Writing Tip 1 Dig yourself out of that dark hole and start writing. At first it will be covered with dirt. Don’t worry about that now. Later you can clean and polish it up to be shiny bright. Writing Tip 2 Try to work on your manuscript every day. Even 15 minutes will do. In […]
Reader’s Review Competition Write a book review for your chance to win a prize pack of free books and a visit to Penguin publishing house in Melbourne The competition opens on Wednesday 24 April 2019 and closes at 5pm on Saturday 6 July 2019. This year, the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge (PRC) is running its first ever reader’s review competition […]
This morning I received one of those disappointing emails, one that I had been wanting an answer to for quite a while. And as I was sitting in a bit of a slump, the winter sun burst through the window bathing the kitchen in a summer glow. It was only brief, just long enough to […]
August is a huge month for children’s authors and illustrators. It’s called Children’s Book Week, but really should be renamed Book Month! Kids’ Authors and illustrators are driving around the country visiting schools and talking up books, enthusing kids with the love of reading. It’s a necessary part of the job and I do love it.
Qingming is a traditional Chinese festival where families pay their respects to ancestors by tending to the graves. As it is the beginning of spring,
About four months back I asked my Facebook friends for help with a plot dilemma. My problem was this: should I kill a dog in a novel for children? Everyone responded with a definite No. Years ago I saw a film from the 60’s called Old Yeller. At the end of the movie the young […]
I dreamt about you last night Sue Lawson. I dreamt that you won an award for your novel. There were two other writer friends in the dream who were shortlisted for the same award, but I can’t recall their faces now. Each novel was accompanied by a song. Your song was the beautiful,
Gabrielle Wang Writing & Illustration Workshop Friday 6 September, 4-5pm Gabrielle Wang is an award winning author and illustrator of novels and picture books for children and young adults, including the Poppy books from the Our Australian Girl series. Join Gabrielle to hear where her inspiration for writing and drawing comes from and get the chance to […]
Today was my first day at the Melbourne Writers Festival for the year. Federation Square was abuzz with people attending sessions. Mine was at Artplay
I heard a radio program about luck the other day. Some people don’t believe in it. They believe that you create your own luck. Then there are others who possibly believe in it a little too much. I am Chinese, so of course I believe. But being Chinese
1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else. 2. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would. 3. Dont romanticise your vocation. You can either write good sentences […]
For teachers using The Garden of Empress Cassia with their students, Senka King, Deputy Principal of St Albans East Primary School in Melbourne has kindly given me permission to publish the teachers notes she uses in her classrooms. Thank you so much Senka for sharing these! To view and download a copy go to The Garden […]
In Year Eight we had to dissect a sheep’s eye. I was repulsed at seeing the eyeballs floating in a jar of formaldehyde like a Dali nightmare. Today, a student could probably conscientiously object on the grounds of being vegetarian. But not back then. There was no way out. Our science teacher, appropriately named Miss […]
When I was young I saw a gorilla at Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney. He was housed in a room with a high ceiling and bars on the front for onlookers to peer in. As he stared at us staring at him, I remember thinking how human his eyes looked. Beautiful soft eyes they […]
For the past week, my 10 month old pup, Hero has been bringing small pieces of white cardboard inside the house. He then lies at my feet and begins chewing, ripping and swallowing them. Better it be cardboard than sticks, I think. He is slow to out grow the chewy stage of puppyhood. There was […]
For as long as I can remember Ive wanted to be an artist. I was always drawing. So after I finished Year 12, I studied Graphic Design at RMIT. Then worked first for a creative agency then opened a design studio with four other designers called Rum Jungle. It was fun. But there was something […]
During the month of July I’m Writer-in-Residence for Inside a Dog. I will be blogging 3 times a week. Jump on over and take a look! 7. Easy Fried Rice Recipe 6. A True Ghost Story – Part 2 5. A True Ghost Story – Part 1 4. How To Make A Book Trailer and […]
I’m really looking forward to this day where I will be presenting with authors and illustrators such as Paul Collins, Meredith Costain, Susanne Gervay, Dianne Bates, Michael Panckridge, Phil Kettle and Michael Salmon. Topics discussed will be: Reading into the Future, Issue Based Novels,
I first went to China in 1977 on a tour with a group of overseas Chinese. We were some of the first tourists to be allowed into China after the Gang of Four were arrested in 1976.
At the Ipswich Festival of Children’s Literature, the visiting authors were treated to a seminar about picture books and the ipad. We saw how cute the Winnie the Pooh app was when apples could be shaken off the tree – little interactive tricks where children could play with the illustrations. But we of the old […]
On Monday I visited Our Lady of Help Primary School in Ringwood to do a Chinese painting workshop with the Year 3s to 6s. First I taught them the four treasures of a Chinese painting studio – brush, paper, inkstone and inkstick. Then how to hold a Chinese brush. Everyone picked it up so quickly. […]
This is my New York City interview with Mary-Lea Awanohara. Mary-Lea writes a fascinating blog called The Displaced Nation. Before I give you the link to the interview, I would like to tell you how it all came about. It’s worth sharing for its strangeness. Again it demonstrates how connected we all are.
I am off overseas tomorrow for a month, and am travelling light. Well … trying to. I do have a BIG suitcase, half of which is filled with my daughter’s clothes. She’s living in New York and part of my trip will be visiting her. Of course, a big suitcase means that I can fill […]
I love Chinese paint brushes. Each one is handmade and a work of art. I have just soaked these brand new goats’ hair brushes my husband brought back from Beijing, in readiness for a Chinese painting workshop which I will be conducting in a school very soon.
There are two worlds authors inhabit – the one inside their heads, and the one that is all around them. I spend so much time inside my imagination I wonder if will take me over one day. Which reminds me of Jean-Dominique Bauby’s tragic memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
I am reminded once again of the importance of liking your teacher in order for the brain to be open to learning. I’ve been studying Italian on and off for years but have taken it more seriously these past few months. In June I’m off to an Italian school in San Giovanni, Italy. Yay!
When I was a child, some of my favourite books were the ones that were filled with black and white illustrations. There were two reasons why I loved them.
Yullarah Covers New Book By Tammy Mills Shepparton’s Yullarah Lowe is the cover girl of a new series of Australian books that celebrate different cultural heritages. The 12-year-old appears
Alphabet Soup interviewed me about the making of the Poppy series. See the interview here
OUR AUSTRALIAN GIRL Series It is always an exciting time when a book is about to be launched. MEET POPPY is the first in a series of four novels about an 11 year old Aboriginal girl. Poppy (Kalinya) and her brother Gus (Moyhu) live on Bird Creek Mission near Echuca in the colony of Victoria. The […]
Authors around Australia have united to donate books and services to the Authors for Queensland Floods Online Auction. There are some great donations here – signed copies of books, (fiction and non fiction, children’s and adults), writing workshops, manuscript assessments, and
As writers we settle into a kind of writing comfort zone. So it’s good to be reminded of the common mistakes that we can make. Below is a link to great article by Pat Holt on the ten most common writing mistakes. After reading it I scrutinised a few chapters to see if I could […]
Review of Little Paradise by The Book Gryffin ‘Often, while reading a book, a single word will circulate in my mind. This word usually sums up my overall feeling about the novel itself. The word that continually whispered in my subconscious whilst reading Gabrielle Wangs- Little Paradise, was effortless.Much has been written about World War […]