burst of self-belief – and these only come rarely to me as a writer – I decided I wanted to write a Young Adult dystopia with a bit of bumbling, confused heroine who, nonetheless, falls in love.
Like most of my writing projects, I didn’t talk about this one for quite some time. I wrote when I was able – often after my two year old had been soothed to sleep, with her hand held, drifting off under the blue glow of my laptop – and only “came out” when I mentioned I was trying to write a dystopian trilogy to Anna Solding, director of MidnightSun Publishing. And just after Christmas in 2018 I got the phone call us writers love to take: Anna had read the manuscript and wanted to publish River Stone.
So far the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. Shaye Wardrop at Kids’ Book Reviews writes:
River Stone will send chills down your spine and have you reading just one more chapter late into the night. It’s thought provoking and imaginative and filled to the brim with amazing and varied characters that see the world differently, providing readers with many different perspectives on the topics explored through the novel.
Joe Murray at ReadingsKids:
River Stone is a gripping Young Adult dystopia with a unique flavour, filling the genre’s bones with its vibrant characters, relentless storytelling and a phenomenal world. This is the future, but it feels more like the prehistoric past, and as the characters journey towards the city of Melney, they are shadowed by a violent history, one that the author uses to comment on present-day issues of environmentalism and war.
Recently I was contacted by the mother of a fourteen year old who’d been given the book for her birthday and had ‘devoured it’. She wanted to know when the next book in the series would be out. I’m busy re-drafting Book 2 (Mountain Arrow) right now. We’re aiming for release in May next year so Pandora will definitely be continuing her story, and I hope readers will continue to find her, and her friends, compelling.
More reviews at:
Reading Time – review website of the Children’s Book Council of Australia
Sarah Says – LoveOzYA reviewer
Here are some photos from the Melbourne launch:
The Month (or more) We Launched the Bridge Book!
Guest blog post by Samantha Tidy, author of The Day We Built the Bridge
What a book birthday! This year, I have launched The Day We Built the Bridge in no less than 5 cities! Now that the dust has settled, and the second shipment of the book has arrived (gosh – 4500 copies sold in 3 days – and in reprint already!) I thought I’d share the joy and gratitude that ‘the bridge book’ (The Day We Built the Bridge, written by Samantha Tidy, illustrated by Fiona Burrows) has brought into our lives.
Anna Solding, publisher at MidnightSun and I started the fanfare in Adelaide on 2 February. It only seemed fitting to begin in MidnightSun’s home state, and celebrate the wonderful work that has gone in to creating this beautiful book.
South Australian author Mike Dumbleton shared some lovely words to send the book out into the world – fittingly celebrating the social history of a national icon, and of what the Sydney Harbour Bridge means to people here and around the world.
Then it was off to Sydney on 9 February – to the Children’s Bookshop, where Paul Macdonald regularly celebrates the best of children’s literature in his fine and book-brimming, independent bookstore in Beecroft.
Anna and I were so honoured to have Roslin Joslin OAM launch the book. As the granddaughter of JJC Bradfield, she shared with us stories of the chief engineer, and what this great contribution has meant not only to Sydney, NSW and Australia, but her own personal story and her family’s journey. She even brought along a rivet, and explained the process behind those 6 million rivets on the bridge.
In Canberra, where I live, celebrating the book with friends and family was fabulous, at Harry Hartog in Woden on 16 February.
Local author Tania McCartney gracefully and beautifully celebrated the book, and reminded the audience of the great value of historical fiction for young people – a sentiment with which I couldn’t agree more!
Over to Perth – to my original home state and the home of the book’s very talented illustrator, Fiona Burrows. It was a real joy to have both author and illustrator in the same city to launch the book.
What a day we had, in the rear courtyard of Paperbird Books and Art in Fremantle on 24 February. As a fourth generation Fremantle lass (who has strayed Eastwards!) it was my greatest joy to be surrounded not only by my own family – aunts, uncles, cousins, bubs, friends and old school chums, but to also see Fiona’s family, fill that courtyard with pride and West Australian fervour.
Fiona made the best ever cupcakes, and the kids played happily in an old tree, on ropes and in the sandpit, like the kids of the 1930s depicted in the book. No devices, just good ol’ risk taking and sharing in the wonder of childhood.
Local and launching author Norman Jorgensen told us some of his own family history, which was so fitting a story, prompting us to each celebrate the contributions of our ancestors, in shaping the land and the history on which we stand. He even planted some theatrics in the crowd.
In launching the book in style, a young Charles de Groot leaped up with his sword and cut the ribbon too early!
The launch in Melbourne on 7 April, was a wonderful reminder of the power of booksellers, to promote and nurture a strong, creative writing industry. Jaye Chin-Dusting from Mary Martin Bookshop in Port Melbourne (who recently won ABIA Independent Book Retailer of the Year) demonstrated how it is that she came to be titled the best bookseller in the land. Check out this cake:
Check out the joy on my face. This is the face of an author so satisfied with her book tour, that it may never be trumped. Author Kirsty Murray launched the book by having the kids do some yoga pose bridges, and a brilliant reading of Puddle Hunters (featuring another bridge!) The kids made popstick bridges (and ate cake). Thanks Kirsty, Jaye, staff and family for a brilliant launch.
A month of being celebrated by talented launching authors, a passionate descendant, a brilliant publisher, fabulous booksellers, and supportive family and friends, is the environment that authors and illustrators need in order to feel encouraged, nurtured and rewarded, in their creative endeavours.
Thank you to everyone who made this book birthday such a success (and a wonderfully long one) and to helping this book become a bestseller so quickly.
by Amber Moffat
HB 32 | 260 x 280 | ISBN: 9781925227529
$29.99 | Picture book
MidnightSun Publishing | June 2019
Distributed by NewSouth Books
What would you do if you could pluck the moon from the sky? Would you scoop it up in an ice cream cone, or ride it like a snail shell across the night sky? I Would Dangle the Moon is an imaginative and playful story about all the wonderful things a mother would do with the moon for her child if she could do anything in the world. Continue reading I Would Dangle the Moon
Amber Moffat is a writer and visual artist based in Western Australia. She believes that being able to share stories is the most magnificent thing about being human. Amber is originally from New Zealand and still has strong ties to her hometown of Dunedin. She is an experienced teacher and a fierce advocate for arts education.
At the end of 2015 Amber was awarded an Emerging Writers’ Mentorship by the Australian Society of Authors. The judges said of her work, “This picture book text was absolutely wonderful – lyrical, evocative, poetic, and quite unusual. It had a really unique voice, and the imagery was very striking.”
Amber was the recipient of a Paper Bird Fellowship in 2018, and she completed the final artwork for her debut picture book, I Would Dangle the Moon, during her residency at Fremantle’s Paper Bird Books and Arts.
PB 368 | 198 x 129 | ISBN: 9781925227499
$19.99 | YA Fiction | Also available as ebook
MidnightSun Publishing | May 2019
Distributed by NewSouth Books
Pandora, of the River People, wants more than her village can provide. When disaster comes to her people, Pan has the opportunity to become their saviour and escape her inevitable pairing with life-long friend Matthew. She wants to make her own choices. Deep in her soul, she believes there is something more out there, beyond the boundaries, especially since she encountered the hunter of the Mountain People.
A story of confused love, difficult friendships and clumsy attempts at heroism, Pan’s fight for her village will bring her into contact with a whole new world, where the truth about the past will have terrifying reverberations for her people’s future survival. Continue reading River Stone
Rachel Hennessy is the award-winning author of two novels of contemporary fiction: The Quakers (Wakefield Press, 2008) and The Heaven I Swallowed (Wakefield Press, 2013). Her first novel, about a group of obsessive teenagers, was described by John Birmingham as ‘un-put-down-able’ and was winner of the Adelaide Festival’s Best Unpublished Manuscript Award. Her second novel was Runner Up in the Australian/Vogel Award, long-listed for the Nita B Kibble Award and described by Australian Aboriginal Studies as ‘an important book’. Rachel lives in Melbourne with her partner and their two young daughters.
Rachel’s novel, River Stone, will be published by MidnightSun in May 2019.
The year is planned out for MidnightSun and it’s full of exciting titles including a book for 8-12 year olds called Cryptosight. It’s written by Nean McKenzie and it’s her first book so we are extra excited to see it come to life. The cover design by Jenna Vincent is stunning and we are sure that it’ll capture the imagination of lots of kids around Australia.
It’s fabulous to have so many wonderful books coming up this year! Keep an eye here on the website and on our Facebook page for more info as the months pass.
HB 32 | 210 x 297 | ISBN: 9781925227437
$29.99 | Picture book
MidnightSun Publishing | February 2019
Distributed by NewSouth Books
There are moments in history that connect us and define a country. In our hearts and minds, some moments rely on us to hold onto a dream, face tough Continue reading The Day We Built the Bridge
After completing her BA and PhD in literature at UWA, Fiona Burrows is now focusing on her first love, children’s picture books. She has had work published in journals including the Australian Poetry Journal, Writ Review and Westerly, exhibited in local galleries, and won awards and commendations including in the Town of Mosman Park’s Open Art Prize, the CYA Writing and Illustrating Competition, and the ASA’s Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency.
Fiona’s picture book, The Day We Built the Bridge, was published by MidnightSun in February 2019.
Samantha Tidy is a writer of children’s, young adult and adult fiction. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and is the author of Cappuccino Diva, The Blue Polar Bear and The Flying Dream. Her most recent adult novel, The Happiness Jar, won the ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Fiction, among several other award nominations.
Samantha’s picture book, The Day We Built the Bridge, was published by MidnightSun in February 2019.
HB 32 | 250 x 295
ISBN: 9781925227444 | $29.99
Picture book | November 2018
Distributed by NewSouth Books
Once creatures of all shapes and sizes, from the magnificent and mighty, to the tiniest of marvels, wandered this empty land. They had horns and wings and survived in all kinds of lands, from desert plains to icy tundras. But where are they now? Continue reading Vanishing
We have recently updated our submission policy!
MidnightSun is always accepting submissions.
Please send a digital copy of your manuscript to firstname.lastname@example.org Please include a subject line stating your name, the title of your manuscript, and its genre (eg: Jane Doe, ‘High Tea’, Picture Book). Please attach your manuscript as a Word document titled, ‘Name: Manuscript Title’ (eg. Jane Doe: High Tea).
Send the first 20 pages only! If we are compelled to read more, we’ll ask for the rest. We want digital manuscripts with 1.5 or double line spacing. Choose Times New Roman or another easy-to-read font.
Please proof-read thoroughly and always Continue reading New Submission Guidelines