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Fairy Tale Ending: Local Children’s Author Achieves Publishing Dream

Story: Alyssa Mackay | Photo: Bruce Redman
Published On : Mar 20, 2024
Fairy Tale Ending: Local Children’s Author Achieves Publishing Dream
Bracken Ridge children’s author Annaleise Byrd is celebrating the release of her debut novel, Losing the Plot, after a six-year journey from dream to publication.

The middle-grade novel, aimed at children between the ages of 8 to 12, was published by Walker Books last month and launched at a special event at Sandgate Town Hall.

Annaleise said Losing the Plot was rejected by publishers twelve times before it was finally accepted.

“That’s par for the course for children’s writers,” she said. “Often when we submit our work, we don’t hear back from the publishers at all, because they get such a huge volume of submissions.

“But I had come close several times with this particular story – a few publishers had requested the full manuscript but it had never gotten quite over the line with them.”

She met her publisher at the CYA Conference, an annual writing event in Brisbane.

“From the enthusiasm she showed for my story, I knew right away that this time it was going somewhere,” she said. “I think that’s what we’re all waiting for – someone who completely gets what we’re trying to do.

“I was very determined to become an author and just kept steadily working towards that dream.”

Losing the Plot tells the story of two modern-day children who find themselves in the world of Grimms’ original fairy tales. 

“We know the original versions of those stories are a lot darker and scarier than the versions that are often told now…so, I wondered, what skills would those modern-day kids need?” Annaleise said. “What would their interactions with the fairytale characters be like? Would the fairytale characters even know they were fairytale characters? That was the initial seed of the idea.”

For aspiring authors, Annaleise recommends reading lots, joining a writer’s group and thinking outside the box to achieve their goals.

“Consider whether there are any aspects of becoming an author that you don’t feel confident about and figure out how to address those things,” she said. “For example, if you need to improve your writing skills or learn how to use social media, take a course.

“Be proactive and think of creative ways to work towards your dreams, whatever they may be.”

Losing the Plot is available to purchase online at Booktopia. For more information visit