Bellingen couple publish a touching tale for children

The Short family – Alex, the illustrator and Sarah, the writer.


THE fertility journey of husband-and-wife creatives in Bellingen has given birth to a beautifully written and illustrated children’s book about…well, the beginning of life in general.

‘There’s A Reason You Are Here’ by Alex and Sarah Shortcake is now available in The Book Warehouse, Coffs Harbour.

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“My wife Sarah and I have been creating together since we were high school sweethearts – mostly musically, playing in bands and writing original songs,” Alex told News Of The Area.

“Our house is full of art we created together, and you’ll often spot us in clothes we designed and screen-printed ourselves.

“The seed for our book was sown when Sarah came to me with a poem she wrote for our three little boys.

“I knew we needed to create something tangible they could cherish and carry with them for a lifetime, so I spent a few months illustrating it with the boys approving every page.

“After a fertility journey and a long struggle with Sarah’s mental health, our children came into our lives at the perfect time.

“We found our purpose in raising three wonderful little boys, and the book is our way of thanking them for all they have given us.”

Alex and Sarah decided to go down the self-publishing route and chose Amazon’s print-on-demand service to print it, which turned out to be far easier than the couple expected.

“The process has been exceptionally rewarding and we’ve had many moments to celebrate, like holding our book for the first time, making our first overseas sale and being accepted into the local Book Warehouse.”

There have been many highlights in the process too.

“From reading it to our sons for the first time or having others share why this book is special to them – whether it was a journey through IVF or just a bedtime story that gets them a little choked up – we are honoured to have a piece of us invited into homes all over the world.”

Alex’s mum grew up on a farm in Bellingen but moved to Canberra where both he and Sarah were born.

“We often came here when we were teenagers and said we’d love to live here one day.

“We’re now on the family farm in Bellingen and our kids are the sixth generation here.”




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