Gimme a penguin slap!


Last week, I went to the CBCA Northern Sydney Meeting where guest speaker Laura Harris from Penguin Books, talk about how to get published. When I hopped into the Penguin HQ for the first time, Laura was the first Penguinite I met and she’s been a champion for Thai-riffic! ever since. With over 3000 manuscripts a year, what makes one stand out? It’s an emotional and personal response, so it makes sense to send your manuscript to different publishers. The whole ‘Harry Potter got rejected by 37,001 publishers before it got a start’ story is folklore that gets exaggerated with every telling. But it’s still encouraging.

Laura also spoke about publisher’s expectations. Talent can only take you so far, it’s all hard work. A manuscript will be torn apart and re-built with heart. Publishers are looking for writers with discipline, someone who’s able to deliver the stories on time. Yes, stories…because you don’t want to be a one book wonder, like that guy and that other girl who wrote that book, I can’t remember the name.

I’ll never get sick of these ‘how to get published’ seminars and talks. They still motivate me to write, to keep going. It makes me appreciate how lucky I am to be with a cool publisher like Penguin. I’m surrounded by writers and authors who have loads of advice for each step of my writing journey. And they all say the same thing, keep those stories flowing out of your head!


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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