Sofie Laguna can remember the moment when she realised she was going to study writing. ‘It was a light turning on – I knew it was going to help me – and this is where I am now as a result of listening to that voice.’
In 1995, Sofie found herself among a hard-working and highly productive group of students, which was both empowering and fun. Within the comfortable, welcoming space there was also discipline and deadlines leading to a serious diploma. She enjoyed the range of student ages, personalities, writing styles, passions and talents. This led to her joining a writing group and enjoying a broader network of trusted peers.
Sofie’s first picture book My Yellow Blankie was published in 2002. But even before that, she wrote a radio play as a response to an exercise that teacher Peta Murray set in class. The play was produced by Radio National. ‘This was seriously affirming and told me I was on the right track,’ says Sofie.
Since then, her ‘track’ has been full of writing and publishing stories for children and adults, many with shortlists and awards to their name, perhaps most famously: The Eye of the Sheep, which won the 2015 Miles Franklin Award.
But Sofie’s keen to ensure children’s authors receive better recognition, feeling a divide between the credibility given to authors writing for adults compared to those writing for children. She’s written more than twenty picture books, chapter books and series for children, and just three novels for adults, yet people often ask her about her adult novels.
For Sofie, PWE was ‘hugely influential in every positive way. It provided structure, community, a place to go, a sense of belonging, self-esteem, and a place to express myself artistically. All the things that go with feeling like one belongs.’
Find out more about Sofie at sofielaguna.com.
This profile was written and researched by Ann Bolch from A Story To Tell.