For the enjoyment of our readers and supporters, we’re delighted to present to you a fun little video, Four friends at the vintage vehicle show, which is a standalone mini-episode set in the world of the four fabulous friends who just happen to have wheels: Fergie, Maxie, Lady and Flash.
The ‘Four’ series of chapter books for young readers is written by Sophie Masson, illustrated by Cheryl Orsini, and published by Christmas Press. Together, the books form a fantastic, funny and action-packed little series full of vivid vehicle characters, exciting adventures and lots of fun. And they make perfect little stocking fillers for Christmas!
Today is the official release date of Inside Story: the wonderful world of writing, illustrating and publishing children’s books, which is published under UPA Books, the joint imprint we collaborate on with fellow children’s books publisher Little Pink Dog Books. Inside Story is also published in association with the New England Writers’ Centre, supported by a significant grant from Create NSW and generous backers in a crowdfunding campaign. This fully-illustrated book is aimed both at aspiring writers, illustrators, and other book people, and also at anyone interested in contemporary Australian children’s books, as it’s a gorgeous showcase of some of the best work around and, as well, features illuminating quotes from over 70 Australian writers, illustrators, agents, editors, designers and publishers.
Christmas Press is proud to be involved in this beautiful book, and together with our partners Little Pink Dog Books and the New England Writers’ Centre, we hope it will reach many readers and help to inspire many new writers, illustrators, editors and designers in their journey into children’s books.
The book is available in all good bookshops and may also be purchased directly through us or Little Pink Dog Books.
There will be a national online launch of the book to which all are invited. It’s being run by the New England Writers’ Centre: it’s free, but you need to book, please see here.
To give you a bit of a taste about what Inside Story is about, read this interview with one of the compilers of the book here, and watch the little trailer below.
There’s only two days left till the end of the crowdfunding campaign for Inside Story, the wonderful non-fiction book about Australian children’s books which we are collaborating on with our UPA partners Little Pink Dog Books, under our joint imprint UPA Books. As a finale to the campaign, and to encourage even more people to take a look at this amazing book, UPA has created a fabulous short video which gives a bit of a glimpse into what you’ll find inside Inside Story. Enjoy!
We are delighted to announce that the crowdfunding campaign has launched today for the fantastic non-fiction book Inside Story: the wonderful world of writing, illustrating and publishing children’s books. Published by UPA Books, our new collaborative imprint with Little Pink Dog Books under the United Publishers of Armidale banner, it will be released in May 2022. A full colour, fully-illustrated production, the book will be an absolutely invaluable resource for aspiring children’s writers, illustrators, editors and designers, and also be of great appeal to anyone interested in the wonderful Australian children’s book world. The crowdfunding campaign will help to fund a significant print run, enhanced marketing, and much more, and campaign contributors can choose from a great range of perks. Check everything out on the campaign page, and consider being part of Inside Story: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/inside-story-children-s-books-demystified/x/3485227
We’ve been busy making some little videos in preparation for our participation in the APA’s Virtual Stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, and we thought you might enjoy seeing them too! This one showcases all our 2021 titles: enjoy!
Sharnee Rawson, an experienced regionally-based writer and editor who has worked in a range of media, is soon about to complete a bachelor degree in Media and Communications at UNE, majoring in Writing and Publishing, acquiring several academic awards in the process. Wishing to extend her experience to book publishing, she approached us with her excellent resume, and after a fruitful meeting online discussing possible projects she might be involved in, we were delighted to confirm her appointment.
Congratulations and welcome, Sharnee! We are delighted to have you working with us on several projects over the next few months. And we would like to introduce you to our readers, friends and supporters. So, here are a few questions for you!
How did you come to select us as publishers you’d like to work with?
Although there were several fantastic publishers based in the New England region, United Publishers of Armidale was distinguished by its its combination of two prominent children’s book publishers, Christmas Press and Little Pink Dog Books. I had known since the beginning of my undergraduate degree that I wanted to be involved in book publishing for younger audiences, so when I discovered United Publishers of Armidale, I knew I had to take part!
Like us, you are based in Armidale—have you always lived there, or have you come here more recently?
I’ve lived in a motley of places over the years, but for most of my life, I called a small rural property near Grafton home. It was after graduating from high school in 2017 that I moved to Armidale to begin my bachelor’s degree at the University of New England. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to explore many of the national parks in the region, including favourites like Gara Gorge and Wollomombi Falls. It’s certainly a beautiful area.
Can you tell us about your professional background as an editor and writer? What kinds of things have you worked on?
I’ve had some previous experience in the publishing industry, although, until recently, it has primarily been in news and journalism. One of the most rewarding of these positions was as a content writer at News Corp’s The Daily Examiner. The experience was fascinating, and it granted me the opportunity to work with a range of mediums, including paper-based publications, online publications and videographic material. Working at News Corp also prepared me for my next role at Tune!FM where I had the privilege of working as editor-in-chief for the company’s online news platform. United Publishers of Armidale is my first experience at a book publishing company.
Tell us about the degree you are about to complete, and why you chose to major in writing and publishing? And what’s next for your studies?
Currently, I’m in my final trimester of a Bachelor of Media and Communications degree with a major in Writing and Publishing. Originally, I had enrolled as a Bachelor of Arts student, but I quickly realised media and communications offered the specialisation I needed to enter the publishing industry. So far, I haven’t been disappointed! In 2021, I plan to enrol in a Bachelor of Media and Communications with Honours degree and continue my studies at the University of New England.
What areas interest you most in publishing? What do you hope to learn from the internship with us? And what opportunities do you hope might come from it?
As most individuals within the publishing industry will probably agree, interest in the field began through a love of reading. In high school, I remember googling ‘Jobs relating to books’ and when I read about the publishing industry, I thought, ‘Great! A job where I can read all day!’ I now know there’s a lot more to publishing than simply reading, but I still haven’t lost my passion. In editing, in particular, there’s something about refining a text that will be read and enjoyed by like-minded readers that offers enormous appeal. Through my internship at United Publishers of Armidale, I would love to continue to develop my editing skills and gain further insight into various aspects of publishing. Hopefully, the experience will lead me to further work opportunities within the industry.
And finally—What’s on your reading pile at the moment?
American Gods by Neil Gaiman is currently sitting on my bedside table. I’ve loved the author’s previous work and can’t wait to tuck in!
Six-year-old Australian author Chelsea Hardi’s first picture book to be published in 2021
Richmond Publishing, in association with Christmas Press, is proud to announce that in April 2021 it will be publishing The Magic Ball of String, a beautiful picture book with text by a fabulous debut author, six-year-old Sydney resident Chelsea Hardi, who is not only one of Australia’s but also one of the world’s youngest published authors.
Chelsea was born to tell stories and narrates them to her mother, Irina, before going to sleep every night. She has always been in love with Russian fairytales which comforted her when at the age of four and a half, suffering from pneumonia, she was in hospital in Moscow for an extended period. It was during this difficult time that, influenced by those fairytales, she created the first version of The Magic Ball of String, telling it to her mother who wrote it down for her. Since then, the story has evolved through the editing process, which Chelsea was fully a part of, to become a fresh and charming tale of adventure, family love, the power of kindness, and the unexpected magic of a certain ball of string.
With beautiful pictures by acclaimed international illustrator Olya Badulina, this book is a dream come true for the young author, and one that children and families across Australia will take to their hearts.
Richmond Publishing (a division of Oliver Freeman Pty Ltd) is delighted that The Magic Ball of String will be on the 2021 publishing list of award-winning children’s books publisher Christmas Press, which will be promoting and marketing the book across its networks. And Christmas Press is delighted to be working in association with Richmond Publishing on the release of this very special book which so exemplifies the magic of stories in the lives of children.
Three beautiful princesses set out to explore the kingdom, looking for adventure. When they become separated from their father, and cross paths with a hungry bear, they become lost in the midst of a dark forest. The eldest princess is determined to find a way home, and the King is determined to find his daughters. And with the help of a man with a brave and kind heart, the grateful gesture of a tiny hedgehog, and a magic ball of string, everyone may just find what they truly seek …
It’s Children’s Book Week in Australia this week, and to celebrate, we at Christmas Press are featuring a brand-new video in the fabulous ‘Journey of a Book‘ series which you can find on the United Publishers of Armidale website. This Journey of A Book is centred around the gorgeous chapter book for young readers, Lucy Newton, Little Witch, written and illustrated by Phoebe McArthur, the pseudonym of mother-daughter duo Fiona McDonald and Beattie Alvarez. The book, published by Christmas Press in 2018, was shortlisted for the 2019 Speech Pathology Australia Awards.
The United Publishers of Armidale website features a number of books from each publisher, with free activities and resources to go with each, as well as information on each title. Activities and resources include audio and video presentations by creators, puzzles, quizzes, word searches, printable colouring pages, teachers’ notes, and more. The Featured Books page will be updated regularly with new, upcoming and backlist titles and their associated activities, while the About page gives information about the UPA partner publishers.
‘The idea behind United Publishers of Armidale is that in these difficult times, it makes sense for publishers, especially small, regionally-based publishers like us, to pool our efforts and resources in order to promote and showcase our books and help to support our creator communities, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Little Pink Dog Books on this,’ said Sophie Masson, co-director of Christmas Press. ‘But it’s also very much about supporting the wider community, especially children, their families, teachers and carers, by offering free resources and activities through a dedicated website.’
‘We are delighted to be partnering with Christmas Press in this new enterprise and we hope that everyone will have lots of fun discovering our featured books and the activities around them,’ said Kathy Creamer, co-director of little Pink Dog Books. ‘And we warmly thank our authors and illustrators for getting so enthusiastically behind the project and creating such fabulous and diverse activities for our readers.’
Books featured for the website launch are, for Christmas Press, middle grade historical fantasy novel, The Phantasmic Detective Agency, by Julian Leatherdale (out May 2020) and Australian Children Laureate Ursula Dubosarsky’s recent collection of plays, The Boy Who Could Fly and Other Magical Plays for Children(2019); and for Little Pink Dog Books, author-illustrator Trish Donald’s picture book Tissy Woo and the Worry Monsters(2018) and Parmesan, The Reluctant Racehorse, written by Jacqui Halpin and illustrated by John Phillips (2017).