Spotlight on … emerging writer & illustrator Lucienne Noontil

Today I’m speaking to Lucienne Noontil. Lucienne is one of the writers to be featured this evening (Monday 24th of May) in the ’15 minutes of fame’ section of the Emerging Writers’ Festival in Melbourne. Lucienne will appear at 7pm at the Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street.

Lucienne, how did you first come to be published?

I don’t think it was because I was a standout writer, but more the fact that I could follow instructions. I was in a Writing for Children class and my teacher, who was also a small publisher, asked me to source a true story of a boy’s bravery and then write it to their format. I had very little control.

Lucienne Noontil

Lucienne Noontil with her book, Possum Tale


Possum Tale was a different scenario. I had been rejected numerous times and still felt the story was worthy and in 2008 I won an award which would assist me to publish the manuscript. I had control. Yippee.

Tell me about the process of completing Possum Tale.

Being a picture book, I did long stints painting possums, weighing up the best options for the visual spreads to compliment the words. I toyed with the wording as it is imperative to be precise when children are formulating their language. 

I had a great team of ‘experts’ guiding me including a project advisor, cover designer, children’s librarian … and of course my own young kids!

My focus was to produce the best product I could so I had to keep an open mind and firm in my resolve.

What are you planning to do for your ’15 minutes of fame’ at the Emerging Writers’ Festival?

I will be using the platform as a way to build confidence in myself as an author. If you think you have a worthwhile project, do your best to get it ‘out there’. I wasn’t sure if I could paint possums, but on having a go and practicing, I found it wasn’t beyond my capabilities at all.

If you could travel back in time to the moment before you sent off your first manuscript, what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t hang off that one manuscript. Whatever the result, just keep on writing.

Click here to visit Lucienne’s website.