Matilda Elliot is a freelance Editor/Author who is now based in Cairns after taking several ‘gap years’ to choose where to settle. She is a mother of adult children, an ex-teacher, a fiancée, a musician, a writer and has a particular passion for helping others reach their potential in their chosen pursuits.
Matilda’s editing experience ranges from academic papers to novels, short stories, poetry anthologies and varies greatly with each new client. Her numerous short stories are published on ABC Open and ‘Tilly’s Travel’ reviews can be found on Trip Advisor.
1.How did you come to work on Magic Fish Dreaming?
MATILIDA: After a number of years of staying in touch with Dr Perkins whilst travelling and house-sitting around Australia, I managed to connect with her in relation to a particular project concept of a Poetry Anthology for young children.
We exchanged some initial ideas and then June engaged me as her Editor, which I was absolutely thrilled about as we seem to share a number of passions.
2.What is your connection to Far North Queensland (FNQ)where much of the poetry is set?
MATILDA: I have always loved FNQ from the moment I landed here in transit for work purposes way back in 2006. Then when I decided to travel and house/pet-sit my way around Australia, I deliberately chose locations in FNQ as my starting point.
Having lived and worked around Mission Beach, Mena Creek, Innisfail, Townsville and Mareeba on the Tablelands, I could readily relate to the text of ‘Magic Fish Dreaming’. June’s words captured my heart the same way the landscape and people of FNQ have.
3.What appeals to you about this project?
June has captured the heart and spirit of FNQ within the poetry which makes you want to run into a cane field, chase a butterfly or gaze at fig tree.
I think the book will have enormous appeal for children and adults alike – particularly as a shared reading experience. It lends itself to an interactive dynamic of discussion, questions, and pondering.
4. What kinds of things did you do or are you doing in editing the poetry text for June?
MATILDA: June and I have been working closely on this project for some months now, where initially it was a case of discussing what material to include and leave out (for another format/book). June thought my recommendations and suggestions were helpful and well founded, and together we massaged it into the gorgeous product it is today.
There were many backwards and forwards ‘chats’ via email, phone and text and whether a word might need to be changed here and there or whether the language level was appropriate for the audience.
More than once we both voted for following our ‘gut instincts’ which I was happy about because as soon as Helene joined the project and brought the words to delightful visual life, it all just came together perfectly.
5.What is your background with working with understanding the reading matter for family and children?
MATILDA: I have a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood and specialised in Early Childhood literature during my final year. Throughout the years of teaching and having my own children I have gained a solid understanding of what appeals to children and what is valuable as a learning resource either for home or school.
June’s work particularly appeals to me as it has so much potential for exploring topics, further learning or just simply enjoying the purity of nature.
From my experience, I am certain children (and adults) will enjoy the combined brilliance of June’s words and Helene’s illustrations.
You can find Matilda’s Stories at ABC Open.