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Showing posts from 2015

The Day is nigh!

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No, not Christmas...well yes that is a nigh as it gets, too.

But I'm talking about D-Day. In the most incredibly nutty fun - Story City way.


Here's what you have to do to be able to smell the roses, join the adventure and become the hero (or villain) of your dreams.

Jump on to Story City.Download the FREE Story City app to your smart phone or tablet device.Use the list or map section to browse through the stories until you find the one you’re most excited about. (I'm excited about my story, The Chapel of Unlove set on the Gold Coast in Sanctuary Cove but you can choose from stories in Brisbane, Adelaide and the Gold Coast.) Remember you must be in that location to activate that story.Select your story according to preferred genre, author, location: there are stories ranging in genres from fantasy, urban mystery, sci fi, comedy and historical romance to name but a few. Start listening / reading your story and choosing YOUR ADVENTURE. Simple. Colossal. Fun.

Gold Coast stories

Living in the Moment

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Some months ago, in a flurry of over-sharing and passing on information to those within the Lit Industry, I happened upon an exciting opportunity. After duly sharing it with all and sundry, the tiny soul named, Do It who perches on my left shoulder and is in constant opposition with the joker on my right shoulder called, Don't Do It, suggested I 'give it a go', too.

So very much along the same line of thinking as the awe-inspiring, Dee White(you can read about her quests to expand her writing prowess, here), I submitted a proposal to become one of three Gold Coast writers to join the Story City team.

Story City is an exciting interactive online storytelling experience that allows the reader to become fully immersed into the story. Like the perennially popular choose your own adventure style of books, where the reader makes the decisions and picks the paths the story takes, Story City users are in complete control of their destiny and thus, the story's outcome. The unique…

Two Birds on a Wire - Balancing with Heidi Cooper Smith

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Balancing the extremes of childhood dreams, real-life realities and the myriad of other little collar-jerking moments that prevent you from ever walking a perfectly straight line is no mean feat. You'd be forgiven for feeling a little doo-lackey at times and having a laugh at yourself. 

Debut picture book illustrator, Heidi Cooper Smith is someone capable of doing just that so today in celebration of her  launch of Two Birds on a Wire, along with author, Coral Vass, we uncover 5 Fun Facts about Heidi (+ one if you're counting, because I obviously can't. It's why I write.)
When I was eleven, I wrote a series of picture books (unpublished!) called ‘Matilda Mouse and the War between the Cats and the Mice” and won a school award for them. I once played bass clarinet in a quartet with my principal, vice principal and senior mistress.Yes, I was that cool.I have the worst sense of direction of anyone I know and am appallingly messy.I often end up buying art materials twice beca…

Creative Life Celebration - Writers in the Park

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When I lived in London, what seems like a lifetime ago, I had the good fortune to observe many ritualistic ceremonies, one of them being Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park. This public-byo-soapbox-forum, dating back from the Victorian times was an eclectic gathering place to share one's view point and generally have a bit of a rant. It was and still is a melting pot of political debate and more importantly, a symbol for a free and democratic society. And with the need to expound arises the necessity to create, something people of the pen know only too well.

To better celebrate creative life, the good folk of the Centennial Parklands Foundation, Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators SCBWI, and the historic Residences Centennial Park have joined forces along with dozens of writers, storytellers, publishers, arts associations, performers, illustrators, poets, and literacy advocates to present Writers in the Park.

This one day festival is choc-block full of writer and i…

I've got a dream

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Almost a decade of moons ago, I made a serendipitous discovery that forever altered the spin of my world. Falling pregnant after so many years of waiting and yearning was nothing short of miraculous (for me) and a life event definitely worth waxing lyrical about. But did I? Sadly, not as much I as wanted to.

There are those who find it hard to exist without sharing the contents of their dinner plates with the rest of  the world, then there are others who worry that a beautifully executed birthday cake photo shared on social media will somehow demean the starving populations of the world. I oscillate between the two but tend towards the latter, always fretting over how others will take good news in light of their own current situations and struggles, thus resorting to a severe downplaying of my own good fortune.

The pregnancy of my first child should have been a joyous occasion - it was a joyous pregnancy after all - but I was acutely conscious at the time of another family member'…

Ready, Steady, WRITE - opportunities and comps for kids

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Nearly every time I brush shoulders with my target audience - children, I am asked, 'What now? How can I learn to edit better? Where can I submit my work? Where can I get more information?'

Here is a post by fellow scribe for young people, Chris Bell. Her From Hook to Book site also includes a really comprehensive page of resources especially sourced for young people, YWR. It highlights writing competitions, noting those which are currently open along with other websites and links where budding young writers can find information on everything from punctuation to polishing stories until they blind you with their brilliance.

Some can be found on my Kool Kidz Stuff page, many more are worth noting because most comps and conference are run annually giving you plenty of time and opportunity to practise, practise, practise.

Chris writes...

Calling all young writers, playwrights and poets! While I’ve been gallivanting around the UK, these past few weeks, heaps of regular and new yo…

I'm going have to get a bigger harbour

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That post title may sound a bit self-congratulatory, mainly because it is, but it feels like my harbour is slowly filling up with ships. Those I cast out into the winds of fate are finally finding their way back in.

Amongst the small flotilla, another short story, Getting to Know You, which has received a Highly Commended in theCharlotte Duncan Award 2015.

And whilst I never normally like to blow my own fog horn unnecessarily, the real bonus was receiving the judge's report, which as those in my writing circles can attest, as feedback, is worth its weight in gold doubloons.

So nice to know I am setting the right course.


Getting to Know You drops the reader into the topical issue of social media, told through the experience of its twelve-year-old protagonist. The well-developed relationships between the main character and her family and friends round out the issue-based story. Suzie’s feelings and actions will be recognisable to many kids, giving them insight into friendship …

Selfies - Self Published Picture Book reviews

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