Word power helps illustrator bring stories to life

Published:

Children's author and illustrator Shannon Horsfall

Children’s author and illustrator Shannon Horsfall says completing a Creative Writing degree at USC has taken her story-telling skills and love of literature to new levels.

The 52-year-old from Bribie Island enrolled at USC soon after her first picture book, Was Not Me! was published by Harper Collins in 2016 and shortlisted for Speech Pathology Australia's Book of the Year.

“Even though I had just had a book published, I had a deep desire to improve my writing and I couldn’t think of anything more stimulating than learning more about the art,” said Shannon, who has a background in graphic design and children’s fashion.

“Even better, as part of the degree I was told to read books – many and varied – in order to graduate and I learned to look at narratives in a way I had never thought to do,” she said.

Shannon was recently awarded a University Medal for Academic Excellence for achieving a near-perfect grade point average of 6.94 out of 7 during her degree.

“For creatives like me, it is in our DNA to always doubt our own abilities,” she said. “So realising that I was actually not too shabby at this creative writing gig was incredibly gratifying.

“The better the marks I received, the more I strove to improve on them,” she said. “Also, it is pretty easy to do well if you love what you are studying and are passionate about all things literature.”

Shannon’s second picture book, Nomax, was published during her first year of study in 2017 and was a Notable Book winner in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards. Another of her picture books, Dear Santa, was published by Scholastic in 2018.

As part of USC’s Creative Writing degree – which introduces students to a wide variety of writing styles and genres – Shannon expanded into writing adult fiction, with her debut short story Doomed published in the University’s anthology Unravel in 2018.

Shannon said the degree had completely changed her approach to writing.

“I believe it will make my writing layered in a way it could never have been had I not studied English Literature,” she said.

“A highlight of the degree was completing a second major in English Literature under the marvellous tutelage of lecturers Dr Clare Archer-Lean and Dr Ginna Brock. It was challenging, illuminating and wondrous.”

More creative writing and study are now at the top of Shannon’s to-do-list.

She is currently working on a number of picture book manuscripts and narratives for middle-school-aged children, while completing an Honours degree in Creative Writing at USC.

“My intention is to go on to do my PhD and eventually join academia. Oh, and write a best-seller,” she said.

QTAC applications are open to study at USC in Semester 2 this year. For more information about studying at USC, go to www.usc.edu.au/study

 
Creative Arts Entertainment Lifestyle Literature & Libraries University & TAFE
Social:   

University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
USC joins $9m global sustainability research program 09 July 2020 | USC researchers on the Sunshine Coast and in Sweden are taking part in an A$9.2million international program to transform communication of environmental and sustainability issues, such as climate change. More information...
Book to shed new light on boys’ behaviour 08 July 2020 | Forget ‘snakes and snails and puppy dog tails’ – it’s time to delve deeper into what boys are really made of to better understand and respond to their behaviour, according to a USC expert in children’s... More information...
Grad lands respiratory science career ahead of COVID 07 July 2020 | Completing clinical placements and paid work at hospitals from Nambour to Robina has sparked an exciting career for USC graduate Zoe Presley, who is now a senior respiratory scientist at the Gold Coast University... More information...
New research centre to harness strengths across cultures 06 July 2020 | Australians may be facing restrictions on travel, but the opportunity to learn from all cultures is already on our doorstep, say the leaders of a new research group at USC Australia. More information...
Top psychology graduates ready for job ahead 01 July 2020 | Brad Lines and Madison Sundgren pursued a shared interest in helping others while completing Psychology degrees and are keen to continue making a difference to the community in their new profession. More information...
Book sheds new light on natural disasters 01 July 2020 | Disasters will keep happening in Australia – but we must learn the lessons of the past if we want to diminish future risks and impacts, says a new USC History academic about to launch a book filled with floods... More information...
Design students’ work wows tourists in South Africa 30 June 2020 | When intrepid tourists visit the remote Mata Mata Camp on South Africa’s border with Namibia, they’re usually looking for food, water and basic shelter after a three-hour journey on a sandy road. More information...
Quick-thinking students find cancer support solution 25 June 2020 | Two USC Occupational Therapy students have refused to let the coronavirus pandemic derail their final university placement by quickly creating an online alternative to assist people with cancer stay connected and... More information...
Book sheds new light on natural disasters 24 June 2020 | Disasters will keep happening in Australia – but we must learn the lessons of the past if we want to diminish future risks and impacts, says a new USC History academic about to launch a book filled with floods... More information...
Researchers study drivers’ responses to suspension of random breath testing 23 June 2020 | Road safety researchers at USC Australia are keen to find out how driver behaviours changed during a temporary suspension of static roadside random breath testing (RBT) by the Queensland Police Service during the... More information...


comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service