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New A. L. Tait novel in 2025

New A. L. Tait novel in 2025

I’m excited to announce that I’ve signed a contract with Scholastic Australia for a new A. L. Tait novel, to be published in 2025.

I can’t wait to work once again with publisher Laura Sieveking and the rest of the Scholastic team – the same team who fell in love with Callie McGee and brought her so successfully into the world in 2023!

It’s my 10th contract and just as thrilling to me as the first one I signed all those years ago – though, these days everything is done digitally, meaning I have to get more creative with my photos…

I’ll share more details when I can!

In the meantime, if you haven’t read THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE, have a look!

Best middle grade books 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

a l tait profileAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. My latest novel THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE is out now. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast and sign up for the Your Kid’s Next Read newsletter

What 14 years of blogging has taught me

What 14 years of blogging has taught me

As of today, I’ve been blogging for 14 years.

That’s right, my blog is not only a teenager but well and truly entering the ‘difficult’ years.

Which fits. It’s a lot surlier and harder to get started now than it was when I wrote my first post on 22 January 2010.

It’s also changed a lot since those early days.

My first post was all about how my move to the country had resulted in a lot more cooking in my life. Young children, fewer takeaway choices, and there I was, living in the Pink Fibro on the south coast. You can read it here – I keep it on this website because purely because of its place in my blogging history.

Speaking of blogging history, I haven’t written a blogoversary post like this for a few years. Not since my 10 Favourite Posts From 10 Years Of Blogging post.

As a contrast, you can read about the 12 things I learned in my first year of blogging here.

Or the 4 things I learned in my fourth year of blogging here.

Anyway, basic crux is that I’m a bit overdue one of these.

 

The two key things I’ve learned in 14 years of blogging

 

The first thing I realised when I sat down to write this post is how much my blogging style has changed over the years.

In the early days, I just blurted it all out, no subheads, no spacing, a dodgy image and pressed send.

But along the way I learned that subheads are essential for reading on the internet. And most of us just want to be able to skim the text and find what we want.

So I’ve broken all of my thoughts about this momentous occasion down into two key points for you, dropped in some keywords (yes, I learned about SEO along the way as well) and have whipped up a tidy social image because Canva came along and changed my life.

Fourteen years is a long time. I’m glad I learnt a few tricks along the way.

But of all the things I’ve learned, there are two key secrets.

 

Consistency is key

I’ve always said that that one of the best things about blogging is the recording of your own history – your thoughts, your voice, your influences, your life at any given time.

In the earliest days of this blog, I wrote every single day and when I read back some of those posts now (they’re not all here anymore) I can see Book Boy and Book Boy Jr as they were at two or five or seven or nine.

I am reminded of tiny moments in our lives that would be forever lost without the discipline of blogging.

For it is about discipline. It’s about observation and training yourself to spot ideas and finding your writing voice – but most of all it’s about the discipline of putting words on a page (screen though it may be) and creating a writing habit.

Today, my blog is much more focused on my author life.

I share my writing knowledge, I share my love of children’s books and reading, I bring together lists of books to help others discover Australian authors and literature, I offer those same authors a space to write their own thoughts and promote their own books.

My blog is different, but it’s still here.

As writers turn to platforms like Substack and Medium or look for places to share their words, I return here, time and time again.

Yes, video content has taken over, yes, things are ever-changing, but I am lucky to receive hundreds and hundreds of visitors every day to this website, drawn by the deep well of words in my thousands of posts.

I’ve used different social media platforms to help spread the word about my blog over the years, but, as we all know, they come and go – while my words remain.

Here.

Secrets of blogging

 

Community is everything

As my focus has shifted from freelance writing to writing novels, from hands-on parenting of small children to being the rock lighthouse that older kids need, from a podcast for writers to a podcast that supports those encouraging young readers (and writers), I come back here to my home on the internet.

And to the people who are here with me.

From the beginning, I have been lucky enough to have had the support of an engaged and enthusiastic community of readers, who have cheered on the publication of my nine novels, as well as the two non-fiction books that have been launched on this blog.

I thank each and every one of you, whether you’ve been here right from the start or you started reading today.

I’m not showing up every day in this space like I once did.

But I’m still showing up.

 


 

a l tait profileAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. My latest novel THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE is out now. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast and sign up for the Your Kid’s Next Read newsletter

Are you a writer? Find out more about my online writing courses here.

Subscribe to my newsletter for updates, insights and more amazing writing advice.

Or check out So You Want To Be A Writer (the book), where my co-author Valerie Khoo and I have distilled the best tips from hundreds of author and industry expert interviews. Find out more and buy it here.

There’s a lot, I know, but then, 14 years is a long time. 

Order signed copies of A.L. Tait books

Order signed copies of A.L. Tait books

It’s that time of year when our minds turn to books as gifts!

If you’re looking for Christmas, end-of-year, graduation, festive season or holiday gifts I’m here to help, with signed copies of any or all A.L. Tait novels awaiting your order!

That’s right. Signed copies, personally dedicated if you so wish, of the following (click the title to read more about each book):

 

The First Summer of Callie McGee

The Fire Star (Maven & Reeve Mysteries #1)

The Wolf’s Howl (Maven & Reeve Mysteries #2)

Race To The End Of The World (The Mapmaker Chronicles #1)

Prisoner Of The Black Hawk (The Mapmaker Chronicles #2)

Breath Of The Dragon (The Mapmaker Chronicles #3)

Beyond The Edge Of The Map (The Mapmaker Chronicles #4)

The Book Of Secrets (Ateban Cipher #1)

The Book Of Answers (Ateban Cipher #2)

 

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS AND TO ORDER SECURELY

 

Some fine print

Books are available to order only in Australia (sorry) and only until 14 December, 2023.

Each book costs $25 (including postage within Australia), and I’m happy to sign them personally to the recipient.

I’ve also got options for you to order all four books in The Mapmaker Chronicles series, both Ateban Cipher novels, and both Maven & Reeve Mysteries in different bundles.

Posting from the south coast of NSW, so allow up to five working days for delivery. Last orders 14 December at 5pm.

Thank you!

 

ORDER YOUR SIGNED COPIES NOW

 


 

A. L. Tait The First Summer of Callie McGeeAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. My latest novel THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE is out now. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast and sign up for the Your Kid’s Next Read newsletter

Writing tips and advice you may have missed

Writing tips and advice you may have missed

I’ve been out and about talking about writing, teaching writing, writing about writing… what I haven’t been doing is blogging about writing here, on my actual blog.

So, to make up for it, here’s a list of blog posts, full of writing tips and advice, you may have missed, plus some recent interviews where I chatted about writing The First Summer of Callie McGee, and even a chance to spend a day with me learning the ins and outs of being a children’s author (I’d love to see you there!)

 

16 writing posts you may have missed

The creative magic of the mundane

How to pitch yourself to a podcast: an author’s guide

5 short stories to read right now to make you a better writer

Want to be a children’s author? Here’s why you need to learn to present to kids

How to maintain tension in a romance novel when you know there is a happy ending

5 ways to keep your reader guessing in a crime novel

Are you a teenager who loves writing? Here are seven ways to become a better writer

How to build your author platform before your book is published

How to write your book’s acknowledgements page

Simple steps to blog your way to success as an author

10 Australian authors on Substack

How to create a book series bible

4 writing books you need

Six simple tips for proofreading

The write-changing joy of tidying your office

“It’s never too late” and other great writing tips

 

Recent podcast interviews

Allison Tait talks about writing on Reading With A Chance of TacosReading With A Chance of Tacos

Ken and I cover a lot of territory about the choices you make when you’re writing for a middle-grade audience, why Callie McGee is set in a contemporary world and not my signature ‘almost history’ and a whole lot more.

Spoiler: we did not eat tacos, so there will be no chewing in your ear.

Find it here. 

 

Allison Tait on Healthyish podcastHealthyish

Host Felicity Harley and I take a dive into how to tap into creativity (and it’s probably not the way you think).

If you’d like to harness more creativity – and write more – within your busy daily life, this one is for you.

Listen here. 

 

The joy of escape reads for kidsYour Kid’s Next Read

I always forget to mention my own podcast, but in this episode my co-host Megan Daley asks the questions educators want to know about The First Summer of Callie McGee.

We also have a chat about the importance of ‘escape reads’ for kids.

Listen here. 

 

So you want to be a children’s author?

Children's author writing workshop at SCWCHave you been thinking about writing a children’s book? Or maybe you’ve started and don’t know what to do next?

Join me at the South Coast Writers’ Centre, Coledale, NSW, on Saturday 7 October, 10.30am-3pm, and let’s talk about ALL THE THINGS!

In the first part of this half-day workshop, I’ll share my insider secrets and practical tips on writing for children. All the things I’ve learnt through hard-won experience.

I’ll look at the top 10 questions you need to ask yourself in order to write a great book for kids – as well as answering any burning questions you might have.

In part two, we’ll dive into how to build a successful longterm career as a children’s author. From promoting your work to writing the next book, get the inside track to save you time and heartache.

Come along and say hello!

Find out more and get tickets here.

 

Allison Tait on why children's literature mattersAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait and you can find out more about me here and more about my online writing courses here.

Subscribe to my newsletter for updates, insights and more amazing writing advice.

Or check out So You Want To Be A Writer (the book), where my co-author Valerie Khoo and I have distilled the best tips from hundreds of author and industry expert interviews. Find out more and buy it here.

On the road for CBCA Book Week – and event news!

On the road for CBCA Book Week – and event news!

CBCA Book Week might officially last just one week, but the reality is that author life gets very busy for many weeks around the official dates (19-25 August this year).

So today might be Official Day One, but for me Book Week kicked off last Monday with a series of ‘Writing Fantasy Stories’ workshops in Sydney, and then continued up the coast to Newcastle and Port Macquarie on an ‘author road trip’ with the wonderful Jacqueline Harvey.

We had such a great time, we’re already making plans to do it again next year in a different region!

A L Tait Jacqueline HarveyA L Tait author visitA L Tait author visitA L Tait author visitA L Tait author visitA L Tait author talks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week, I’m closer to home, sharing my new author talk ‘Write What You Know (And Create Something New)’, along with workshops about finding your writing superpower and the 10 keys to writing a great story with kids along the south coast.

It made my heart sing today when one student told me how much she loves my books, and another was beside herself to meet a ‘real, live author’.

Long live Book Week!

Reach out via my Speaking page if you’d like me to visit your school either for Book Week 2024, or any other time of year you’d like me to chat reading and writing with your students.

On the subject of speaking, in case you missed it, I’ve also got a couple of special events later this week.

 

So You Want To Be A Children’s Author?: Free workshop for adult writers 

Event blurb

You’d love to write stories for kids, but you’re not sure where to begin. Or perhaps you’ve made a start, but you’re wondering what to do next?

To celebrate the launch of her brand-new middle-grade novel The first summer of Callie McGee, Allison Tait – internationally published bestselling author, co-host of the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast, and teacher at the Australian Writer’s Centre – is sharing her insider secrets and practical tips on writing for children.

She’ll look at the top 10 questions you need to ask yourself in order to write a great book for kids – as well as answering any burning questions you might have.

24 August, 2pm-3.30pm, Nowra Library, 10 Berry Street, Nowra.

All details and bookings here.

 

A. L. Tait Book Launch: THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE

Event blurb

Join local children’s author Allison Tait at Gerringong Library for a book launch celebration and talk about The First Summer of Callie McGee – a mystery about growing up, figuring things out and solving the puzzle of who you are, from the author of the bestselling middle-grade adventure series The Mapmaker Chronicles.

A fun event for middle-grade kids, families, lovers of children’s books, teachers, local friends and supporters of all ages – everyone welcome.

This is a free eventbookings essential. Books available for signing and purchase on the day.

The winners of the Beach Art Competition will be announced and prizes awarded at the launch.

All details and bookings here.


 

A. L. Tait The First Summer of Callie McGeeAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade fantasy adventure series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries, as well as my new contemporary middle-grade novel ‘The First Summer of Callie McGee’. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, and tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast!

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