And we have a winner! Meet Elizabeth Pulsford, the author of But Why?
2176 entries. Hundreds of hours of shortlisting. Incredible author promotions. Over 5000 votes.
And ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.
Meet Elizabeth Pulsford, the author of But Why?
Here at Ethicool HQ, it's been an exhilarating few weeks to say the least! We launched our very first author competition, the Bee Ethicool Author Competition, to a cast of literally hundreds of thousands (we're not kidding, the page was viewed more than 100,000 times!). We received 2176 entries. We spent aagggeess shortlisting (and put together this very helpful article on what we discovered).
And then, we announced our shortlist: these four incredible entries.
We want to take this opportunity to thank all four of our amazing shortlisted authors. Each and every single one of them did an amazing job promoting their manuscript, and each and every single one of them deserves to be published (and hopefully will be published by us in the near future).
But you, our dear audience and community, have selected a winner.
And that winner was...
Elizabeth Pulsford's But Why?
Here she is, our next best-selling author! And here is a little interview we conducted with her:
1. For our Ethicool audience who don’t know you, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a first time mum to 9-month-old Harriet, and currently enjoying the twilight weeks of my maternity leave. I work as a high school English and Drama teacher in Brisbane and am most at home outdoors. My partner and I love hiking, camping, rock climbing and hot yoga, and sharing in all the wonders of the natural world with our daughter.
Storytelling is another deep love which I first fostered as an eight-year-old, on a caravanning trip around Australia with my family. I have fond memories of writing stories from the backseat of the car or composing them out loud on bushwalks.
Becoming a published children’s author is a lifelong dream and one that I am over the moon to have had come to fruition.
2. And now, to the winning story! Can you tell us a bit more about But Why?
‘But Why?’ follows Hazel Hare as she travels throughout the forest and implores her friends to help in her search for answers to some of life’s most challenging questions. Where does Giraffe find her confidence? And Owl his courage? Why does Monkey laugh with such abandon? Does Moon ever feel lonely? What Hazel discovers is surprising.
3. Why do you think your story in particular appealed to readers?
All adults can identify with small children asking a LOT of questions, but I like to think my story offers much more than that. I think its true message resonates with a wide audience.
All of us, children and adults alike, are in search of life’s universal truths and asking ‘Mummy, may I have a pet cloud?’ or ‘Daddy, why don’t I have a tail?’ is not really so different from ‘Who am I?’, ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘What is the meaning of life?’
‘But Why?’ also reminds readers that the answers to our questions are not always immediate or easy to come by. It expresses (in a child friendly way) that we learn and grow most through lived experience and by trusting in ourselves.
That the story is written in verse might also be a point of difference. I had quite a few kind people comment on how much they enjoyed the craftsmanship of ‘But Why?’ and I take pride in its use of rhyme, rhythm and imagery.
4. Go on - tell us how you felt when the Ethicool team told you you’d won?!?
I ugly cried. I laughed. I squealed. I swung from the ceiling fan! Then I went and kissed my daughter who was asleep in her cot. This really is the beginning of realising a lifelong dream.
5. What are your most excited about in terms of working with Francisco Fonseca?
Francisco’s illustrations are divine. It will be a privilege to work with him and I can’t wait for us to breathe life into the world of Hazel and her friends.
As a debut author, I am most excited by the opportunity to learn from an individual with experience in the industry. I must beg Francisco for his patience as I anticipate I will be just like Hazel Hare and asking all the questions!
6. As you probably know, we’re all about the next generation making positive change here at Ethicool! What one key thing do you hope your book helps little ones achieve?
I want children to feel empowered to ask questions and believe in their remarkable ability to discover the answers for themselves.
We will always need answers – whether to climate change, or to a global pandemic, or to issues of social injustice and inequality, or to whatever the future might present us with – and we will rely on the next generation to help us discover them.
6. You’ve clearly got a lot of fans! Where can they follow you to see updates of your book as it unfolds?
I’ve only recently made an Instagram account for professional purposes. You can follow me at the handle @elizabethpulsfordauthor where I’ll be delighted to keep you up to date. Please say hello!
Elizabeth's debut children's book, But Why, will be released on Ethicool's website and in all good book stores from early 2022.