American School Visits

November passed by in a blur for me, with three weeks in the USofA cram-packed with school visits and catch-ups with friends. I have a ToDo list the size of Mt Everest that I am still chipping away at, but I am determined to post for Poetry Friday – so here I am with pictures! And some words…but there are not enough words to express how wonderful those three weeks were! Continue reading

Bystanders and Bullying – Longford Primary Presentation

The Northern region of the Tasmanian Reader’s Cup used ‘Bully on the Bus’ as one of their set texts this year. A creative response component required readers to prepare a creative response to one of the books. The D’Reados, from Longford Primary School, chose ‘Bully on the Bus’ for their creative response, and not only did they achieve a perfect score for their dramatic presentation (Well done!) but they also had a strong impact on audience members, and later, online viewers, with their take on bullying – and the role of bystanders. Not a retelling of the book by any means – but a powerful presentation on the theme. I am so thrilled with what they have produced – and blessed/amazed by the fact that something I wrote has inspired such a thought-provoking representation!

Click the pic to view the video on Longford Primary’s Facebook page.

By being a bystander, you have the power, and the opportunity, to do something about the bullying.

Take that truth and spread it wide in the world, D’Reados! 

This post is a part of the Poetry Friday link-up around the blogosphere. You’ll find more posts at Poetry for Children when the round-up is collected on Friday.

Video Link;

Have Wheels, Will Travel

Good news! I’m rather thrilled to share that ‘Bully on the Bus‘ is chugging across the oceans, to Kane Miller Books. #PoetryFriday peeps, it will be coming to a store near you! After all this time. (Picture my very happy face. ☺)

Already reviews are starting to pop up like bus stops across the interwebs…

Like this review from;

And in a world where too often fists and weapons are used, Beth Sluzewski ( also noted;

How beautiful is that? I’m touched and honoured that something I wrote, prompted that beautiful assessment.

I’m hoping there has been joy in your week.

To read more great poetry posts, putter across to Carol’s Corner, (Thanks, Carol!) for the Poetry Friday link-up.

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

Announcing the Winner – and Sharing the Cinquains

Today is the day to announce… the winner of the signed copy of ‘Bully on the Bus’.

Entrants had to write a didactic cinquain on the topic of bullying. There were some fabulous entries. (I confess, I wondered why I ever had this great idea to hold a competition, because picking one winner is always so hard!) Thankfully I had some help judging… because I could never have done it alone!

But first… the entries! (In order of appearance.)

Excessive, cruel
Resist, repel, overcome
Good will overcome evil
(Loris Doessel)

Offensive, nasty
Fight, harass, annoy
Their own worst enemy
(Loris Doessel)

Excessive, cruel
Resist, repel, overcome
Good will overcome evil
(Lois Doessel)

Hurtful, dreadful
Targetting, embarrassing, teasing,
No person deserves it
(Year 4Red SFX)

Mean, cruel
Laughing, hurting, targeting
Making others feel small
(Year 4 White SFX)

Big, cruel
Threatening, scaring, stealing
She wants the power
(Year 4 Blue SFX)

Bullied, small
Sad, helpless, lonely
Always fearful when bullied
(G in Year 4 W – SFX)

Small, calm
Hoping, praying, wishing
Will it ever stop?
(T in Year 4W – SFX)

Stinky, smelly
Pinch, snarl, punch
Menacing act that hurts

Selfish, horrible
Spits, kicks, names
The worse person ever

Fearless, brave
Stand, unite, support
Stop bullies in their tracks

Huge, Meanie
Kicking, shouty, unkind
Attack with road anger

Big, fat
Punch, pick, push
Big bully rude kicks
(JB and KG)

Nasty, rude
Spitting, pushing, pinching
Annoying unkind punching boss
(RF and CE)

Smelly, stupid
Snarls, spits, kicks
Very rude dumb bully
(SB and JB)

Huge, hairy
Pinchy, pushy, picky
The big scary bully
(ES, JS, CB)

Grouchy, mean
Push, hits, pinch
Hurts like burning lava

Intimidating, sneaky
Pushing, lurking, threatening
Stealer of kids lunches

And the winner is…

Bravado, by Loris Doessel.

Offensive, nasty
Fight, harass, annoy
Their own worst enemy
(Loris Doessel)

A tight cinquain that captures the bravado of bullies – who truly are their own worst enemies. Well done, Loris.

But wait! There’s more!

I cannot go past an entry from a Year 3 student. It catches me every time with its controlled creativity – and though there are grammatical errors, I overlook them in my delight of the cinquain. I recognise the simile from ‘Bully on the Bus’ – but also appreciate the cleverness of a young writer who has shaped the words to perfectly fit a new situation.

Grouchy, mean
Push, hits, pinch
Hurts like burning lava

My suggestions would be; change ‘bullies’ to ‘bully’, to be consistent with the singular ‘dragon’ – and change ‘hits’ to ‘hit’ for consistent tense. But keep the magic!

I will contact you both by email, and a signed copy of ‘Bully on the Bus’ will be heading your way.

Thank-you to everyone who shared their fabulous entries. It was wonderful to have your participation, and read your powerful words. There were so many cinquains I marked for their fourth lines, especially; ‘menacing act that hurts’, ‘stealer of kids lunches’, ‘she wants the power’,  ‘making others feel small’, ‘no person deserves it’ – and the unexpectedness of ‘attack with road anger’. You nailed it! And I loved the empowering angle that Louise took with courageous friends.

Bullying. No Way! Day, is next Friday … but we all know bullying is never okay!

Competition: Bullying. No Way!

BullyCoverOn 17th March it’s Bullying. No Way! Day.

To help spread the message that bullying is never okay, I am giving away a signed copy of ‘Bully on the Bus’. For your chance to win, write a didactic cinquain that fits the theme of bullying. Not sure what a didactic cinquain is? You can read more here.

All you need is 11 words. (But don’t name any bullies!)

Example Cinquain

Click the pic for more info about didactic cinquains.

How to enter:

  1. Entry is open to Australian residents only – kids or adults.
  2. Post your cinquain as a comment below, or as a comment on my Instagram post.
  3. Entries close Wednesday 8th March 2017 – midnight.
  4. Winner announced 10 March 2017.

Judging will be conducted by a panel. Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Self-Doubt and Stunning Views

This morning, I’ve been feeling very relieved and thankful for the reviews that are starting to appear for ‘Bully on the Bus’.  I’ve also been thinking back on those moments of self-doubt as an author; when wondering if I was the only person who’d ‘get’ Leroy’s story, and if perhaps the heart and emotion invested, clouded my judgement.

I have often thought that the road to publication is paved with self-doubt and rejections. But after the last few days, I have an edit to that thought.

The road to publication is paved with self-doubt and rejections – but the reviews at the end make it all worthwhile!

Here is a snippet from are a couple. If you click each image, it takes you to the actual website where you can read each wonderful  review in its entirety.

Click on the image to go straight to SquiggleMum's site.

Click on the image for the full review – from SquiggleKid and SquiggleMum.

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 4.22.14 pm

Click on the image to read Janine’s full review – with questions and activities to enhance the book.

Click on the image for full publication details.

Click on the picture to read 10 year-old Joseph's full review at Alphabet Soup.

Click on the picture to read 10 year-old Joseph’s full review at Alphabet Soup.

Click on the pic to read the article & Dee's review.

Click on the pic to read about my creative journey & Dee’s review.

The reviews are stunning. I am so very thankful!

I will continue collating reviews as I find them at Feel free to pop across and check out more. The list will grow as more reviews appear.

Media Release & Sample Chapters

A beautifully crafted verse novel that will surprise and empower, Kathryn Apel’s Bully on the Bus is the ‘secret weapon’ that every bus-riding school kid should carry with them.


Everything about the process to publication is exciting! Yesterday was no exception, with the media release for ‘Bully on the Bus’ skipping out into cyberspace. I have been so impressed at every stage of my journey with UQP – so many truly delightful, talented people that I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with, who believe in the Bully, and ‘get’ the heart of my writing.  Like these two snippets taken from the media release…


With hidden treasures for kids, parents and teachers alike and a heart-warming ending, Bully on the Bus gives courage to anyone who might feel small.


That happy place? It’s inside ME.

And if that’s not exciting enough, I’ve just had a little wander through the UQP website and I spy the bully! You can too, if you click on these colourful active links. You can even Take a look inside and read sample chapters.

Haven’t they done a beautiful job? I am so in love with that book!

Request a review copy via the Contact tab at the top of the page. (It’s hiding under the reddish menu dot, top right.)

I spy… The Bully!

Bully on the BusI’m so excited to share the gorgeous cover for ‘Bully on the Bus’ with you!

As if that’s not exciting enough… HOLDING that shiny-new book is even better! Who knew that an advance copy would hop into my letterbox this week? Not me!!

Leroy’s story always clutches at my heart. Reading it as a book squeezes every ounce of happy right up and bubbling out of me.

Pssst… Hop over to win your copy on Goodreads;

Cover Art/Design: Jo Hunt
Publisher: UQP
Release Date: July 2014

Reasons to smile!