Say hello to Therese, a worthy prize winner in my Clever Competition!

June 19, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Posted in Arden Anglican School, Beecroft, Chinese Calendar Tales, Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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I’ve just received these lovely photos of the talented Therese Li of Arden Anglican School in New South Wales, Australia, who at just 7 years old was the winner of the Years 1 to 3 Category in my last Clever Competition! Here she is presenting the Boxed Set of Chinese Calendar Tales which she won for her school to the junior school librarian, Mrs Maren de Rijk! You can read Therese’s brilliant story here!

Update on the Rascally Rat Tale Competition…

May 7, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, My dog Mo, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Here is our little dog Mo, who celebrated his 16th birthday last week, cuddling his favourite toy Daisy Duck! Mo has been very sick for the last couple of days and I’ve been taking him back and forth to the vets for lots of medical appointments. He’s getting good treatment now, and we’re hoping he gets better very soon. But it was very worrying at the time and unfortunately it put a stop to all my work, including judging the Rascally Rat Tale Competition! But please don’t worry – the results are almost completed and will be out shortly!

I’m judging the Rascally Rat Tale Competition now – and having such fun!

May 1, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Challenges and activities, Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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Phew! The judging of the Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 is done and dusted, and now I’m judging my Rascally Rat Tale Competition!! And I’m having so much fun! Thanks to the fabulous writers from Hong Kong, Melbourne, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney for sending in such terrific stories – and for their patience! The results will be out soon!

Hang in there, all you fabulous competition entrants!

April 27, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Challenges and activities, Clever Competitions, Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 | Leave a comment
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Run Run running

Run Run Rat from The Tale of Run Run Rat, illustration by Harry Harrison

Hang in there my friends! We are SO nearly there with the results for two great competitions:

The Great Year of the Rat Challenge 2020 and my A Rascally Rat Tale Competition!

I promise the results will be published here on my blog REALLY SOON!

The Rascally Rat Tale Competition ends tonight!

April 17, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Run Run Rat is racing for the finish line – and so should you be if you’ve been writing your Rascally Rat Tale for my latest Clever Competition! The deadline is midnight tonight so send that story in right away – I can’t wait to read it!

Kung Hei Fat Choi! It’s time for a Rascally Rat Tale writing competition!

January 24, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Posted in Chinese Calendar Tales, Chinese New Year, Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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village - family

Picture credit: Harry Harrison, The Tale of Run Run Rat

Kung Hei Fat Choi! It’s Chinese New Year! My feisty Run Run Rat is telling his family all about his adventurous plans for his trip around China. His mum is busy baking some delicious steam buns for a Chinese New Year feast! His dad is taking a break from his hard work as a miner, and his big sister is STILL filing her claws!! As for Run Run’s little brother – he’s wondering how many egg tarts he can gobble up before his mum notices!

So it’s high time we had another writing competition!

It’s open to anyone, anywhere in the world who is:

  • a primary or elementary school student from Grade 1 to Grade 6
  • or home-educated students of equivalent stage

This time I want you to write me a story about a rascally Rat, set in China, with the following further ingredients:

  • a Chinese emperor
  • a brainy princess
  • three magic tangerines
  • an evil talking dumpling
  • the colour malachite (if you don’t know what that is, then look it up!)
  • a long drought

Click on my Clever Competitions page right away to find out what I’ll be looking for, and all the competition rules!

The deadline date is Friday 17th April, so you have 3 months to write your story! And with a fabulous Chinese New Year holiday just starting, you could begin your story plan right away!

What a fabulous way to start your celebrations for the Year of the Rat! Run Run Rat would surely approve!

And if you don’t have your copy of The Tale of Run Run Rat yet, click here to purchase right away!

Well done Shiv!

December 14, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Glenealy School, Hong Kong Schools, Poetry competitions for children | Leave a comment
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Say hello to Shiv Mohan, who regularly enters my Clever Competitions, and won Third Place in the Grade 4 to 6 section of the My Favourite Season Haiku Competition (He also came third in his section in the Clever Competition before that!). Here he is accepting his prize from the Principal, Mr Briggs, at Glenealy School. Well done Shiv!

I’ll be posting details of the next Clever Competition early in the New Year – so make sure you enter! You’ve got to be in it to win it!

Just 11 days left to enter the Favourite Season Haiku Competition!

November 4, 2019 at 8:14 am | Posted in Clever Competitions, Poetry competitions for children, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Good morning everyone! I hope that you’re enjoying the new buds and shoots of Spring (if you live in the Southern Hemisphere!) and the sight of autumnal leaves changing colour (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere!).

Yes, the weather is changing and the days are ticking down in the My Favourite Season Haiku Competition! So if you don’t have your entry in yet, click here right away for all the rules and conditions – and get your entry in SOON!

Remember, the deadline is Midnight EST Friday 15th November!

I can’t wait to read your entry!

Welcome back – and a new Clever Competition!

September 3, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, Uncategorized, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Photo credits: Summer – https://all-free-download.com/free-photos/download/sunflower-image-06-hd-pictures_167025.html; Winter – https://www.123rf.com/photo_11049126_beautiful-nature-winter-scenery-frosty-trees-in-forest.html; Spring – https://www.pexels.com/photo/selective-focus-photography-of-pink-flowers-1045615/; Autumn – https://wallpapercave.com/w/8r8chAr

A very warm welcome back to school!

Don’t you just love the four seasons? They are all so beautiful in their own way! Now if you’re anything like me, you’ll love Autumn best, when you can rug up in a warm coat and go walking with your dog in a nearby park on a crisp, clear day. Or you might prefer lazy, hot Summers when you can go to the beach and splash about in the sea. Or those stormy Winter days when you can sit beside a roaring fire feeling snug and safe inside as the wind buffets and the rain buckets down outside. Or those cool, damp Spring mornings, with their drifts of blossom and gorgeous scent of narcissi and jonquils filling the air.

And just about everyone I know also loves haikus! They’re very short poems, dating back to the 17th century in Japan, and with very strict rules. And they’re PERFECT for describing nature, weather, and the seasons! In fact, the four seasons were regular topics in the very earliest haikus!

So today I’ve posted a brand new Clever Competition, to hone your wits and test your writing skills and have a bit of fun, whilst pursuing world wide fame as a published writer on my blog!

And this time, I want a haiku, all about My Favourite Seasonand by that I mean YOUR favourite season!

See my Clever Competition page here to read all the rules and requirements. The deadline for this competition is FRIDAY 15th November, in just over 10 weeks’ time.

So get out those writing pads, pick your favourite season, and start writing your My Favourite Season Haiku NOW!

A quick visit to Excelsior Public School!

August 19, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Awards, children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Excelsior Public School, Sydney, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Excelsior Public School prize presentation

This morning I had the huge pleasure of presenting books to some talented writers at Excelsior Public School in Sydney! You can see me above with Caitlyn, who placed Second in the Grade 4 to 6 section of The Practically Perfect Pig Tale Story Competition, as well as Gary and Isabel who also entered the competition! You can read Caitlyn’s wonderful story if you scroll down the page here!

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