Welcome to My Words!

READ WRITE INSPIRE. Welcome to my Words, a place devoted to making Reading and Writing for children more Inspired.


Writerly Stuff

Here you'll find what's keeping me busy and why.

   WRITING HIGHLIGHTS
- Thrilled to have been commissioned along with a superbly talented team of artists and musicians to craft a digi-storytelling locative fiction for Story City. This fun, interactive storytelling experience is the brain-child of Emily Craven who has similar projects running in Adelaide and Brisbane. The Gold Coast stories, based on a choose-your-own-adventure style tales are due to go live December 2015. Download your free Story City app and experience fictional adventure like never before.
http://ekbooks.com.au/ 
- Ecstatic beyond words to have finally signed a publishing contract with EK Books for my first picture book publication, The Fix It Man, due out early 2017. Read all about my over-the-mooness here. The gorgeous illustrator / author Nicky Johnston will be breathing visual life and soul into my story.
- Love animal antics and tales inspired by them? Then check out another Prints Charming Books anthology, Zoo-thology. Hundreds of stories supplemented with fun facts about all sorts of interesting creatures fill the pages, including a couple more from me; "Autumn Leaves" and "New Kind of Normal". Released July 2015.

- It was a session not to be missed. Unfortunately some did but in spite of the low attendance, I thoroughly enjoyed presenting my report after judging the Fellowship of Writers QLD (FAWQ) Flash Fiction Competion 2015. An excerpt of my judge's presentation and reports on the winning entries can be found on their site and in the bi-monthly Scope magazine

- Chuffed as monkeys to be showcasing yet another of my tales in the terrific anthology series, Short and Twisted 2015. This is my second Short and Twisted appearance following the publication of the Boy Who Lost His Laugh in the 2013 edition

- Prints Charming Books continue to pump out alluring anthologies for kids and adults alike. Happy to report, my short stories feature in them all. Lucky Draw is the latest to hit the shelves in 2015. It's a bit special because of the interactive writing prompts included; a great stimulus for creative crazed kids. See the full range of titles available, here.

- Finally convinced someone to lend me some coin and was awarded a CAL Creative Industries Career Fund grant to further develop a picture book manuscript. I'll be working on this with mentor Dee White throughout 2013/2014.

-  Tickled pink to sit alongside fellow authors and illustrators on the 2013 CYA Conference Success Stories Panel and...be awarded 2nd Place in the Chapter book for Young Readers Category in the CYA Writing for Children Competition July 2013 with "Marlee's Mozzie Madness".

- Clinched 3rd place for short story, "The Boy Who Lost His Laugh" in the Marshall Allan Hill Children's Writing Award 2012. And Undead Ed earned another placing (2nd) in the Writing Classes for Kids 3rd Quarter Competition 2012

- Awarded a Commendation in the 10th Kathleen Julia Bates Memorial Short Story Competition, for children's short story, "Undead Ed". One of the real rewards from this comp is the invaluable feedback from Di Bates and being awarded a writing module course. Wonderful wonderful.

- Wasn't quite a place getter this time round, but abolutely delighted to learn that my picture book manuscript "The Fix it Man", was ranked in the top 6% in this years's KBR Unpublished Manuscript Awards 2012. Quite acceptable knowing how many brilliant entries there were.

- Children's Chapter Book manuscript, "PS What About Christmas?", was shortlisted in top 10 with  WON the Morris Publishing Australia inaugural Competition for a full publishing Contract 2012. 

- Short story "Marcie's Green Eyed Monster" accepted by Australian Women Online for their Bedtime Stories for Children March 2012 edition. Read all about Marcie online. Print out a copy and share with a friend and young family member.

- Awarded 1st Place in the adults section for my short story "The Boy Who Lost His Laugh" Writing Classes for Kids 2nd Quarter Competition July 2012

- Received a Special Mention from Kids Book Review KBR for my picture book manuscript "Rainforest Magic" in the KBR Inaugural Unpublished Manuscript Awards 2011...for work that is beautifully written or featured unique, brilliant story ideas. Thanks Tania!

- Snagged two Commendations Certificates from the lovely Dee White as part of a Writing Classes for Kids First Page Competition 2011 for my chapter books, "PS What About Christmas?" and "Gone Cruisin'".

- Short listed for the 7th Kathleen Julia Bates Memorial Writing for Children Competition 2011 with picture book, "Rainforest Magic". Comp conducted by Di Bates of Enterprising Words and Buzz Words e-zine.

CYAN Later Alligator

- Short listed for the Marshall Allan Hill Children's Writing Award 2011 with short story, "Voice of Winston".

- Works accepted by Story Bag, A Medium for Ads and Art June 2010.

- Top 10 placing in Preschool Picture Book and Chapter Book entries in CYA Writing for Children Competition in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  

 - Short Stories published in NSW's The School Magazine Blast Off April 2008. Check out excerpts of "An Eggspensive Venture" on my Kool Kidz page


WORKSHOPS AND ENGAGEMENTS
If you'd like me to appear at your school, event, festival or library drop me a line anytime or contact Creative Net Speakers Agency.

- 2013 was another memorable year of writing workshops and presentations. Among the most notable and enjoyable included my Writing for Children workshop at Robina branch library, Children's Writing workshop at the Coomera branch library (all part of the Gold Coasts Writes program) and a guest appearance at the Palm Beach State School for the Gold Coast Writers Festival Celebration of Young Writers. 

All brilliant. But hard to overlook Book Week at Coomera Rivers State School. Together several classes of enthusiastic Grade 3, 4, and 5s, I blasted my way around the universe with words. What a great trip.

- Did it again...presented a week of Writing Workshops to the wonderful students of Coomera Rivers State School as part of their Book Week in May 2012 celebrations. Felt as adored as Indiana Jones and just as rich and awestruck as I unearthed some real creative talent amongst the 505 Preppies to Grade 7 students.

Pointing out the finer details of story writing to the Grade Ones

- Invited as Guest Presenter at the Helensvale State School as part of Education Week May 2012. Superb morning shared with hundreds of Grade 3 / 4 students and fellow talented kids' authors Renee Taprell and Candice Lemon-Scott. We presented several sessions focusing on reading and interactive story telling. Local MP Michael Crandon and Aboriginal Elder in Residence, Graham Dillon, also participated in the wonderful joy of reading to and with kids.
- Invited to present a session on Getting Kids to Write as part of the Aquinas College, Reading Roadshow March 2012. Fantastic afternoon, speaking alongside renowned children's author illustrator, Narelle Oliver.

Dimity, Narelle Oliver and Marj Osborne of Aquinas College ~ Reading Roadshow 2012
- Conducted Writing Workshops throughout Book Week August 2011 celebrating the One World, Many Stories theme at Coomera Rivers State School on the Gold Coast. Over four days local children's author and illustrator Angela Sunde and myself presented 26 sessions to 13 primary classes on the finer and fun points of writing and illustrating children's books.
Dimity shares her ideas with some inspiring Grade 4s.

 THINGS BUBBLING AWAY...

- Picture books six or so (some WIP some under consideration)

Chapter Books for 8 - 12 year olds 

Hamlet from Blast Off Magazine

 - Short Stories 

For more I'll keep you posted!
RECENT UNDERTAKINGS
  
- Assisting with the ReadUp library loyality scheme aimed to encourage young readers and their families to regularly use libraries and to help promote reading and literacy as part of the National Year of Reading NYR12.

- Completed training as a Queensland Ready Reader Volunteer as part of the Ready Readers Program, an initiative by the Department of Education and Training to support children's reading in ages from Prep to Grade 3.

- Participating in the 2013 PiBoIdMo Challenge, designed to consolidate and create picture book ideas.