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 […]
Apart from the wonderful sites Istanbul has to offer, one thing I cannot help noticing is the number of cats there are living on the streets. The difference here though
  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.
The writer’s life is as unstable as walking along the edge of a cliff. Once you begin the journey though, there is no way back.
I once knew a girl who expected to be racially abused every time she walked down the street. She tried to think up smart things
WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH PEARLIE ‘Meet Pearlie’ (book 1) and ‘Pearlie’s Pet Rescue‘ (book 2) have already been published and are available in the bookshops. I have just finished
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,
I recently returned from an exciting week in Beijing as guest of the Australian Writers’ Week. I loved every moment of the tour, meeting children and teachers, librarians and Australian Embassy staff.
From my sketchbook – My favourite architect is Antonio Gaudi and my favourite building of his is Casa Batllo in Barcelona. The moment I stepped
There are flowers and plants in Chinese culture, painting and poetry that represent qualities of the human soul. Here is an illustration in my sketchbook
I’m rather a superstitious person. It goes hand in hand with believing in magical things. So when Chinese New Year comes around or Spring Festival as it is called in China, I follow some of the superstitions but not all. I tend to
I am on the home stretch with my new Our Australian Girl, Pearlie. I received advanced copies of Meet Pearlie  (Book 1) and it looks lovely. It is always a thrill
My husband and both our children are Americans, so I thought we should finally celebrate Thanksgiving. I baked a pumpkin pie for the first time and it was
Here is the cover of my brand new Our Australian Girl. Her name is Pearlie. Isn’t it gorgeous? And isn’t Faye gorgeous too? Before my publisher
I went to the bank the other day. As I approached the teller she said, You look nice. This compliment is usually only ever made by friends and
I was at a primary school last week telling my story about sneaking into the witch’s mansion. The adventure happened when I was nine years old.
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,
  Today is the Autumn Moon Festival. Varying stories abound about how this festival came into being. In some Hou Yi becomes a ruthless ruler. While in others,
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
This is the third year in a row that I have conducted Chinese painting workshops with the Year 7’s at Luther College and I am constantly amazed
Yesterday the launch of The Wishbird was held at The Little Bookroom in Melbourne. My friend Cath Crowley gave the most beautiful launch speech. Her words shone and glittered and flew around the room. This is what she said:
  My interview with Daniel Browning about The Wishbird on Books and Arts Daily, Radio National. You can listen to the interview HERE
This is an open invitation to the launch of my latest novel THE WISHBIRD
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
William Faulkner had avoided speeches all his life. ‘I’m just a farmer who likes to tell stories,’ he once said. This is his acceptance speech when he travelled to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize in
I received the final cover art for my new novel, The Wishbird. It is the first time my own illustration has appeared
I have written seven novels but I think The Wishbird  is my best so far. Still, I don’t want to jinx myself by saying that.
I was gazing lovingly at the cover of my 1962 edition of The Folk of the Faraway Tree, the one I’ve kept since I was a child hence the torn dust jacket, when to my surprise I see the words Google Buns painted on the side of a jar.
These NEW YORKER dog covers are simply GORGEOUS!
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. Don’t 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 I’ve 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 […]
Tonight I will be launching, together with fellow Our Australian Girl author Alison Lloyd, Wordfest and Short Story Competition for 2012. It is run but the Monash libraries and the launch will be held at the Monash Gallery of Art in Wheelers Hill beginning at 6.30. 
I spent a lovely week at Presentation College in Windsor as writer in residence. I worked with students from years 7 – 10 on imagination, visualisation and free writing. We also talked about
‘Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.’ Ray Bradbury What a wonderful way to live ones life. Ray Bradbury is a hero of mine. My […]
The other day we drove to Warburton, to the upper reaches of the Yarra. The Yarra River begins on the flanks of Mt Baw Baw and flows 245 kilometers to Melbourne emptying out in Port Phillip Bay.
As we come to the end of 2011, I reflect on the year that was. In May, our daughter Lei Lei left home to live in New York. She has been away before on a gap year in France after Year 12,
This interview was originally published on Sue Bursztynski’s website The Great Raven. “One of the nicest things about being involved in children’s and YA writing is the people you meet. Gabrielle Wang, the author of several lovely,
I am very busy at the moment with Hero, our new cocker spaniel puppy. We picked him up last Sunday. He’s 8 weeks old.
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,
Thank you to Luther College for inviting me to teach the Year 7’s Chinese brush painting. The students produced some beautiful work. I was very proud of them all! And what a wonderfully polite year level they were too!
Last week, my publisher Jane Godwin, Our Australian Girl series editor Davina Bell, my editor, Katie Evans and I travelled up to Wahgunyah to launch the final book in the series, Poppy Comes Home.
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.
For the past 4 years I’ve had a rush of novel deadlines, first with Little Paradise, then with the four Poppy books. So how blissful it is now to relax in front of my drawing board, pick up a pencil or paintbrush and work on illustrations.
These amazing paper sculptures accompanied by poetry have been appearing around the Scottish city of Edinburgh. Click on this link to read the article and see how truly beautiful these gifts are.
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 week I was very pleased to receive copies of the Chinese publication of The Lion Drummer.
This is my horse, Prince. He took me to far off lands, over snow covered mountains, through misty valleys and shimmering forests. Sometimes he wore a crown of silver, sometimes a cape of gold.
Something creepy came my way a few weeks ago. Call it lucky, call it just plain old spooky, but for sure it has enhanced my WIP. I was working on the umpteenth draft of my ghost short story,
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.
There are two worlds authors inhabit – the one inside their heads and the one that is all around them. I spend so much of my time sitting at my desk, inside my imagination, I wonder if it will take me over one day.
The noise in New York fills every space, inside and outside your head. You could pick one of the myriad sounds and follow it to its source and there would be a story. There is so much to inspire

NYC

Jul 07: Booktalk
New York is a city of small villages connected by a vast subway system. The air is clean, the buses are electric, most people use public transport. Sprinklers on in playgrounds for kids to play under remind me of the good old days when water wasn’t a problem.
Clothes are cheap in NY and there is so much to choose from. Chelsea market in the meat packing district is cool with a wonderful sushi/fish shop. Bought wild salmon for dinner packed in ice and walked down Fifth Avenue to Central Park.
The Museum of Modern Art was my first stop today. In one of the rooms filled with paintings by Chagall, Kandinsky and Rousseau I heard a beautiful voice. It was soft but in perfect pitch and seemed to echo around the room. When I looked
My host family’s beautiful organic garden in San Giovanni Valdarno which means on the valley of the Arno River. This is the river that runs through Florence which is just a short 30 minute train ride away.
I am in Tuscany gathering ideas for my new novel, The Wish Bird. While learning the language, I’m visiting the many medieval towns, gazing in awe at the glorious countryside, taking in the sun
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’ve had my head down working on my novel for most of this month. Life has been fairly boring – writing, editing, slashing, resubmitting. But for my main character, Poppy, there is high drama and action and lots of emotion. She is coming home.
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.
Interview 2 – The Animals: Elaine Ouston’s latest fantasy book, The Mystery of Nida Valley, a tale of magic, time-travel, and adventure, for readers aged 10+
I am very excited that Poppy At Summerhill is out today. This is the second book in the OAG series and takes place on a wealthy homestead.
Autumn Dancing I was walking through Bourke Street Mall and happened upon a wonderful busking group playing Spanish Flamenco. Quite a large crowd had gathered and everyone was tapping their feet and swaying to the rhythm. But then a lady in her 60’s
I was delighted to learn that The Race for the Chinese Zodiac has been named a ‘Notable Book’ in the Children’s Book Council of Australia list for 2011. See the full list here.
This post is a continuation of last week’s on ‘ghost writing and fengshui’ so if you haven’t done so already, read last week’s first.
I am writing a short story – a ghostly short story for an anthology for Penguin. Its working title is ‘The Thing At the Window’. Yesterday was the perfect morning to begin work. Everyone had left the house
I’m imagining myself in Italy, in a sunny classroom learning Italian. And in London visiting museums. And in New York seeing my daughter. And in all these places – London, San Giovanni Valderno and New York, I hope to gather ideas for a new novel.
Take a look at Simmone Howell’s blog, ‘Anatomy of a Novel’ where I talk about the behind the scenes stuff of Little Paradise.
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.
Now I know why they call it the HOTSEAT. SuperClubsPLUS is a fantastic SAFE social learning network for children aged 6-14. When I was shown around the site, it made me want to be a kid all over again it looked like so much fun.
‘From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation
Happiness is finding a fairy den in the heart of Melbourne. While taking my dog for a walk and collecting new perches for my cockatiel, I came across this beautiful track in Wattle Park.
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.
Yesterday was the official launch of the OAG series held at Readings Hawthorn in Melbourne.
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
I love this new discovery –  a dancing frog in the sky.  And I love stories that remind us of how small and insignificant we are. Called Hanny’s Voorwerp, this is the first time it has been photographed. It is a gaseous blob that is giving birth to new stars.
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 Wang’s- Little Paradise, was effortless.Much has been written about World War […]
Here is a list of the books that I’ve read this year. Many I listened to on audio book while cooking dinner or eating or driving in the car. Books that have asterisks beside them were my favouites for 2010. 
I will be away a lot next year which is a good thing and a bad thing. I love being away but it means that I have less writing time. So what are my plans for 2011?
I just received in the mail a stack of shiny new books. These are pre release copies of my latest book Meet Poppy which will come out in February. When you are an author, the publisher sends you copies of your book before they go into the shops. It is always exciting
John Leonard was a well known American critic. Here’s what he wrote in a New York Times’ article called ‘Smash Mouth Criticism’ about responsible reviewing. “[I now] suggest some hard-won guidelines for responsible reviewing. For instance: First, as in Hippocrates, do no harm.