NSW Premier’s History Awards

We are thrilled that Message in a Sock has been shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s History Awards. Congratulations to author Kaye Baillie and illustrator Narelda Joy.








Narelda attended the awards ceremony and had a splendid time.

Narelda Joy at the NSW Premier's History Awards 2019
Narelda Joy at the NSW Premier’s History Awards 2019







Blog post from Kaye Baillie, the author of Message in a Sock:

Leading up to the centenary of WW1, I decided to write a war story, but I wanted to write about the people at home, who had to say goodbye to a loved one leaving for a war across the other side of the world.

I thought about ‘the fog of war’, how the people at home must have spent every day uncertain about the wellbeing of someone they loved.

The Red Cross was crucial and relentless in their organisation of homefront efforts, and through my research I delved deeper which led me to discover the heartfelt efforts of individuals and communities across the country, united in their quest to bring the boys home, ensuring the soldiers felt connected to home and reminded that they were not forgotten, even for a minute.

Sock knitting boosted the spirits of those at home who felt desperate to help however they could, and in turn it nourished the spirits of the receiving soldiers. I found various thank you notes to sock knitters, and one was written by a grateful soldier who wrote in between coughs while his mate held a candle for him to see as he wrote.

One hundred years ago, women and children near a Sydney War Chest Depot, busily knitted socks in what was just one of many campaigns. The one I focussed on was for 150,000 pairs of socks to reach our soldiers in time for the French winter.

Knitters were encouraged to place a message of support in the toes of the socks. One knitter, Florence Crossley, wrote a note, including her address. The recipient of her socks was Lance Corporal Andrew McDougall, a stretcher bearer who wrote his reply on the reverse side of Florence’s note, which eventually found its way back to her, and then the note found its way to Museums Victoria. Thanks to our preservers of history we have a rich supply of artefacts like Florence Crossley’s and Andrew McDougall’s correspondence and in turn, these stories can be found by people like me, illustrated by people like Narelda Joy and published by publishers like Anna Solding of MidnightSun then turned into books which then find their way to our youngest readers.


Hide cover
Hide cover
by S.J. Morgan

PB 320 | 153 x 234 | ISBN: 9781925227581
$32.99 | Fiction | Also available as ebook
MidnightSun Publishing | November 2019
Distributed by NewSouth Books

Hotly Anticipated November 2019 Release!

It’s 1983 in Thatcher’s Britain. Alec Johnston has left his comfortable family home in Cardiff and taken a flat with bikers Minto, Stobes and Black. There he meets Sindy, Minto’s strange and vulnerable young girlfriend. When she starts to view Alec as a possible saviour from her abusive relationship, it earns Alec a big target on his back. Continue reading Hide


Cryptosight cover
Cryptosight cover
by Nean McKenzie

PB 224 | 198 x 128 | ISBN: 9781925227536
$17.99 | Middle grade fiction | Also available as ebook
MidnightSun Publishing | October 2019
Distributed by NewSouth Books

Rafferty Kaminski is a 13-year-old who believes in facts. Not like his Cryptozoologist father, who searches for creatures not proven to exist.

When their father disappears in the Flinders Ranges, strange things start happening Continue reading Cryptosight

Nean McKenzie

Nean McKenzie
Nean McKenzie
Nean McKenzie is a children’s writer and optometrist who lives in western Melbourne with her husband and two teenage children. Originally from Bendigo, Nean lived in New Zealand, Europe and North East Africa before returning to Victoria.

Nean has a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing from RMIT. In 2012 she was shortlisted for a Penguin Varuna Scholarship. In 2016 she was awarded a Maurice Saxby Mentorship for Cryptosight, which is her first published novel. Continue reading Nean McKenzie

Born to Fly

Born to Fly cover
Born to Fly cover
written by Beverley McWilliams
illustrated by Timothy Ide

HB 32 | 282 x 245 | ISBN: 9781925227567 | $29.99
Picture book | August 2019
MidnightSun Publishing
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

River Stone – the process

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. Continue reading River Stone – the process

Launching The Day We Built the Bridge

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. Continue reading Launching The Day We Built the Bridge

I Would Dangle the Moon

I Would Dangle the Moon cover
I Would Dangle the Moon cover
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

Amber Moffat
Amber Moffat
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.

River Stone

River Stone cover
River Stone cover
by Rachel Hennessy

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

Rachel Hennessy
Rachel Hennessy
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.

New Year – New Books

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.

Publishing Brilliance