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A–Z of Convicts

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The most satisfying part of working on this extraordinary book was that I was able to bring both my editing and layout skills to the job.

Simon Barnard’s original manuscript was packed full of meticulous research that was matched with incredibly detailed and accurate illustrations. The challenge was to retain as much of his material as possible, but make it easier for the reader to make sense of it all. I worked directly in Simon’s InDesign files, trimming and moving text and images to ensure the pages had a good balance of visual and written information.

It broke my heart every time I had to remove a painstakingly researched fact or a beautifully drawn illustration.

I was absolutely delighted when A-Z of Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land won the Children’s Book Council of Australia Eve Pownall Award for Information Books in 2015. (But then Nick Cave also wrote a cover quote for the book. I’m not entirely sure which of those two accolades was more exciting.)

Lorna transformed an unpublishable and impenetrable mess of a manuscript into award-winning actuality.
Simon Barnard
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