Katrina’s Whistlestop Tour

Australian children’s author Katrina Germein writes picture books that delight primary school children, preschoolers and adults alike.

Best known for her book Big Rain Coming, Katrina came to town in early September 2011 to hold a workshop on writing children’s books.

It was an exciting opportunity for five writers in the Barkly, who like Katrina have a story in their head that just won’t go away.

Set in a remote community in northern Australia, Big Rain Coming, which was published in 2000, paints a picture of daily life. Everyone is waiting for the rain. Even the dusty dogs and green frogs are hot. When will the rain come?

Katrina Germein with five budding children's book writers

Katrina wrote the story down to set it free, and it went on to become her first picture book, winning awards and critical acclaim.

As one reviewer wrote: “It is the sort of story that will be requested night after night at bedtime.”

Since then Katrina has completed several picture books, including Baby Gets Dressed, Little Dog and the hilarious My Dad Thinks He’s Funny.

Katrina, who was in Tennant Creek for only one morning, had plenty of tips for locals to write picture books.

“Often people say they have a fabulous idea for a picture book, but an idea is just an idea. Without a creator it has no potential or purpose. So start. Sit down and write. See what happens,” she advised.

Adelaide-based Katrina told the five participants to have a trusted person who knows about the picture book genre in its contemporary form to read their manuscript before sending it off to prospective publishers.

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