News, reviews + interviews (July 2019)

News, reviews + interviews (July 2019)

I confess the heading for this post may be misleading – this month, it’s mostly about the news!


Writers love writers’ festivals. We love them. They’re busy and tiring and a little bit crazy for someone like me, who spends most of her time alone with her computer and her dog.

But the joy of them for authors is that, for a few days, you’re part of a team of people who are doing exactly what you’re doing.

Which is why I’ve returned from the Whitsunday Voices Youth Literary Festival tired but with a huge smile on my face. With more than 5000 students taking part over two days, the festival, held in Mackay, is a huge event, but it is so incredibly well organised by the festival team that you feel as though nothing could possibly go wrong.

Sure, behind the scenes, there may have been hiccoughs, but we didn’t see them and I think the students who came to the many and various sessions would agree.

I’m sharing a few pics below so that you can get an idea of the flavour of the event.

Opening night panel with Jeann from Happy Indulgence book blog, Samantha Wheeler, Steven Herrick and me

A lovely drawing from a student.

One of six wonderful sessions.

In the green room. Pic: Michael Gerard Bauer



Shoalhaven Readers’ & Writers’ Festival

Next up for me on the writers’ festival front is the Shoalhaven Readers’ & Writers’ Festival this weekend. As director of the children’s program, I’ll have the pleasure of escorting Jacqueline Harvey to her school visits on Friday, while Jack Heath is looked after by another volunteer, and then introducing the festival on Saturday at Nowra Library (storytime from 10am) before conducting my all-but-soldout writing workshop later that day.

It’s all very exciting!

Other news

In the meantime, however, I have the absolute pleasure tomorrow of launching the MS Readathon in the Illawarra. I’m an author ambassador for the MS Readathon this year and I couldn’t be happier to be part of something that promotes reading in the widest sense of the word whilst also raising funds for a very worthy cause.

You can read more about the MS Readathon here, and I’ll report back on the launch later in the week.

Procrastipup and I are ready for the MS Readathon.


So You Want To Be A Writer, my book with my fabulous podcast co-host Valerie Khoo, has been garnering some lovely reviews. Thanks so much to Dianne Bates from BuzzWords for this review:.

“...it should prove to be very popular, in fact (in the words of Pamela Hart, award-winning historical fiction author), ‘it is perfect for the person who wants to write but doesn’t have the confidence or the know-how to start.’”

And to Nicole Melanson from Word Mothers for this one:

Whether you are merely curious about writing or already well established, I’d wager there are some useful tips for you sprinkled throughout So You Want to Be a Writer.”

Meanwhile, on Amazon, I was thrilled by this review, among others:










Thanks to everyone who’s left reviews! If you’ve read and enjoyed any of my books and you have a minute, please consider leaving a review on your platform of choice. It’s one of the very best gifts you can give any writer.

Are you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of two epic middle-grade adventure series, The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher.

 You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

Meet ‘So You Want To Be A Writer’ the BOOK

Meet ‘So You Want To Be A Writer’ the BOOK

It’s been a big year for the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast team!

Not only have we screamed past the ONE MILLION download mark (you’ll find my 15 favourite interviews here), with a LIVE event at VIVID Sydney (book now!) in the works, but we’re happy to announce that we’ve written a book!

So You Want To Be A Writer book by Allison Tait and Valerie Khoo

So You Want To Be A Writer: How To Get Started (While You Still Have A Day Job) by Allison Tait and Valerie Khoo will be on sale from 8 June (be at our event to be the first to own it!)

Here’s the blurb

The ultimate guide to making your writing dreams come true!

Want to write a novel or earn an income as a freelance writer, but not sure how to go about it? Authors Allison Tait and Valerie Khoo – co-hosts of the popular So You Want To Be A Writer podcast – will give you the steps you need to make your dream a reality.

In this book, you’ll discover everything you need to be a successful writer, including how to connect with people who will help your career grow and productivity tips for fitting everything into your already busy life. You’ll also explore how to keep your creative juices flowing and where to find other writers just like you.

This book lays out a blueprint to help you get started and thrive in the world of words. With advice from over 120 writers, you’ll tap into proven wisdom and find the path that will lead YOU to success!

Here’s what five of Australia’s favourite authors have said about the book

‘Practical, grounded and inspiring. When a thousand voices tell you that you can’t, you need a voice to make you believe you can. This book is that voice.’
Candice Fox, #1 New York Times bestselling author

‘So many pro tips in here from working writers. This is like Tim Ferriss’s Tools of Titans but exclusively for writers. I loved it.’
Tristan Bancks, award-winning children’s author

‘Perfect for the person who wants to write but doesn’t have the confidence or the know-how to start.’
Pamela Hart, award-winning historical fiction author

‘Essential reading for any aspiring writer.’
Graeme Simsion, international bestselling author

‘Val and Al were a godsend to me before I was published, offering a guided tour to the world of publishing that was otherwise closed to me. Their advice is highly, highly recommended.’  
Dervla McTiernan, international bestselling author

And here’s a picture of the co-authors on the day (nearly a year ago) we decided to write a book

Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait So You Want To Be A Writer book.

We are thrilled to bring this book to our podcast audience, our writing community and to new and aspiring writers everywhere. It will be available through a range of online booksellers, here and overseas, so stay tuned for more details.

If you’d like to read more about So You Want To Be A Writer the book, or register your details to receive notice as soon as the book is on sale, you’ll find all the details here.

Are 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.

News, reviews + interviews (November 17)

News, reviews + interviews (November 17)

My whirlwind visit to Singapore is over and I thought it was time for one of those ‘what I did at the writers’ festival’ posts, as well as a bit of a catch up. So here, in no particular order, is November in a nutshell.

NEWS: Singapore Writers’ Festival

As I dusted off my passport to head to Singapore, I realised it had been nearly 10 years since I’ve left the country. Too long between flights! Fortunately, Singapore Writers’ Festival was a fantastic re-entry into all things international. My first session was at a local primary school, talking to 100 students about where ideas for stories come from and what to do with them.








On day two, I found myself in the wonderful Timbre Music Academy talking to 30+ keen writers about how to unleash their writing superpowers.








My last session at the festival was a fast and fun panel with Hanoch Piven (Israel) and Claudia Rueda (Columbia) about encouraging creativity in kids. The three main takeaways, as summed up by our fabulous moderator Andrea Lam: let kids be bored, expose them to new ideas and people (just not every day) and let them play.

In other news, the winners of the #altaitshelfie comp have been contacted! Congrats to Louise Brooks (Twitter), Jo_Digs (Instagram) and Literacy Westall (Twitter), who will each receive a signed bookshop poster for The Book Of Secrets.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered! If you entered and you haven’t yet sent me your address to receive a signed bookmark, please get in touch!


The Book Of Secrets (Ateban Cipher #1) has been quietly collecting fabulous reviews and I could not be happier. Here are just a few.

This fantastic adventure story has all the hallmarks of a classic tale, full of twist and turns and fabulous characters like the band of feisty girls led by Gwyn who help Gabe reach his destination. I can’t wait for book 2!
– Kids’ Reading Guide 2017-2018

Tait builds a believable and evocative middle ages world, rich in historical detail – think dungeons, danger, archery and royal double-crossings … High on energy, The Book of Secrets is a compelling read with twists and turns to keep you guessing, and sets up a whole new exciting adventure for the next installment.” Liz Ledden, Buzzwords Magazine

And then there’s this one, from The Sunday Telegraph’s Funday pages.


You can read more reviews here.

As an author, I’m incredibly thrilled when a reader takes the time to review my books. The number of reviews and ratings on Goodreads is also growing, and I’d love to see your review there if you’re a member!


I was asked by the Children’s Book Council (US) to answer three questions I WISH someone would ask me. I wonder if you can guess what my questions might be? Here are my answers.

I was also interviewed this month by Spine Out magazine, which comes from the stable that produces Good Reading magazine. Spine Out is an online magazine for YA readers and writers, created by YA readers and writers. You can read the magazine through your school or local library.
A.L.Tait interviewed by Spine Out magazine, a magazine by YA readers for YA readers
If you have a young writer (12-18) at your place, they can contribute articles, reviews, poems, stories and more to Spine Outsee here for how to submit.

And that’s November so far!

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