You’re never too young to be published (or too old…)

April 26, 2021 at 10:09 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Here’s a post I published back on 29 September 2010 which I’m re-posting specially for Harrison at Canadian International School who wanted to know more about the world’s youngest published author! Here we go:

How old do you have to be to be published? This is a question that I often hear from kids. Many of you would love to have your stories published, but you’d rather not wait for another twenty years!

So I’ve done a bit of research and – guess what? The youngest person to ever have a book published was …

FOUR YEARS OLD!!

Dorothy Straight, 4 years old

Her name was Dorothy Straight. She was born in Washington DC (the capital of the United States of America) in 1958, and when she was just four and in pre-kindergarten, she wrote and illustrated a picture book called ” How the World Began” for her grandma. Her mum and dad thought it was good enough to be published…and it was! They sent it to Pantheon Books (a part of huge US publishers Random House)  who published it two years later in 1964.

And boys haven’t done too badly either!

The youngest published boy was Dennis Vollmer, born in Oklahoma in the United States in 1980, who wrote and illustrated a wonderful story about a stranded whale called “Joshua Disobeys” when he was just six years old, which was published by Landmark Editions in 1988.

At the other end of the scale, the oldest person who was ever published for the first time was Argentina Brunetti, an actress who was born in 1907 in Buenos Aires in Argentina (surprise, surprise!) and who had her first novel published at the grand old age of 98 just before she died in 2005!

Which all goes to prove that you’re never too young to be published, and you’re never too old either!

So get writing all of you – no excuses!!

A fabulous visit to Canadian International School with the Hong Kong Young Readers’ Festival!

April 26, 2021 at 10:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Wow! The Hong Kong Young Readers’ Festival is in full flow, and I’m very honoured to be invited again this year to visit schools around Hong Kong!

This morning I visited 125 students in Year 5 at Canadian International School Hong Kong by Zoom, with my Top 12 Tips on How to Become a Great Writer! We talked about some famous kids’ authors and what made them into great writers. We discussed top tips like freeing up time, rearranging the bedroom, keeping diaries and writers’ notebooks, reducing the time spent on social media and video games and – above all – radically increasing the time spent reading lots – and lots – and lots – of BOOKS! After my presentation we had a lot of fantastic questions from the students, who are all keen readers and writers themselves! Photos to come!

Thanks so much to teacher librarian Colleen Williams for hosting and to all the teachers and students who helped make such a fun session!

Oswald Ox and Maggie and Methuselah visit Renaissance College!

March 10, 2021 at 6:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Wow that was fun! I had the most fantastic all day Zoom Visit with the Grade 4s to Grade 6s of Renaissance College HK on Monday! After welcoming the new Chinese Year of the Ox with a short story reading from The Tale of Oswald Ox, I showed the students a fascinating PowerPoint presentation about the fabulous TRUE history and mystery at the heart of my new chapter book for pre-teens, The Marvellous Adventures of Maggie and Methuselah (A Hong Kong Mystery). The kids went crazy with all their questions and comments about the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong in World War II, the hundreds of tunnels still existing under Hong Kong island and the New Territories, and the amazing true mystery of The Missing Chater Collection! A big THANK YOU to lovely teacher librarian Shirley Chan (pictured beside me below) for hosting me, and to the fabulous staff for helping to supervise the sessions!

A big MOOO from Oswald Ox for Kowloon Junior School!

March 8, 2021 at 9:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,
The fabulous staff of Kowloon Junior School “dabbing”!

A big THANK YOU to teacher librarian Macy Lau, for hosting me and dear old Oswald Ox last Wednesday at Kowloon Junior School! We visited the fabulous Year 1 to Year 3s by Zoom, with a fun story reading of The Tale of Oswald Ox and some great Q&A afterwards from the kids – and I learned how to DAB!!! Here are the teachers above, teaching me how! Thank you kids for being such a GREAT audience!

Introducing…my very first chapter book for pre-teens!

March 3, 2021 at 8:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,
Cover: The Marvellous Adventures of Maggie and Methuselah (A Hong Kong mystery)

It’s almost here – The Marvellous Adventures of Maggie and Methuselah, my very first chapter book for pre-teens to begin a brand new series! It’s all about the adventures of Maggie, a ten year old girl, her best friend Edmund Ma, and her very mischievous African Grey parrot Methuselah (who breaks into funny rhymes at the most inconvenient moments :))! Together, they solve real life mysteries in cities around the world – and for this, my very first chapter book, the real mystery they solve is set in my beloved Hong Kong! I’ll tell you all about it in posts to come! At the moment it’s still being illustrated by the amazing Charly Cheung, a Hong Kong based, international award winning artist. You can see more of her work here. And it’s being published by the wonderful Pete Spurrier at Blacksmith Books, one of Hong Kong’s leading publishers, later this month. I’m SO excited!

The fabulous students of Year 5 at Harrow International School HK were the very first students in the world to hear about it, and to hear me read Chapter 1 from the book! Thank you for being such a fantastic audience, and for asking such brilliant questions afterwards! I hear from Mrs Campbell that she has challenged you to write your very own Chapter 2 – I can’t wait to hear what you’ve written!

And if any of my followers want to pre-order a copy of my new book, just click on this link!

A very special day at Harrow International School Hong Kong!

March 3, 2021 at 7:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

A big Hellooooo to all you fabulous students and staff at Harrow International School Hong Kong! Thank you so much for having me yesterday for my first Hong Kong school visit to celebrate this brand new Year of the Ox! It was wonderful to spend time with you reading The Tale of Oswald Ox to the Year 1s to Year 4s, and The Tale of Chester Choi to the gorgeous K1 and K2 kiddies! And then to visit with the Grade 5s…but that was so special it deserves another post all to itself!! A huge thank you to wonderful Director of Libraries Liz Campbell for inviting me and for being my fantastic host for the day! Kung Hei Fat Choi!

And the winner of my Oswald Ox Colouring-In Competition is…

March 2, 2021 at 1:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags:
Winning entry: Amethyst Yen, Morrison Academy, Taiwan

Wow! Isn’t the colouring-in of this picture from The Tale of Oswald Ox so special! Congratulations to Amethyst Yen, 10 years old, from Morrison Academy in Taiwan, for winning my Year of the Ox Colouring-In Competition! Amethyst wins a free copy of The Tale of Oswald Ox, together with a signed book plate! Well done Amethyst!

And if you missed entering this competition, you still have time to enter my Oxcellent Ox Tale Competition – just scroll down the Clever Competition page here for all the details!

Just 26 days to get your entries into the Oxcellent Ox Tale Competition!

March 2, 2021 at 12:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,
From The Tale of Oswald Ox, illustration by Harry Harrison

The rooster from Oswald Ox’s farm is sounding the alarm! You’ve got just 26 DAYS left to get your entry into my An Oxcellent Ox Tale writing competition, with fabulous prizes including a FREE author visit to your school! Go to my Clever Competition page right away for all the details (you’ll need to scroll down a little). I can’t wait to read your entry!

FOUR funny and fabulous Year of the Ox challenges!

February 16, 2021 at 1:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

Yes, I know, you’re stuck at home and this Chinese New Year isn’t exactly the one we’re all used to, with its Lion Dances and big family feasts and crowds of people out there enjoying all the festivities! But fear not! I have some fun challenges for all you kids at home to complete over the Chinese New Year holidays!

You can:

  • Enter my fabulous international writing competition for primary school kids, An Oxcellent Ox Tale Competition!
  • Enter my brand new Oswald Ox Colouring-In Competition with two beautiful pictures to download!
  • Make my funny Moo Mask!
  • Listen to me reading The Tale of Oswald Ox with Asia Society Hong Kong!

Just click here to go right away to my brand new Fun Challenges page for all the links!

So what are you waiting for! Ready, Steady, GO!!

Don’t miss a fun session with Harry Harrison and me at the Hong Kong Young Readers’ Festival next week!

June 5, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Being a publisher, Hong Kong Young Readers Festival 2020, Literary Festivals, Shatin Junior School, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

I’m so excited to be a part of the Hong Kong Virtual Young Readers Festival 2020! I’m appearing alongside British author and performer Mark Llewelyn Evans, who uses music and storytelling to engage kids with the story of opera, Australian writer and bush worker Matt Zurbo, who inspires kids to create their own stories by finding humour and inspiration in every day events, and fellow Hong Kong writer Anna Tso! The Festival is accessible to all children in Hong Kong, live this and next week, and after that you can view the sessions on the HKYRF website at any time!

My live session with Harry Harrison takes place next Wednesday, and today we had a fun rehearsal with the kids of Shatin Junior School for an audience! They watched our very funny, informative video session, made by my daughter Annabel Cohen, in which we tell how The Chinese Calendar Tales came about, and how to publish a picture book, with some fantastic footage of Harry drawing one of our characters from The Tale of Chester Choi, from initial sketch to final painting! Make sure you visit the HKYRF site next week to see the video and Q and A session yourself!

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.