Postcards from Sharjah

The problem with three people going on holidays with cameras and smart phones is that there are too many photos to sort through! And I can’t throw out a bad photo if it’s attached to a memory… #ihaveLOTSofphotos

But finally, here is a very SMALL portion of the photos taken while we were in the United Arab Emirates, as a part of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. (See previous post for pictures from the festival.) Continue reading

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Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival

During April I was involved with the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival – which would have to be up there as one of the biggest children’s festivals on earth. SCRF2018 was a fantastical, fun and sometimes frenzied (in the best possible way) celebration of creativity in all forms, and it was an incredible experience to be involved with! No matter how I explain it, (or how many pics I collage) you won’t be able to imagine the enormity of it, or the complete and utter w-O-w factor … but here are a few pics that might convey something of the festive feeling … or at least, my little poetry-part of it. Continue reading

Progressive Poem – Day 28

The Progressive Poem is here!

Before I share my thoughts … and my line … I have to apologise for my silence. I caught the first two weeks, but then dropped out of the loop for ten days as I was presenting poetry workshops and book readings at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, in the United Arab Emirates. I am still resetting my body clock, but I hope to get back and read/comment on the missed posts.

This is the second year I’ve been involved in the Progressive Poem, organised by the lovely Irene Latham. This year we were asked to record our thoughts in response to Line One, Day One, contributed by Elizabeth Steinglass. Continue reading

Recipe for a Winning Poem

Getting into the spirit with Borobi, at the Queen’s Baton Relay.

With the Commonwealth Games fast approaching, I’m sharing a favourite recipe – for a Sport Star poem. You can’t fail to cook up some winning words!

This recipe requires a mix of metaphors – so we probably should talk about how to choose a metaphor. Continue reading

The Dragon

One of the reasons bullies have so much power is because their victims are often too scared to tell. It’s a struggle that Leroy faces in ‘Bully on the Bus’ – and it’s a huge and important step, for him to speak about it.

Excerpt take from ‘Bully on the Bus’, by Kathryn Apel (UQP)

Continue reading

Singapore Surprise

The blog has been quiet, as I’ve had lots of time travelling, firstly to Brisbane, for school and bookshop visits, followed by an unexpected (short notice) trip to Singapore to catch up with our son (briefly!) and experience the richly diverse country that he is calling ‘home’. Continue reading

Picture Books and Poetry

This week I’ve been super-productive with my picture books. I put the final polish on a picture book manuscript inspired by this little bird on our trip to Antarctica, then shared it with the lovely, talented and passionate children’s librarian, Kim Yeomans, who delighted me when she described it as, ‘a ‘quiet’ story with depth and light and shade. It ebbs and flows with tension and emotion.’

For a complete contrast, I then worked on a rhyming picture book I’ve had in my head for some time – well, I’ve had a four-lined repeating stanza, but that was all. I was thrilled when the rest of it romped out midweek, pure silliness and fun, and exactly the riot I was hoping it would be.

Alas, this then happened … Continue reading