Emma Mactaggart is a writer, publisher and speaker, based in Toowoomba in South East Queensland. The ‘Child Writes’ program is her brainchild. As primary school aged children participate in workshops, they learn the entire process of creating a children’s picture book, from the generation of an idea, through the writing stages, continuing then to using tools to plan and complete their own illustrations. Their books are then published through Emma’s publishing business, Boogie Books. Since 2005 over 350 titles have been published by Boogie Books. These Child Writes books are available on Amazon, making Boogie Books the largest publisher in the world of children’s books by children, and for the last five years, can be found as eBooks as part of the in-flight entertainment offered on iPads by Jetstar!
Emma has been speaking in classrooms for over a decade, in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. She has written and illustrated and published two children’s picture books, I Can Do Anything, and Lily, Fabourama, Glamourama. Her short story, Sam, I Am was included in an anthology Time Will Tell which was published by the Toowoomba Education Centre. She was also a regular contributor to two magazines Toowoomba’s Child and Friday Online. Emma has published a cookbook A Little Black Cook Book and the anthology A Child’s View and Child Writes Summer Anthology 2016 as well as In the Raw and The Final Draft with writers’ web, 2016 will also see the release of a parody of The Green Sheep The True Ewe with illustrator Mary-Kate Khoo.
Believing everyone has the right to see their words in print has become a slight obsession, and the ‘how to’ guide for inspiring writers Child Writes – Creating a Children’s Picture Book is Child’s Play which was released in 2012. Written in the style of a text book, it is the perfect tool for any passionate literacy advocate, potential Child Writes tutor or aspiring writers and illustrators, including those who are interested in self publishing. This title won a GOLD Ippy for Best Non-Fiction Adult eBook in 2013 and a ‘IndiePENdent’ Seal of Support in 2014.
Mentoring Jo Capp to publication was the first collaborative project Emma had taken on and Four Hot Chips is due for official release on March 17th this year. It is a novella about childhood cancer, and love, how they survived, and how they nearly didn’t.
Imagine written by Emma and illustrated by Ester De Boer has won GOLD in the 2014 Ippy Awards, for Best Children’s Illustrated eBook and a GOLD Moonbeam, for Best Illustrated Children’s eBook. This award winning team comes together again this year for a reimagined version of Lily Fabourama Glamourama, also due for release in 2016.
International Read to ME Day was launched for the first time in 2016 and was supported by Boogie Books and the Child Writes Foundation.
Ellie-Mae’s Sparkle’ written by Emma Mactaggart and illustrated by Sir Michael Hill is a generous little book, focusing on helping the children around us to ‘find their sparkle’. When the world changes at a rate that is sometimes challenging to keep up with, a return to the old fashioned things, like supporting our neighbours, cooking for others, reading and listening to music can give us solace, and a great deal of support. https://mumbrella.com.au/michael-hill-and-che-proximity-encourage-families-to-rediscover-their-sparkle-this-christmas-650209
Emma continues her work mentoring children to publication and beyond. Her latest success is Luke Harper as his wonderful book ‘Pigeons & Popcorn’ has been gifted to the Sydney Children’s Hospital Fund so they can raise lots of money for Westmead Children’s Hospital. https://www.bandagedbear.org.au/blog/pigeons-and-popcorn-set-to-help-sick-kids Working with children having them write and illustrate a children’s picture book is Emma’s favourite project! This year saw the release of ‘Luke Calypso Goes to Space’ for the Queensland Children’s Hospital School; and ‘Glib Glob’s Audacious Gift’ for the community at Oakey, and due for release in March 2021 ‘Akilah’s Necklace’ for Zonta Garden City and Darling Heights State School.
Emma Mactaggart’s visit was a lot of fun, with students listening and learning about how to make a book. Then drawing their classroom teacher getting dressed up as the character in the book.
Great experience had by all.
Harlaxton State School - August, 2023Harlaxton State School - August, 2023Emma Mactaggart
Emma Mactaggart's writing sessions were very well received by our students and staff. I consider her visit very successful and I am happy to recommend Emma based on her knowledge, passion and ability to relate to students and adults alike.
Emma Mactaggart - St. SaviourEmma Mactaggart - St. SaviourEmma Mactaggart
Emma exceeded expectations. She was brilliant and received great feedback from our participants.
Thank you for your service. It is great to work with such an organised team.
Emma Mactaggart - ALEA, Toowoomba Grammar School, March, 2014.Emma Mactaggart - ALEA, Toowoomba Grammar School, March, 2014.Emma Mactaggart