The Perfect Catch crime reviewed

30 Sep 2014

THE PERFECT CATCH COVERJanine Orchard twice-weekly shelves her respectable marriage of twenty-three years to Ron. She begins and ends each working week with an exciting man only a few years older than her twenty-one year old twins.

But as fate directs, her affair with Ramos is unwittingly discovered by her son Josh. He turns to his father, unable to bear the knowledge alone.Janine acts as first-mate on Ron’s tinny to retrieve crab pots placed in an isolated creek the previous day by Ron.

She drags the last pot in, and nothing can prepare Janine for the catch that the forth and last pot yields. The head – face down – was firmly imprisoned within the crab pot frame, the neck free of the cage. She recognises the tattoo that covers his back; the last time she had seen it was yesterday as she stood behind him while she lightly traced her fingers across the artwork that gave Ramos an added intrigue.

Nobody knows of her affair with Ramos, and certainly not Ron who has not noticed anything about Janine for some time. For her family – and herself – she commits to denying any knowledge of the man found tied to Ron’s crab pot.

Ron continues the narrative as he describes in detail how his son’s discovery of his wife’s affair set him on days of surveillance with hopes that Janine would end the tryst before he was forced to fix the problem. Ron finds justification and a certain hallowed respect for his final decision.

Did the writers’ web reviewers enjoy this suspenseful murder crime? Here are their reviews:

“When I was asked to review The Perfect Catch I wasn’t sure what to think. The description of the book gave away the story line in more detail than I would have expected and I wasn’t sure if I’d like it because of that. Then I started reading, Angeline had me hooked from the first chapter. The story is about a cheating wife with a young lover, older children and a loving husband. The husband, Ron, has neglected his wife over the years without doing so on purpose. Then he finds out about the lover and take charge of the situation that his relationship is in.

The feelings of both the Orchards, Janine and Ron are described in such detail that you live with them. The point of view changes between several of the characters to build the story, even the police involvement is very nicely detailed. The descriptions of the area where the Orchards live and their life together is enough to make anyone think that it could have easily been a couple they know.

A look behind closed doors that makes you live along with the characters, think about the story long after the last page and hope that there will be more books by this author.” Gabrielle Monego

“A murder story with a new twist. The reader always knows more than the characters which helps to become more involved with them and their flaws. Janine’s and Ron’s marriage is suffering from boredom and one wonders if anything can ever improve for them.

The setting is local Queensland and the author has a good knowledge of the bay, with descriptions of boat ramps and tides, back creeks and crabbing. Janine and Ron could be anyone’s neighbours hiding their most unusual secrets.” Lyndall Holmes

“This book provides insight into the oft misunderstood interpretation of people’s personal views on the world and how one person sees events is so completely different to another person’s.You need to think deeply about the morals of the main characters, and if their actions are appropriate based on the circumstances that are in. What would you do?

If you like a story with some twists and turns while gaining an insight into what really drives people to do what they do then this is story accomplishes that.” Dyan Burgess

The Perfect Catch is set in a medium-sized coastal town north of Brisbane in the early 2000s. The story is recounted by both Janine and Ron, a married couple with two young adult sons who have both left home. Ron works as a mechanic and Janine in an office but neither jobs impact significantly on the story. On a night out with the younger office girls, Janine meets a seductive young man (Ramos) who seems to find her attractive and being bored with her life, Janine starts sleeping with him. On a crabbing trip with Janine, Ron pulls up a crab pot with Ramos’ dead body attached. The remainder of the story examines both the events that led to the discovery and the feelings of Ron and Janine about themselves and their relationship.

The writing style is quite reflective. There is some straight narrative but often this is followed by the recount of a past event and how Ron and Janine feel about it. The events of the story cause Ron and Janine to examine their lives and their relationship, how it has evolved to its present state and what, if anything, they plan to do about it.

There are many peripheral characters but only the characters of Ron and Janine are developed fully. The reader is given insight to the motivation behind most actions and words of these two characters. This analysis, at one stage, made me feel a bit ‘bogged down’.

I appreciated the style in which the story was written, the explanation of how the event came to pass, often coming after the event was recounted. This made me engage more in the storyline. There was also some suspense as to who had committed the murder and whether they would get caught, which I enjoyed. Someone who enjoys exploring characters and their motivation along with a slower moving murder mystery would appreciate this book.” Sharyn Macdonald

Angeline photoAuthor, Angeline Beikoff (right) lives in Mackay, Queensland and has for the past two years devoted her time to writing novels that inspire a reader’s imagination.

Of her inspiration, she says: “I love reading, I love losing myself in the well told story. I love living the imaginary tale that the written word invokes, and if a piece is written so well that I can see the colour, hear the voices, and breathe the same air as the characters, I read with a smile on my face. This is where I hope to take my readers.”

About the inspiration for The Perfect Catch, she adds: “When I wrote ‘The Perfect Catch’ my idea for the story was born during a fishing trip in a quiet little creek. Out of nowhere my husband said ‘this would be the perfect place to hide a body’. With this strange comment, my imagination took over. Once I seriously set myself this task, I allowed the story to lead the way.”

When  not writing, Angeline can be found reading (all genres except sci-fi) and enjoying road trips down the Australian East Coast.

The Perfect Catch is now available in the writers’ web bookstore as a PDF eBook.



From writers’ web to publication… Jenny shares her story

27 Sep 2014

Jenny (Brigalow) Gilligan first contacted writers’ web in March, 2012, with her YA novel, The Overlander.  Rather than the story languishing, collecting dust, she was determined to share and submitted the story as a free read.  The response was wonderful and the reviews even more encouraging.  The next step was to withdraw the title from writers’ web in 2013 as the newly written trilogy underwent a huge edit!  The rest, they say, is history! Congratulations Jenny, with best wishes from Emma and Janet x

Here is her ‘Trail of a Tale’…

Several years ago, when my girls were aged twelve and thirteen, we were talking about their favourite books. The list was long. They loved so many. The only general criticism verbalized was their disappointment in the female characters. While they enjoyed fast paced, action-packed novels, they both felt that the boys got all the action. Girls were generally low key. “OK,”  I said, in a moment of madness, “ I’ll write you a story where the girls get to kick lots of butt.”  And so, The Overlander was born. They said that they loved it. But of course they’d say that, I’m their mum.

At this stage of my career I had only written a few rural romances and entered a couple of competitions with varied degrees of success.  To help the process along I garnered some help from Aussie author, Louise Cusack, in the form of some marvellous manuscript assessments.  I approached her once more but she was already knee deep in work. “Queensland Writers Centre and Allen & Unwin are running a competition for children’s stories”, she said. “Why don’t you check it out?” So I did. I qualified and the entry fees were reasonable.  Months later I received a phone call. I’d won a place for a residency at QWC with nine other writers. Stoked!

Part of the prize was an edit of the whole story by Allen & Unwin. You can just imagine what a huge learning curve that was. I spent a fantastic week in Brisbane and learned lots. I made some lovely new friends as well. So, I went away and rewrote my story. Allen & Unwin had the right of first refusal, so I duly submitted and was duly rejected.

This became a pattern. Submission and rejection. But I did not despair (often). I kept writing. More rural romances, short stories, poetry, young adult paranormal and literary fiction. And The Overlander gathered metaphorical dust on the hard drive. And then I heard about Writers Web. I emailed Emma. “Can I put a story up for free?” I asked. “Indeed you can,” she replied. And so we did.

Meanwhile (back at the ranch) I began to write the rest of the story. The Overlander grew into a trilogy. Then in April 2013 I got an email from Australian ePublisher Steam eReads. They wanted to publish my rural romance, A Man For All Seasons. Yippee!  The dream had become reality. Then later in the year I received an offer from Escape (Harlequin) for my young adult, paranormal The Children Of The Mist.  More general yahooing. COTM was published November 2013. Earlier this year I signed a contract with Escape for The MacGregor, the second of my NightShifters series.

I began to feel like a writer. I dusted The Overlander off and decided that I felt brave enough to have a stab at self-publishing. With a little help from my friends at writers’ web I began to source some help. I really wanted a professional publication so I would need an editor, proof reader and book covers, at the very least. It was going to be a big job.

And then, poised to start the process, I got an email from Bloomsbury Spark (USA). “We think the world is ready for The Overlander”, they said. “Yippee”, I said.  And so I signed on the dotted line. At long last my most loved story had found a home.

And so the trail of the tale is nearly done.  It has been a long journey and I would never had made it on my own. So many good and generous people have helped along the way.  So, my fellow word junkies, never give up and never give in. Have a little faith. Perseverance really does pay.

Comedy Old Salty Heads Offshore reviewed

24 Sep 2014

Old Saltys Misadventures Heads Offshore Front CoverOld Salty Heads Offshore is the next step up…Bluewater sailors! Barely are those waters smooth but the rewards are huge. Old Salty and his first mate integrate into a beautiful unspoiled culture where two-way exchanges build friendships and where old skills and knowledge are dusted off to help others.

It’s laughter, adventure, history, trading, feasts and drama… a real mixture of social, cultural and humorous interaction with a cast of memorable characters…it’s an ‘if you never ever go…you will never, never know’ book.

The writers’ web reviewers chuckled as they read this comedy, Old Salty Heads Offshore. Here are their thoughts:

“Another great adventure recount by David Daniel, with fun and games on and off board “The Catch”. If you are contemplating your own sea-bound adventure or just like reading about other people’s, then this book won’t disappoint! Great illustrations add to the charm of this book. A fun read.” Diana Harley

“Although “Old Salty” is written by a man and is about sailing, it will appeal to both genders and, it’s certainly not necessary to like sailing yarns; it’s more than that. The book has you chuckling from beginning to end, and learning much in the process. I would say that a more mature mind would appreciate the book and its subtleties.

Old Salty Heads Offshore by David Daniel is an entertaining and magnificently written book which could be metaphor for life. Despite trepidatous feelings the reader has with some of the extraordinary escapades of Old Salty (male Captain) and The First Mate (female offsider) also known as The First, you have total confidence that all will work out. There are always people who are willing to put themselves out on a limb to help these two and their beloved boat, The Catch. Added to this is the ingenuity of Old Salty and The First to extricate themselves from dangerous situations.

It’s an enchanting journey of the fulfillment of two people’s dream, to complete this voyage around peaceful lagoons and local people living on islands who surprise them with their worldliness. The two main protagonists exemplify the virtue that, in the toughest of moments if you don’t give in, you will succeed. You do not need to be a lover of boats and sea-faring stories to love this book.

The author is a master of English descriptive writing, the manipulation of words that sound the same but are spelt differently, alliteration and description. This is one of the most entertaining, philosophically deep and historically accurate books I have read in a long time. Perhaps this is how history books should be written, detailed historical knowledge with jovial humor, it would mean that students would remain engaged and remember what they have read.

Undoubtedly Old Salty, the narrator, steals the limelight with his laconic wit, smart remarks, and tongue-in-cheek comments of current and not so current events. Despite all his exposed flaws, he is endearing and likeable. However, The First comes in a close second as a favourite character. The relationship between these two could be the recipe for happy marriages. They are so different yet the teamship under the most grueling of circumstances is amazing. They know how to enjoy themselves, have fun together and see the bright side of any situation.

I particularly liked the clever, annotated illustrations by the author on many of the right-hand pages. The clever catch-phrases emphasise salient points in the narrative and gently make fun of some of our modern human behavioural foibles and assumptions.

David Daniel has a way with words and he maintains an interactive connection with the reader often asking questions eliciting an involuntary response.

There are references to famous and infamous historical mariners with tidbits of their escapades as well as humourous Biblical references. I love a clever book from which I can learn, and this is certainly such a book.” Gloria Hamilten

DavidDaniel-headThe author, David Daniel (right) has lived just about everywhere and done everything and then retired to live the dream of sailing the East coast of Australia. He says: “My first mate and I went sailing with a vertical learning curve dodging hard bits up and down the East coast of Australia and then out into the Pacific Islands (Old Salty Tales).

Today David lives in the hills of South East Queensland with partner Heather, three horses, three cattle, a dog and cat, many feral deer and untold kangaroos and wallabies.

“I wanted to share some of that with other people: the places, the characters, the sticky situations and the humour. I’ve lived life to the full and enjoyed the ride,” he says of his writing.

Old Salty Heads Offshore is now available in the bookstore as a hardcopy book to keep handy when on your own next adventure.


We DO judge a book by its cover!

20 Sep 2014

My date with ‘my inner artist’ (something we all need to do on a regular basis) was satiated recently by virtue of attending my local writers group.

We were so lucky as one of the group’s prolific writers (a trilogy and a children’s book – four titles in two years, and a daily blogger!) shared her insight into book cover design.  The following A to Z considerations for cover design came from our general discussions as well as Carmel Rowley’s experience!

  • a/ Good cover – we are all attracted to them!
  • b/ Potentially more display time if good cover.
  • c/ Book covers as ‘art’
  • d/ Two seconds is the time required to judge ‘desirable’
  • e/ Look for unique, blind to ‘same’
  • f/ Attention span getting short – texting, Facebook, shallow reading.
  • g/ Design fundamentals and rules of advertising relevant to book… emotional triggers, create desire to buy, capture attention.  Keep in mind ‘less is more’…
  • h/ Know your audience.
  • i/ Once well-known, may be less need to ‘sell’ the story.
  • j/ Tails Carried High – knew needed riveting picture of a horse because needed horse lovers to pick up the book…
  • k/ Font is relevant.
  • l/ Cover copy has to be active without discussing the plot.
  • m/ Understand psychology of colour.
  • n/ Emotions evoked influence purchase decision.
  • o/ Keywords lend validity and cement the opinion the author is ‘right’
  • p/ Research, research, research your audience.  Use tools like Google Keyword Planner / Google Adwords.
  • q/ Cover as art work so understand how the eye evaluates an image.
  • r/ Copycat or knockoff – emulating design of successful images.
  • s/ Psychology of portions of person, backs, half heads etc is relevant and considered.
  • t/ Decide what own dreams and goals are…
  • u/ Design for thumbnails for Amazon – simple and clear as possible.
  • v/ Use all the resources at your disposal, for example, an orange cover to make it stand out…
  • w/ Understand trends in colour and genre.
  • x/ Brand yourself.
  • y/ Test book cover – App called ‘Thumb’ – upload a picture to different categories – thumbs up / thumbs down…
  • z/ And if you are happy with it – then it is great!

There were many elements of the discussion which piqued my interest, and none more so than the idea of designing different covers for different markets.  We weren’t necessarily talking about the traditional geographically distinguishable markets of Europe, Asia and America – we were talking about rural bookstores, chain stores and on-line stores as well!

Fascinating really.  If you were not 100% sure of whether or not you should attend your local writers group… well, you never know if you should or shouldn’t judge it by its cover either!!!!



King Solomon’s Pilot, Historical Fiction Reviewed

17 Sep 2014

King Solomons Plot by Jerry RichertA non-stop, action-filled epic of sailing and exploration in the intriguing time of the Phoenicians. A time when ships were at the mercy of the winds, and men were at the mercy of kings. A tale that explores the truth of where lies the fabled mountains and wide river that gave up its treasures for King Solomon’s temple of gold.

Wow, did our writers’s web reviewers enjoy King Solomon’s Pilot, or what? Here’s what they had to say about this work of historical fiction:

“It did not take me long to become immersed in King Solomon’s Pilot and I found that the story flowed really well and was very descriptive. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I thoroughly got into the story and liked the way Jerry blended fiction and historical facts. The title, cover and ‘type’ of story is not something I would normally choose. I’m glad I did as was very pleasantly surprised.

The story had sections in it where I was drawn to continue reading ‘to see what happens next’ so I did find the ending to be a little flat.This story lends itself to a sequel. I will look for the other books by Jerry Richert as his style of writing is engaging and would like to read more.” Rensina van den Heuvel

King Solomon’s Pilot is a story of action and adventure with a thread of romance set in 962 BC in north western Africa. The story follows the life of Hallam from the time he encounters Philippa, the king’s niece. Both have their life courses set by the culture of the time but they rebel against that in order to be together. The consequences of their individual rebellions lead them into many adventures. The story is developed very well with smooth cohesion of both story line and characters.

The story begins with the first encounter between Hallam and Philippa. Information about Hallam’s life up until then is communicated in setting up the incident. As a result of that meeting, his life changes completely and his character is further developed as he responds to a new environment and role as well as his attachment to a woman who is from a world that is alien to him. As various extreme situations are forced upon Hallam, his character continues to develop and the reader is given an in depth understanding of him. There are many other characters introduced but this is done in a way that is seen as necessary to the story and not at all confusing.

The story is written in third person with a lot of direct speech. It is quite long which gives the opportunity to fully develop both the characters and the various settings. Quite complex political situations are incorporated into the story but I was able to keep them clear as I read. There were some fairly graphic passages but they were in the context of the setting.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and am in awe of the amount of research needed to produce this story. I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoys an historical story of adventure, action and romance.” Sharyn Macdonald

Jerry Richert HeadshotAuthor, Jerry Richert (right) has a fascinating and colourful life which started in Johannesburg then ventured to Zimbabwe, Monaco, Britain, Canada, Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand and finally Australia.

What he’s done over his life to date makes a fascinating read in itself over here at his author’s profile.

A self-confessed failure at school, Jerry started writing twenty-five years ago, when  with the Flying Doctor Service, doing a novel course with Stotts then buying every book he could find on the subject. Now with more time and a wealth of life experience behind him, his passion is building once more. He says: “Writing is the new horizon; a way to adventure once more without the unpleasant or risky bits.”

King Solomon’s Pilot is now available in the bookstore as a hardcopy book.

Award Winning writers’ web author Anne Rouen tells how it is!

13 Sep 2014

When I launched Master of Illusion  Book One last year, I really had no idea of its likely reception: good, bad, or worst fear of all: being ignored. And, on entering awards at the suggestion of my editor, I had no expectations, other than those of promotion and perhaps(crossed fingers), a positive review. How grateful I am that the Global judges considered my debut novel worthy of silver: the highlight of my life!

My first reaction was stunned amazement, unable to take in the ‘hugeness’ of it. My second was profound relief: I had been validated as an author. (I know authors don’t need awards to be validated, but try telling yourself that when you’re a self-publisher!) Currently, I am still pinching myself and rereading the email to help me believe it. ‘Award winning author’: Three little words, but how they resound!

At a time when spinal arthritis has severely curtailed my other passion of working with my beautiful horses and Brangus cattle, the gift of writing has eased my regret. This award has been the silver crown on a fantastic new life of adventure; of never knowing where my characters are going to take me; and all without leaving my chair. As the Master would say: ‘Formidable!‘ And the best part is: it isn’t over yet.

I would like to thank Dan Poynter for his vision in founding the Global Ebook Awards, his judges for their time and dedication; and Writers’ Web for their support of authors. As award winning author, Anne Rouen, I am, most definitely, living my dream.

My favourite mantra: Never give up the search for that perfect word or phrase to paint the most vivid picture possible for your readers. Because you truly do not know what you can do until you try.

(Lyn Newberry writes as Anne Rouen and on behalf of the team at writers’ web – congratulations x  Find your copy of Master of Illusion here today!)

Our books as closed to new writers

11 Sep 2014

As of September 2014, writers’ web won’t be taking on any new writers as we’re playing catch-up.

Right now we have a backlog of works from emerging Australian writers for our review panel to read. They are busy with their reviews that authors can then use in marketing their self-published or otherwise-published books or manuscripts.

We’re proud that a few of our writers have been offered publishing contracts and that writer’s web has had a role in their success.

Our readers will also be busy taking a look at the material from our Write Around Queensland project which gathered 1,000 word submissions from writers in writers’ groups around the state. The Queensland Society of Editors then worked with the writers to fine tune their work. The result is two eBooks to be released in December 2014 – In The Raw and The Final Draft.

If you have any queries, feel free to email us at


Picture book Kanga Can’t Jump reviewed

09 Sep 2014


When you can’t do what everyone else can do, you get sad. Kanga couldn’t be like a real kangaroo and jump. His mother was worried about it, too.  Kanga  was always the jump rather than the jumper when his friends  played Leap Roo. He just wanted to be like all the other kangaroos.

As one of the writers’ web reviewers says, “ If you have youngsters needing to overcome an obstacle, this is a good, uplifting read.”

Here is what the writers’ web review panel thought about  this picture book for 1-6 year olds:

Kanga Can’t Jump is a great children’s story about (you guessed it) a kangaroo who is unable to jump and feels sad that he can’t keep up with his friends. It is a charming story, well-written and edited, and my 6-year old enjoyed me reading it to her. It flows very well, with the problem identified, something unexpected in the middle, and a satisfying ending. If you have youngsters needing to overcome an obstacle, this is a good, uplifting read.

I would recommend this book to youngsters from around 4 – 8. Best wishes to the author. We’d be keen to read more of her work. A free ebook was provided for review, thank you.” Kasper Beaumont

“I enjoyed this story immensely. When reading this book, I loved how the characters were portrayed through their personality, e.g: how the mother worried over her child’s misery and how she supported her son even though he could not leap. The people who would like this book are people who want to read a short story that is entertaining and very understandable. Also, I liked how the images corresponding with the text.” Caitlin Shore.

“Plays on the theme of how it feels when you are different to others, and a possible strategy to cope with a difficult circumstance. Kanga is given a chance to find his own way with help from an unusual friend. What would you do if you could not jump and everyone else could? For sharing with younger readers while more confident readers could read themselves.” Dyan Burgess

Deirdra Drysdale Headshot Author, Deidra Drysdale (right) was once a primary school teacher who loved story time possibly even more than the children.

She says, “A lifetime of travelling and teaching in Africa, Europe and Asia fuelled an interest in teaching English to all age groups, and completing a higher degree lead to my moving to management in education. I have a new role as an artist and spend most days drawing and painting, but still teach when needed because I enjoy it.”

Deidra has been writing short stories for about ten years, with Kanga Can’t Jump her second story for children. She has also written three short stories for older readers and has been a runner up in a UK magazine (Women’s Journal) competition.

Of Kanga Can’t Jump, Deidra says it ” is about a little kangaroo who has a problem. I like happy endings, so the problem gets solved. It was important to me for there to be an element of realism (in a book where the kangaroo talks?!) so there is a very good reason for Kanga’s predicament.”

When not writing Deidra draws, paints and walks,  hoping for inspiration.

Kanga Can’t Jump is a free eBook now available from the writers’ web bookstore.


Taya Bayliss – Treasure Hunter reviewed

01 Sep 2014

Front-Cover-Taya-Bayliss-Treasure-Hunter-by-EJ-GoreEleven year old Taya Bayliss is not happy that her family has moved from the city to Bascombe Bay, a tiny fishing village. She has only been in her new home for a few hours when she finds herself mixed up in a fifty year old mystery.

She meets Mae Evans, an elderly lady, who because of a long ago love seems to hold the key to the treasure. But is there really a treasure or is it all just imagination? Two local boys certainly think there is a hidden fortune and spend their time stalking Mae in an effort to get her to lead them to it. They soon turn their attentions to Taya as well making life more difficult for her.

Taya is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and to help Mae out of her difficulties but the clues don’t seem to add up. Is the painting of the lighthouse a clue or just a keepsake?

Here’s what the writers’ web readers thought about this book, written for 10-12 year olds:

“This book is about an 11 year-old girl who has moved to a new town with her parents for her father’s work. She was not asked if she wanted to move and is not happy about being in Bascombe’s Bay. The town starts to get more interesting for her when she meets an old lady with a story about possible long lost treasure and starts to investigate the story. But not everyone is happy she is snooping around.

This book definitely held my interest. It was suspenseful and when each chapter ended I found myself really wanting to read more.I would recommend this book for young readers from ages 8 up to 15 year olds as it is a well-written, easy to read book with a good storyline.” Abbey English

“It was adventurous. This book is about a girl (Taya Bayliss) who has just moved to Bascombe Bay and is trying to help an old lady called Mae. She almost gets pushed into the water by two boys who won’t leave Mae alone, Garrnet and Robert, because they think Mae has treasure. (Because their father told them a story from fifty years ago.) Mae tells Taya that she doesn’t have any treasure, but Taya is determined that there is. With the help of a painting, a watch and Michael Shaw they discover that there is treasure, diamonds”. Ella Neil

EJ-Gore-headshotAuthor  EJ Gore (right) grew up with a love of reading thanks to her mother who introduced her to the library.

She says: “That’s where my vivid imagination flourished and my delight in storytelling was born. During my thirty years as a primary school teacher, I used storytelling and drama as the base for my classroom practice creating stories and plays through which my students were encouraged to develop deeper understanding and knowledge of curriculum concepts.”

Now retired from fulltime teaching, she has the time for two of her greatest pleasures – writing and travelling.

EJ Gore is currently working on a novel started in 2012 and of her Taya Bayliss series of books, she says, ”I wanted to write books that featured real kids dealing with situations that could actually happen, no fantastic super powers or magic, just quick wits and good problem solving skills. I wanted the young readers to be able to imagine themselves in the story. Children are wise little beings who delight in solving mysteries. Adults often underestimate their wisdom.”

When not writing, EJ blogs, promotes her books, tutors children, walks her dogs and travels with her husband,

Taya Bayliss Treasure Hunter is now available in the writers’ web bookstore as a PDF eBook or a hard copy book.





writers’ web’s Emma Mactaggart wins an IPPY

29 Aug 2014

Two years on, Emma Mactaggart reflects on her win at the Ippy awards…

Congratulations to writers’ web’s own Emma Mactaggart who has won a gold medal at the 2012 The Independent Publisher Book Awards (also known as the IPPY Awards) taking out the Best Adult Non-Fiction E-Book with Child Writes: Creating a Children’s Picture Book is Child’s Play (pictured below).

Organised by US based Independent Publisher, and in it’s 16th year, there were over 5,000 entries, the most ever received (so great to see that writing is thriving).

The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles published each year and are open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and to authors and publishers worldwide

Full results are here.

Reflecting upon receipt of the award, two years on, Emma says:

“This award gave me courage, confidence and the actual right to say ‘award winning author’! It is just huge!  I am still smiling in the afterglow nearly two years later.  Book sales did receive a substantial nudge and have predictably fallen now, but it is my credibility as a writer, as an authority on what I was writing about, which received the biggest boost.  I am invited to speak at conferences – the most recent being the Australian Literacy Educators Association and it is exhilarating to know I am wanted. Child Writes, as a program, will be in its 10th year of publishing children’s books written by children for children.  That little gold sticker I attach personally to every book before it goes out the door is a constant reminder it is honestly worth pursuing your dreams.”





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