The Results are Out in my Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition!

October 12, 2017 at 9:28 am | Posted in Poetry competitions for children, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Wow! What fun I’ve had judging all the entries in my Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition! There were 104 entries from 16 different schools in 6 different countries around the world! And they were, indeed, all truly wonderful! But winners there must be, and I’ve just posted the 23 best haikus on my Clever Competitions page here !

Special congratulations to Sophie Zhai of Victoria Shanghai Academy in Hong Kong for winning First Place in the Grade One to Three Category, and to Madeline Painter of Dryden Elementary School, Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA for winning First Place in the Grade Four to Six Category! They each win a FREE signed copy of my beautiful new book Storm Whale, published by Allen and Unwin and illustrated by Jane Tanner! I’ll be writing to all of your schools very soon to let them know how you all got on. A huge thank you for all your hard work, and I look forward to seeing your writing again in my next Clever Competition!

I’m having a whale of a time judging your haikus – please bear with me!

October 5, 2017 at 8:43 am | Posted in Poetry competitions for children | Leave a comment
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Hello all you fabulous poets out there who entered my Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition! There were entries from 15 schools from 9 different cities in 6 different countries around the world – Australia, Hong Kong, India, China, Singapore and the United States! So I’m judging as quickly as I can – but you’ll have to bear with me! And I’m having a WHALE of a time – your entries are fabulous!

It’s a small world…and it goes round in circles!

September 29, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On Wednesday at QSI Zhuhai I met a lovely young man, Henry (above right), who asked me to sign a 2nd edition The Tale of Run Run Rat, which had been given to him back in 2009, when he was living in Portland, Oregon, USA, by his friends Lillian and Courtney Lee  (with me above left) who at that time were living in Hong Kong! Now, Lillian and Courtney live in Seattle, Washington, USA, and Henry, who lives in Zhuhai, has bought them a copy of The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster as a return gift! It all goes to prove that it’s a very small world…and that life sometimes goes round in circles!

A fabulous 2 day visit to QSI Zhuhai!

September 29, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Posted in Being an Author, School visits, Zhuhai schools | Leave a comment
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Thank you to the lovely Heather Domenico (above left) for hosting me on Wednesday and Thursday at QSI Zhuhai! It was a very busy time, with story readings from the Chinese Calendar Tales and Dirty Stories for everyone from 2 years old to 13 years old, and writing workshops for everyone from 7 years old to graduation! Plus a talk to the parents and staff about How to Create Writers in the Digital Age – and book-signings in between! Not to mention some great chats with British poet and publisher Neil Stevens, a teacher at the school (above right).  Then a fun evening  with Principal Cliff Geis-Poage and his lovely wife and teacher Becca who treated me to a delicious dinner before I caught the ferry home to Hong Kong! Everyone was so warm and welcoming – the terrific staff, Theresa in administration, not to mention the mums and dads and the gorgeous kids and teens. It was my first visit to Zhuhai in mainland China, and my first visit to QSI – I hope to see you all again soon!

Just 11 days left in my Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition!

September 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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P1020216Detail from Storm Whale by Sarah Brennan and Jane Tanner, Allen and Unwin, 2017

A big HELLOOO to the wonderful writers who’ve submitted their entries into my Wonderful Whale Haiku competition! We’ve had entries so far from students in 9 different schools in Adelaide, Brisbane, Chicago, Hong Kong, Kolkata, Shanghai and Singapore! But there’s still 11 days to go! If you love whales, and haikus, and haven’t entered my competition yet, make sure you go straight to my Clever Competitions page above for all the details! I can’t wait to read your entry!

Why I wrote Storm Whale and other questions…

September 12, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Press interviews | Leave a comment
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Storm Whale cover

Thank you to The Letterpress Project in the UK for publishing two terrific interviews with Jane Tanner and I about our beautiful new book Storm Whale, the UK edition of which was published by Old Barn Books in August! You can read them here and here !

It’s World Literacy Day!!

September 8, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Room to Read | Leave a comment
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International-Literacy-Day-640x428Hooray for Room To Read on World Literacy Day 2017! I’m so honoured to be a Writer Ambassador for an organisation which has been responsible for giving millions of children (especially girls) the gift of literacy! Take a look here here to see just some of the extraordinary Room to Read projects currently underway around the world! And if you want to support their wonderful work, you can donate or sign up here. here!

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Thank you Shatin Junior School mums and dads!

September 8, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Hong Kong Schools, School visits | Leave a comment
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Last night I had the great honour of speaking to over 150 parents of Shatin Junior School students about How to Create Writers in the Digital Age. I talked about the growing body of science showing the benefits of reading print books for the brain…as well as the problems of digital addiction amongst children, from infants to teenagers, and the shortcomings of screens for developing brains. I talked about the importance of imaginative play, and limiting time spent on extra-curricular activities so that children have plenty of free time. I also talked about redesigning the home with bookshelves, reading lamps and books galore, and regular outings to bookshops and libraries to browse the shelves. And a lot more! It was great to be amongst such motivated mums and dads! Many thanks to my wonderful host Karen Middleton!

A short but wonderful visit to Beijing!

September 8, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Posted in Beijing Schools, Story Readings, workshops | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to the lovely Kelly Miller (head of library) for hosting me to two fabulous days at Beijing World Youth Academy on Tuesday and Wednesday this week! I gave story readings for all the students, from Kindy to Year 5, and two parent sessions where BWYA’s very dedicated and caring parents heard my top tips for creating Bookworms and Readers in the digital Age! I had a lot of fun, and signed a LOT of books for the many kids and teachers who bought my Chinese Calendar Tales and Dirty Stories!

 

The Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition is hotting up!

August 21, 2017 at 10:45 am | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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A big hello to the Grade 4 boys at Churchie in Brisbane for their fabulous Whale Haikus which I’ve just received today! I’ve loved reading them and all of you are now entered in my Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition –  well done!

And for all of you who haven’t entered yet, remember you have 40 days left to get your entries in. That might seem like a long way away but remember that time flies, and it’s often the early birds who catch the worms, to mix a few metaphors just for fun! I hope to read your entry soon!

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