Following is a small part of a speech I gave last year as ‘guest author’ at my school’s annual Just 50 Words presentation ceremony:
“I have this enduring memory, from my Primary School years, of standing up in our fortnightly assemblies to read one of my stories to the whole school. They were really, really long stories…and full of waffling description and tedious dialogue, with plots that weren’t really there. What mattered though was that I loved writing and my teacher encouraged that love. Somewhere along the way during my teenage years, I got side-tracked and sucked into the world of essays. What transpired was, as an adult, I felt like I’d lost my creativity.”
Twenty-five years of Primary School teaching under my belt, and I’m finally clawing that creativity back as an aspiring/emerging author. It’s taken me several years to be confident enough to write, confident enough to share my writing at courses and workshops (let alone submit my manuscripts for assessments) and confident enough to mingle with the Children’s Writing Community.
These days, I am a member of the ACT Writers Centre, SCBWI and Write NSW. I attend every course I can lay my hands on and have a wonderful mentor. This year, I’ve started participating actively in several online forums, including 12x12, StoryStorm, ReFoReMo and 52 Week Picture Book Challenge — submitting my writing, being critiqued and critiquing others.
My writing is heavily inspired by my two wonderful children, particularly my son who has Asperger’s (and my daughter’s relationship with him), and by all the little things that happened in my childhood and to the people around me. I’m trying to hone my style with picture books but am starting to realise my other passion lies in Young Adult.
I do have two blogs (which I’ve been a bit slack with of late) — the first chronicles my journey with my son (In My Aspergers World) and the other (Write About Quotes) indulges my love of soapboxing on trivial topics. I’ve been honoured to place in two Creative Kids Tales’ competitions with Ambush in the Forest (2016) and Geckos Can’t Be Superheroes (2017). Four of my stories have been included in Sally Odgers’ Prints Charming anthologies.
My favourite quote, courtesy of Roald Dahl via Willy Wonka, is:
We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that. Reverse it.
It really sums up my writing journey.
Read my February 2020 interview as Emerging Author of the Month
Kellie Nissen - Submissions
- Ambush in the Forest by Kellie Nissen Oct - 2019