Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah Cowan

Feature Author - April 2008

Sarah Cowan

Click here for podcast

You can hear Sarah talk at Watsonia Library on Tuesday 8 April, Ibbotson Street Watsonia, 7.00pm - 8.00pm

Sarah Cowan is a freelance writer, copy editor, multi award winning songwriter, workshop facilitator, musician, mother and gardener. She completed her diploma in Professional Writing and Editing at Greensborough NMIT in 2006. Sarah has also produced two albums and two EPs with her ongoing musical concern, sacred cow.

Having worked in schools throughout NSW and Victoria for over thirteen years, Sarah has seen the difficulties often faced by students embarking on the transition from Primary to Secondary school. Frustrated by the lack of child-friendly, helpful information available when her daughter experienced some difficulties with the change, Sarah resolved to fill the gap.

After countless hours of interviews with students, parents and teachers from across Victoria, Sarah has put together this essential handbook in a language students will understand.

Year Seven No Sweat! is brimming with honest information tips and suggestions for students approaching the year 6 to 7 transition. This book is invaluable and will be as welcome in the student backpack as a lunchbox! Discussion points are incorporated to stimulate conversation, facilitate the airing of common fears and explode myths. Also included are nutritional tips and avenues to problem solving.

You can find out more about Sarah at her myspace page: or where she writes as Sarah J Cowan
Sarah's answers to the Yarra Plenty 5 Quick questions
1. Can you tell us why you became an author?
I always loved to write. When I was a little girl I used to borrow my mum’s old Olivetti typewriter and write little stories. I have always kept a journal — I wish I had kept all of them, but I would need a whole house to keep them in!
I have also written songs since I was a teenager, so going back to school at 45 and learning the arts of writing and disciplines of editing were no surprise choice. When I was at school I decided that everything I wrote would be publishable; of course, it wasn’t! But eventually I got there.
Year 7? No Sweat! started life as an assignment and as I went out and interviewed kids and parents and teachers, I started to see that there was a real need for something like this. Something for the kids. I submitted it to Flat Chat Press and it was accepted!
So I am somewhat of an accidental author.
2. What is your all time favourite book? How would you describe it to other readers?
So many books … my favourites change all the time, but I particularly love Geraldine Brooks’ ‘A Year of Wonders’. It is about an English village during the plague years. The village isolate themselves from the rest of the nation, so they will not spread it any further. The stories unfold as desperate people try all kinds of cures and blame is attributed.
It is a very sad but beautiful tale of great courage in the face of certain death.
Geraldine Brooks started writing as a journalist and nonfiction writer; her novels are always meticulously researched and very realistic.
3.Where or from whom have you been inspired or given ideas?
My parents were both huge readers and collectors of books. There were so many reference books in our house that I could look up anything, from tropical foot diseases to how to say ‘horse manure’ in French! I used to look at them when I was bored. We didn’t have a television because my parents believed that they rotted young minds!
In my life I have done some amazing things and met some of the most unusual people. When I write fiction, which is not very often, my ideas come from my own life and from observing other people as they go about their lives.
4. What is something fun from your childhood that you can remember about
I remember when I was two or three being totally in love with cows; I desperately wanted to go for a ride on a cow! I used to cry and carry on and blubber,
‘Daddy catchem cow, Sarah wants to ridem cow!’ My three brothers thought I was a pain.
My parents used to pack us off to summer camp for three weeks every year. We slept in cabins and went caving, rock climbing, canoeing, abseiling and camping. There was a big room full of art supplies and batik making things and tie dye equipment; I loved to do it, though I never produced anything particularly wonderful. On the last night there was a concert and we would make up acts, little songs and dances and plays.
5. What advice would you give to new writers?
I think the very best way to start to learn to write is to read as much as you can. Then write, just keep at it. Writing can be a very solitary thing, it’s not like you go to someone’s house and have a writing party, we write alone. But it is extremely important to have other people read what you write. I don’t mean your mum who will say,
‘That is really fabulous!’
I mean other writers. People who are more likely to say,
‘Yes, I can see what you are trying to say, but it’s not quite there yet.’ People who will help you to give the reader a good read, not a confusing read.
And keep writing. It’s good for everyone to write … not just writers!


blogger templates | Make Money Online