"I feel like everyone should know about Beijing Tai Tai... it's the
Eat Pray Love
for mothers." - author Dee White

Saturday, 1 November 2014

My Writing Studio on Andrew Skyberg's Tuesday Studio Tours

http://andreaskyberg.com/tania-mccartneys-studio-tour/

It was so utterly lovely to have my studio featured on Tuesday Studio Tours with Andrea Skyberg back in July. Yes, life has been such a blur, I failed to link to it! But it was a lot of fun. Click the image above to check it out! and you might like to look around at some of the other incredible spaces, too. One of my favourite light-filled spaces is here. Dreamy.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Ask Tania: Sending in Picture Book Submissions


Dear Tania, 
When sending a kids book submission to a publisher, how much content is best to share? Is half of the book or a couple of spreads (including words and pictures) enough? 
Vanessa

Dear Vanessa,

The best way to prepare any submission is to check the publisher guidelines. Most publishers have specific guidelines on their Submissions page, outlining exactly what they require.

If they don't have guidelines available, you can send as a General Submission (if they allow it), and for general subs, you should always send the full picture book text (as opposed to novels which are usually the first three chapters).

Unless they are high-text for older readers, classic trade picture books for kids aged 3 - 8 should be less than 500 words, as the pictures are the focus and low text allows images to do the talking.

You should never send illustrations unless a publisher says it's okay. I don't know of any publisher who allows this via general submissions, but if you happen to meet a publisher at a conference and you chat about your work and she wants to see both image and text, then absolutely you should send both. Ask them outright what they would specifically like to see/what format they require.

Most publishers like to assess manuscripts before they even think about illustrations, and most also like to appoint illustrators themselves--this is for a variety of reasons. For example, they might have house authors or people they have a relationship with and like to work with. They might feel your illustrations don't fit with their general list, or even benefit your own text. Or they might not think your images are to trade standard.

If your main focus is on pictures, not words, I would forgo sending a manuscript, and instead contact the publisher about sending in an art folio. Many publishers are always looking for new illustration talent, and once you get a dialogue going with them, you could always mention you have text you'd love to send them, too.

Another option is to send a brief query email asking them if they accept both text and image from emerging author/illustrators. You can only ask.

Like any industry, publishing is all about building relationships, showing you can follow direction and showing you would be easy to work with. It's also about showcasing your best talent then revealing the other 'feathers to your bow' as things progress. Bombarding publishers with everything at once is a sure fire way to add your submission to the 'too hard' basket.

I wish you every luck with your submissions!

Tania

See all the questions so far ...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

#illo52weeks - Week 43: BIRD

Pencil, fine liner and watercolour

Fine liner and watercolour from a tutorial

Pencil, fine liner and watercolour from a tutorial

Watercolour and fine liner

Watercolour and graphite pencil

Fine liner and white pen on grey cardstock

Watercolour, pencil, fine liner


Thursday, 23 October 2014

#illo52weeks - week 41: BLACK + WHITE

Graphite pencil on watercolour paper

Fine liner on grey cardstock

Fine liner and watercolour on grey cardstock

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Ask Tania: Writing a Literary CV


Dear Tania, 
I am entering a writing mentorship program that requires a literary CV. A google search is giving me various results and I was interested in your take on it.
Stacey

Hi Stacey,

What an exciting undertaking! I wish you every success with it.

As with anything to do with this publishing industry, the first thing to do when applying for grants or mentorships is get really clear on the guidelines. It absolutely seems you're doing this, by researching exactly what they may require.

If they don't outline it for you, I do recommend contacting them to ask. Most large organisastions and small ones, too, encourage communication from applicants. Entering that dialogue is actually a good thing for your application, and shows you're serious about applying. It also shows you're personable and honest, and will more readily sink your name into the mind of the people involved.

If you feel you can't do this, or that option doesn't exist, asking around is a great idea.

A literary CV is really a breakdown of your working history in relation to writing. This could be published works but could also include your achievements, educational undertakings, residencies, workshops and conferences, media, awards, affiliations and memberships, and more.

If you're in doubt about what to include, I would cover most obvious bases (ensuring they are super relevant), but keep everything succinct.

As an example, my Literary CV simply lists the following, in reverse chronological order:

  • name and contact details
  • education 
  • professional memberships and affiliations 
  • conferences, festivals and residencies
  • workshops, presentations and speaking engagements
  • media appearances 
  • prizes and awards
  • freelance writing--in print and online
  • publications

I provide online links to those that are too numerous to list, but provide a few of the major ones. Under affiliations, I would list such achievements as Kids' Book Review and the 52-Week Illustration Challenge.

I hope this helps you put together an impressive Literary CV. Good luck!

Tania

See all the questions so far ...

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

#illo52weeks - week 40: ABSTRACT

Copic markers

Gelliprint using acrylic paint

Watercolour and gouche on brown paper, digitally manipulated

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Tickle the Imagination Kids' Issue 2014 is out NOW!

http://tickletheimagination.com.au/

If you like your magazines stunning {who doesn't?}, you won't want to miss the latest issue of Tickle the Imagination magazine. It's all about kids and I have several features inside, including an entire article on making gorgeous decorations and inspiring creations from children's books!


Some of the creations include a cloud mobile, bunting, garlands, pinwheels and this super special origami bangle. All from the pages of books {though I do encourage readers to buy two copies of the book--one for making and one for keeping}.


You'll also find my latest Bookshelf finds ...


... and how I made this fantabulous papery mobile. It's nearly two metres high!


Tottie and Dot and Kids' Book Review also make an appearance ...


Other features in this issue of Tickle include gorgeous photo shoots--stacks of kids' fashion and crafting stories, fabulous finds, peeks into the lives of creatives and makers, and much more.

If you're in WA, look out for the magazine in your newsagent this coming week and everywhere else the following week. If you can't wait another moment, you can get the iPad version right here.

Happy drooling!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Tottie and Dot - everywhere!

Little Angel magazine

Get Ahead Kids magazine

Kidz on the Coast magazine

Taupo Times

Upstart Magazine



Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Tottie and Dot in Disney Magazine


Tottie and Dot was reviewed in the September issue of Disney magazine. Hurrah! What a special thing.




Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Why a Facebook Cull is good for your Heart, Mind and Career


We all have Facebook 'friends'. As in Real Life, we have really close friends, we have people we know well, we have friends who count as colleagues and some who are just acquaintances. Some, we don't really even know at all.

As in Real Life, we go through phases, changes, shifts with our Facebook friendships. Sometimes we drift apart. Sometimes we discover we don't have much in common any more. Sometimes things 'happen' that make us feel a friendship has come to an end. Sometimes we can't even remember who that Facebook friend is!

This is all okay. This is what happens in Real Life, too, and unless it's someone you're desperately close to and something terribly awful has happened, it's nothing to break your heart over. It's nothing to stress over when it comes to the dreaded UNFRIEND button.

People have probably unfriended me. I don't know for sure--because I couldn't care a whit about it. An unfriending doesn't define me. I take no offense. Alas, some people do. I've had one acquaintance (who I met a handful of times) go into meltdown over an unfriending. Head spinning in bewilderment, I tried to remind myself that this had nothing to do with me.

It can be scary to unfriend people on Facebook, but it can also be very good for your heart, mind and, frankly ... your career. Every 12 months or so, I go though a bit of a cull. For the most part, it's people I can't even remember (perhaps some lovely soul I met a writers' conference five years ago), but occasionally it's other people, too, and here's why ...

My personal Facebook page (not my author page) is my little online haven. It's where I can feel free to express myself without fear of judgment or retribution. It's where I can seek aid, support, information and warmth. It's where I can share and know that people genuinely care about and take interest in who I am, and what I do. It's sort of like my virtual 'home'. Just like Real Life, who I let into that home, who is privy to my somewhat internal world, has to be hand-picked.

You wouldn't let someone who is fractious, deriding, patronising or argumentative into your Real Life home. You wouldn't allow someone who enjoys debasing you or subjecting you to unpleasant or disturbing words, pictures or attitudes into your home. I'm all for peace, calm and warmth in my world. I don't want a fight. I don't want an argument. I don't want to be consistently bombarded with self-promotion or want-want-wants.

A peaceful Facebook existence is important for your heart and head but it's also vital for your career. If, like me, you have many industry colleagues who regularly visit your Wall, you might want to refrain from posting anything that in some way puts your credibility or reputation in jeopardy. We all know that's a given but you also want to be careful how you comment on posts, and how you respond to the comments of others.

When people leave debasing or negative or argumentative comments on my Wall, and I find myself becoming heated over them, I know this isn't a 'good look' for myself and my career. I don't want to appear angry and prickly over some moronic comment. There's enough heat in this world without navigating the barbs and arrows some 'friends' whack on your Wall, hoping for a bite.

We need peaceful, happy Facebook worlds, with a focus on sharing our lives with both friends and colleagues who are supportive and kind. The great thing is, we can have full control over that world. For me, having the occasional cull helps me take back that control. Those I'll choose to cull include:

  • those who post or link to anything disturbing, violent, graphic, racist or otherwise offensive
  • those who consistently tag me as a way of self-promotion or bombard me with self-promotion or LIKE requests
  • 'trawlers'--those who never, ever comment on any of my regular posts, not even those containing good news or celebration, but will happily comment when they want to be deliberately fractious or debasing or try to prove me wrong, complete with reference links
  • those I simply do not remember or whom I have zero relationship with

I really believe it's important to repel negative energy in our lives. We have enough trouble navigating the mainstream media's obsession with terror and horror and conflict. Why actively put up with it in our virtual homes?

I also make a rule that I never friend anyone I don't personally know, or at least don't know well yet--no matter how lovely they are.

Facebook is not a popularity contest. I don't even know how many FB friends I have, and it doesn't worry me to see that number shrink. What does worry me is when I see someone with 5,000 friends--it shouts quantity-not-quality. I'm much more of a quality girl.

So, don't worry about your friend numbers. Don't worry about offending someone if you unfriend. You are only looking out for yourself and if someone becomes belligerent over an unfriend, they're really not the type of person you want in your life anyway.

Consider the Facebook Cull. Click that button and let go. The relief you feel at the severance of negative energy is a wonderful thing. Say no to trawlers and fractious commenters. Say yes to a happy virtual home and career.


Monday, 13 October 2014

Tottie and Dot Drawing Competition - THE WINNER!

This is all so exciting! It's time to announce the winner of the Tottie and Dot drawing comp. I have to first say, it was TOO HARD TO CHOOSE! They were all SO good (you can see the shortlist here)! So, I had to ask Tottie and Dot to decide, and this is who they chose ...

Biggest congrats to ... drum roll please...

Joshua, age 10!

What Tottie and Dot said:

'We simply adored all the illustrations that were sent in. Who knew kids were so utterly talented? Really! We were just overwhelmed. The shortlist was incredible and it was very hard to choose, but we finally decided to go with Joshua's image because it was so imaginative--who would have thought he'd give us some brothers!? We've already asked Tania to write about Tommy and Scott--so watch this space!'

Congratulations, Joshua! You have won a signed copy of the book, a personalised letter from Tottie and Dot, lemon drop lollies and marshmallow tea, butterfly strings, activity pages and more! Your parcel is on the way and we hope you enjoy it!


Thanks again to everyone who entered! In March, I have a new book called This is Captain Cook coming out--maybe I'll run another illustration comp then!




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