Hello, I am Bethany (sometimes Betty, never Beth), an aspiring children’s author living in Meanjin (Brisbane), Australia.
I am a writer of many things, including arts curriculum and advocacy and educational resources. I am an educator of both young people and teachers, which is kind of ironic, as I didn’t like school.
But I have always loved storytelling.
I have loved stories since the late 1980s, when my father told unscripted bedtime stories of naughty girls and magical puddles*. My childhood was filled with Emily Rodda, tree climbing, homemade hideouts and top secret clubs. In my teens, I devoured Robin Hobb tomes under my covers, losing myself in fantastical worlds until the sun rose and I had to go to school.
To this day, I believe nothing beats a wilful female protagonist on a romping great adventure.
My passion for the arts, history, and for empowering young people is front and centre in my storytelling. I can’t wait to share my stories with you.
*okay, now I realise Dad stole all his ideas from CS Lewis.
In 2023 I joined author Zewlan Moor in managing the #LoveOzMG online community. Come and celebrate Australian middle grade with us, on Instagram.
Read about my writing adventures…
2017: Had a baby and went on a year’s maternity leave. Wrote a YA manuscript about a girl who overanalysed everything, dreamed in the genre of whatever book she was reading and took particular issue with Kurt Vonnegut’s maxim, ‘so it goes’. Put said manuscript in a drawer.
2018-2019: Worked as head of a high-school arts department and became involved with the Queensland Art Teachers Association. Haven’t managed to shake them since.
2020: Had another baby and dreamed up a delicious middle grade adventure. Wrote 7000 words in one day (they were not very good). With a little editing, I was successful in gaining a place in the Kill Your Darlings Mentors Program for 2021.
2021: Decided to take a second year of leave to write my story, but accidentally got an arts curriculum job (I know, how do you accidentally get a job?). It was supposed to be for a month and I’m still there, nearly two years later…
I still finished the first draft of my middle grade manuscript under the mentorship of legendary author, Leanne Hall.
This is the year I started taking things seriously. I joined SCBWI, Queensland Writers Centre, Book Links and every other group I could find. I devoured writing education.
I also came runners-up in the National Pitch It! Competition (for a 150-word pitch).
2022: Mate… this year…
I won an ASA/Copyright Agency Award Mentorship! I got my first preference of mentors, the incomparable, Kristina Schulz, and I finished the manuscript. It’s an adventurous, speculative fiction story with Australian historical fiction and lots of mystery and heart.
And THEN I was shortlisted for a 2023 Varuna Residential Fellowship – I will definitely take advantage of their Invited Residencies Program. EDIT: I have booked my residency for Winter, 2023!
Next, I plan to find my trilogy (yes, there’s three books now) a home with a traditional publisher, and soon, you’ll be able to read it too!
to be continued…
The best place to connect is on Instagram.
I acknowledge the significance of living and working on Aboriginal land, where sovereignty has never been ceded.
I pay my sincere, heartfelt respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Always was, always will be.