I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Diploma in Education (Secondary). I have also completed a short course in children’s writing at Chisholm TAFE, and I am a qualified Workplace Trainer and Assessor.
I am privileged to be a member of the Lazy River Writers. We are a Melbourne based group of women writers, who meet regularly for workshopping, support and friendship.
I was a part of a writing mentorship program run by the Stonnington City Council in partnership with the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust from 21st April – 6th May 2007. I was fortunate enough to be mentored by award winning author/illustrators Sally Rippin and Kevin Burgemeestre.
My first chapter book, Karate Kevin, was published by Insight Publications in 2006.
In 2007, I was contracted by UC Publishing to work as part of a team, writing and designing religious text books for Australian and NZ government primary schools for The Council for Christian Education in Schools (Victoria).
After that, I wrote two stimulus books, Thrills and Spills and The Future of Forests, for a literacy and numeracy series aimed at 8-12 year olds (developed and produced by UC Publishing for ACER Press in 2007).
My second children’s chapter book, Fire Ready, was published in 2008 by Thomas Learning Australia (now known as Cengage Leaning Australia). It has currently sold over 30,000 copies worldwide.
After I wrote Fire Ready, Cengage Learning Australia commissioned me to write six more books, all of which were released in 2009. They are a combination of fiction and non-fiction books for 10-14 year olds. They include two chapter books, You Never Know and Noah’s Secret, and four non-fiction books, Plants, Rainforests, The Great Plague of London and Bushfire Ready.
In 2011, I placed second in the CYA Conference Writing and Illustration Competition for my junior fiction story, Our Dog Olly.
My first picture book, My Happy Sad Mummy, published by JoJo Publishing (Books that make a difference) and illustrated by award winning illustrator, Lucia Masciullo, was launched on the 6th November 2014. This unique book was written in response to a need for quality children’s books about mental illness.
In November 2016, My Happy Sad Mummy won the Australian Association of Family Therapy Twenty-ninth Annual Awards for books published in 2015.
In 2017, My Happy Sad Mummy was included in the NSW Premier Reading Challenge List.
My latest non-fiction title, Let’s Grow Some Beans, published by MONDO Publishing, was released in the US in 2018.
My second picture book, Together Things, about a father who has depression, will be published in 2020 by EK Books (Books with Heart on Issues that Matter).
In 2017, I was highly commended for a Writers Victoria Write-ability Fellowship (for writers with disability).
In 2018, I won a Writers Victoria Write-ability Fellowship. As part of this Fellowship, I chose to be mentored by award-winning, critically acclaimed YA author Shivaun Plozza.
I am currently writing my first middle grade novel about mental illness.
I am also working with my brother, Mark Watterston, a professional computer animator, on a light hearted, humorous picture book called Dear Santa. Down the track, this book will also be available as a children’s Picture Book App.