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MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
It is nearly with tears we bring you this last 'blurt', as we cast our thoughts back over the year that was and anticipate the year to come! The 'big ticket' notables are the 51 children have had their books published this year; Ronald McDonald House Charities and The Toowoomba Hospital Foundation received copies of books for children in crisis; hundreds of children entered the 2nd Child Writes Competition; tutor training courses were held in Toowoomba and the Gold Coast; the catalogue of books 2005-2014 is complete, as is every title now uploaded to Bowker, ensuring libraries can now find the books!   

It has been a stupendous year and it would not have been possible without the unflagging energy of our tutors on the ground - Jodie Rigby and Bianca Thaens. It would not have been possible without the support of our print partners, Stuck on You in Victoria and Ellipse Printing at USQ. It would not have been possible without the insights from Tanya Lewis (bookkeeper) Lauren Mactaggart (Data Entry and Child Writes magazine writer!) Tina Dalby (TAFE work experience) Laura Cheek (school based work experience) Child Writes graduate Elissa Rogers (editing and proofreading) Neil Ault (web master) Smart Print Group (web masters!) the worlds best graphic designer, Michelle Von Pein and personally for me, Ester De Boer (Illustrator of 'Imagine'). You wouldn't have heard a peep from a media perspective without the belief of Megan Masters and Natalie Ritchie. Not a moment would have happened without the energy of patron Jan Watkins, who has been unceasingly supportive from day one and continued again this year. Our special guests launching books - Peter Rookas and Carol Taylor and Andy Griffith - thank you! We couldn't have 'tested' the program and experienced the joy of creating 'Finnley's Great Escape' without the support of the Condamine Alliance, particularly from Heather Smith. The world wouldn't know about us if it wasn't for Kyle Buchanan at Brink Publishing who manages to create eBooks in his sleep! Testing their resolve (as well as the transportability of the program!) we thank the McCullough and De Laine families. And still, absolutely none of it would have been possible without YOU! That there are new fresh faces enquiring about the program, from a classroom perspective, or a tutors perspective truly keeps us focused. We get lovely phone calls from people 'wanting to create a book' and we start them on the way and knowing those books are still rewarding the authors... 

This little moment from Veronica Tores-Perez (highly commended in the 2013 Child Writes Competition) 
'We will be forever grateful for this years experience with The Messy Incident which has been nothing but positive!'  

Next year, we intend on maintaining our position as the largest publisher in the world of children's picture books written and illustrated for children by children. We intend on launching the Child Writes magazine 'Child Writes: Postively * Inspiring * Storytelling' - sharing insights into writing and illustrating books, industry news, and anything we can't resist sharing. We are going to shake down the website and make it more meaningful and Neil has already created a 'responsive' newsletter (I just can't get it to preview right at this moment!) so we will look more technically savvy next year :) Ainsley and I both will be releasing out own picture books in early 2015, so it is not just talking the talk, we have been walking the walk! We plan on making Child Writes into a philanthropic entity rather than just a program and we will be aiming for it to gain DGR status. Boogie Books will continue as the admin / publisher but it will make its 'donation' to Child Writes in a bid to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution it makes as the main supporter of the program.  We are revisiting the text book 'Child Writes: Creating a Children's Picture Book is Child's Play' and we plan on creating a 'how-to' for adult writers; plus the plan is to write the framework for using plots to create really satisfying stories (a perfect tool for teachers needing to get those reticent writers over the line to experience a 'win'!) And most importantly, we will press on with the goal of giving this remarkable opportunity to more children.  We are expecting books from the collaboration of the 2014 Child Writes Competition winners, Jayde Rumoro and Abby Johnstone; we are commissioning a painting (for a special something to be unveiled in 2015!) by Sophie Stone; and we have books in draft stage from Escha Leon, Jessica McDonald and Mia Francis should they accept the challenge!  Oh, and to the 70 children who told the reporter from the Age newspaper they wanted to 'do' Child Writes at Silverton Primary - we will be looking after you as well as another child who wants to create their own picture book! 

So there you go! Our plan on paper! It makes us kind of accountable and we will be thanking you for that as well!  
Please, enjoy the magic of Christmas and may the New Year bring you great happiness x Emma and Ainsley
 
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