Cathie is one of the most insightful editors I have worked with, with an extraordinary ability to see the heart or potential of a manuscript.

Jackie French — author, historian, ecologist, honorary wombat, Senior Australian of the Year 2015, Australian Children’s Laureate 2014-15

Author Nat Amoore celebrates signing with Penguin! — former fiction mentoree and Writing Picture Books student

Industry praise

Bill Condon

Author, playwright and winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award 2010

“A great editor is more than just someone who corrects and polishes your work. The really good ones take a personal interest in their writers, and believe in them. I had the good fortune to work with Cathie Tasker when I took my first unsteady steps into the writing world many years ago. Without her guidance, encouragement, and excellent editing skills, I may not have made it. I’ll be forever grateful to Cathie.”

Wendy Orr


“Cathie was instrumental in my start in publishing. She not only commissioned my very first book, but gave me invaluable advice on how to approach the editing process. Later, she published many of my books. Her ability to see to the heart of a new idea as it developed, and her vision about new books, led to several of those books being award winners, including the Children’s Book of the Year Award for Ark in the Park.”

Bronwyn Bancroft

Author / illustrator

“I started my illustration career with Cathie Tasker while she was at the helm of the children’s section of HarperCollins in 1992. Cathie was a superb person to make my entry into this children’s literature world with. Cathie was gracious, kind, instructive and assisted and praised me where needed. I appreciate to this day her professionalism, dedication and belief which was applied to each project. Cathie is a gem in the landscape of publishing in Australia.”

Susanne Gervay


“Cathie brings her experience as a highly successful children’s book publisher and editor of a major publishing house to manuscripts. She is an outstanding assessor with the ability to provide constructive insight into creative work.”

“Having worked with Cathie as a judge for both the CBCA Book of the Year Awards and the Aurealis Awards (for which she has convened panels), I can attest to her diligence in meeting deadlines and exceeding expectations in terms of her commitment to the role. She always ensures she fully understands the requirements of the task and her knowledge and experience is always an asset. Cathie has been a valued member of our judging teams.”

Tehani Wessely, judge & convenor

Pamela Freeman

Author and creative writing teacher

“I’ve worked with Cathie on a number of children’s books of wildly different types. In addition, she’s been a manuscript assessor for me for adult novels. I rely on her editorial nous, her professionalism and her honesty. I can’t recommend her highly enough!”

Bev Jacobson

Judge, CBCA

“This year (2015-2016) I had the privilege of judging the CBCA Children’s Book of the Year Award alongside Cathie. Her knowledge of children’s literature is formidable and the information that she proffered was insightful and pertinent.”

Dianne (Di) Bates

Author and About Kids Books publisher

“Cathie Tasker is the ultimate professional. She has given many valuable years to the children’s book industry as an editor, publisher, CBCA book judge, manuscript assessor and teacher. Cathie has published numerous books of mine. She is always easy to deal with and has helped to make my books the best they could be. Now that I am a publisher myself, I look forward to working with her in the future.”

Meredith Costain

Author and creative writing teacher

“Cathie is an insightful and thoughtful editor who is able to bring out the best in a manuscript. She has an exceptional understanding and knowledge of all facets of the publishing industry.”

Cathie Tasker is an absolute icon and treasure to the Australian publishing industry. I first met Cathie over a decade ago, when she gave me my first picture book contract. Since then, Cathie has been a huge support and a wealth of wisdom throughout my writing career. Cathie understands the industry like very few, she has the ability to see the heart of a story and has the editing skills of a surgeon. Everyone who gets to work with Cathie, would agree, are truly blessed.

Coral Vass, author

Feedback from students

Kate Whitton

Student, Write Your Novel

“I completed both the Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques and the Write Your Novel course through the AWC with Cathie Tasker as my tutor and I couldn’t have asked for a better tutor. Cathie was invested in every person’s work, was constantly encouraging and went far above and beyond anything I expected from my tutor. Although receiving constructive criticism is not always easy, Cathie structured her feedback in a way that it was easy to understand and I always felt she genuinely wanted to see us all become the best possible writers we could. She was fast to respond to queries, interacted with us constantly on both course material and general (writing) discussion and was always sharing her extensive industry knowledge. I would highly recommend Cathie as a tutor and a mentor.”

Michelle Stephens

Student, Write Your Novel and mentoree

“I was lucky enough to work with Cathie Tasker for six months last year while developing my first novel. Cathie provided me with some much needed expertise as she offered her professional feedback, critique and analysis of my narrative structure and plotting. Her insightful and constructive editorial comments, along with her unwavering support, have pushed my work in exciting new directions, and resulted in my novel being accepted into the ACT Writers Centre HardCopy professional development program this year. I can’t wait to work with her again on my next novel. Thanks Cathie!”

Caroline McNeilage

Student, Write Your Novel

“Last year I completed a WYN with Cathie Tasker. I completed a manuscript and redrafted about nine times. Then, I asked around for feedback for the synopsis, blurb etc.
I was shocked when an editor from Curtis Brown in London and then later the author, Nicholas Blincoe, had a look at it and said they really had nothing to add. I even thought maybe they just weren’t interested.
So, I asked Angela Slatter. Her response? ‘What do you expect? You were trained by Cathie Tasker!’
The first literary agency I sent my pitch to has requested the full manuscript.
I’m sure you all already knew this, but we were super lucky to have Cathie Tasker teach us. Not only lucky, but in this competitive and capricious industry, we’re all already one step ahead thanks to Cathie!”

Marianne Makdisi

Student, Write Your Novel

“Cathie went above and beyond with my novel. Under her expert guidance, I completed 85,000 words and edited large portions of my book to her high standards. Cathie pushed me to go further, to take the plot to a more suspenseful place, and put my characters in even deeper trouble. The results of her tuition and editing were remarkable. My book would never have got to the stage it’s at now without her advice. Now at fourth draft, it’s been picked up by an agent in London, bringing my dream of publishing a novel a step closer.”

“Cathie is a generous, thoughtful and insightful mentor who has helped me shape skeletons into breathing works of fiction. Her ability to see what isn’t needed is as valuable as her education about what is needed, and I now have a toolkit to use for every new piece of writing. I have thoroughly enjoyed my working relationship with both Cathie and Alan and have no hesitation in recommending their services – and biscuits!”

Fiona Lloyd, author

Mary McIntyre

Student, Write Your Novel

“Cathie’s practical advice and feedback is delivered with a sense of humour and passion for the craft of writing. Six months after finishing the Write Your Novel course at AWC, her guidance continues to help shape my writing on a daily basis. I hear her admonishing me for cliches, redundant words and structural flaws before I commit them to the page. Cathie is the writer’s horse whisperer.”

Deborah Brown

Book designer

“Cathie is a passionate wordsmith, and offers invaluable knowledge and insights into writing structure, design and marketing of children’s books, and genre novels. I worked with Cathie for over 15 years in a professional capacity, and her love for books is obvious in her briefs — they are clear from the start of the project, through design to the final press ready files.”

Jacqui Ciranni

Student, Creative Writing Stage 1 and Advanced Fiction Writing Techniques

“Your feedback has helped me improve astronomically throughout this course (and Creative Writing Stage 1). I hope that I will return soon for another one. Thank you.”

Patricia Hogarth


“I’ve just finished a mentorship with Cathie and already have some interest from an agent.”