Zoom visit to Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong this morning!

June 1, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Posted in Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong, Virtual visits, Writing competitions for kids, writing workshops for children, Zoom visits | Leave a comment
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This morning I spent a fun hour with the kids of Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong who learned all about How to Write a Riveting Story! Clever competition winner James Bruser Zarin starred as the main character in an adventure story I told the kids to demonstrate all the vital steps to make a story a reader won’t want to put down! I can’t wait to see more Shrewsbury entries in my next Clever Competition! Thanks to Beth McNeilly, librarian and my lovely host for the session!

At last! The results are out in The Rascally Rat Tale Competition!

May 9, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Posted in Arden Anglican School, Beecroft, Australian schools, Challenges and activities, Hong Kong Schools, Shanghai schools, Singapore schools, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Illustration by Harry Harrison from The Tale of Run Run Rat

Hooray! At last the results in The Rascally Rat Tale Competition have been posted on my Clever Competitions page! Now I know that a lot of you have been doing lots of school work online during the Covid epidemic, so we had fewer entrants than usual, although we still had entries from Hong Kong, Melbourne, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney! They were of a very high standard, so it was difficult choosing the best! I did so using my special spreadsheet, with all the entries anonymised, which you can read more about on the results page.

Congratulations to everyone who put in an entry, and to all the place-winners! Special congratulations to Therese Li of Arden Anglican School in Beecroft, Sydney for placing FIRST in the Year 1 to 3 Category, and to James Bruser Zarin of Shrewsbury International School, Hong Kong, who placed FIRST in the Year 4 to 6 Category. They both win a signed copy of the Chinese Calendar Tale of their choice, as well as a Boxed Set of the Chinese Calendar Tales for their school libraries! Well done! Congratulations also to the English teachers of Arden Anglican School in Beecroft, Sydney whose students write to an exceptionally high standard for their ages!

So go to my Clever Competitions page right away to read the winning stories and enjoy!

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!

If you’re sitting at home looking for a bit of fun!

February 12, 2020 at 8:04 am | Posted in Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Precious and Bright IdeaHello all you primary school kids out there who are sitting at home with all that home school work! If you want a bit of fun, this is your PERFECT opportunity to enter my Rascally Rat Tale story writing competition! You can see all the special ingredients and rules here! So get out those pens and start writing!

 

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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!

A fabulous day at The Peak School!

October 14, 2019 at 9:47 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Poetry Workshops for kids, Story Readings, The Peak School, Writing competitions for kids, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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It’s been a HUGELY busy fortnight, and first of all I have to let you all know about my fabulous day at The Peak School back on Thursday 3rd October! We had a fun day of story readings and workshops for everyone from Year 3 to Year 6! We started with my How to Write a Riveting Story workshop for the Year 6s; next came an Introduction to Poetry for the Year 4s; the Year 5s then learned all the science explaining why Books are a Brain’s Best Friend, and finally the Year 3s had a funny story reading of The Tale of Ping Pong Pig where they learned all about the mighty Yongle Emperor, and cheered as Ping Pong Pig evaded the cunning Minister of Most Important Things! Thank you to lovely librarian Rebecca Rigden Green for being such a wonderful host! And I can’t wait to receive all your entries in my Clever Competition!

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 funny and fabulous day at Rose Bay Public School!

August 20, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Poetry Workshops for kids, Rose Bay Public School, Story Readings, Sydney schools, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Today I visited wonderful Rose Bay Public School, where I worked with all the classes from Kindy to Year 6!

The Kindies and Years 1 and 2 heard me read my story Storm Whale, and saw all of Jane Tanner’s beautiful illustrations up on the screen. We shared some fascinating facts about sperm whales, and how we can help them to survive.  Then I introduced them to my Chinese Calendar Tales and the characters of the Chinese Zodiac! They were very surprised to learn that Captain Cook was born in the Year of the Rat, and Winnie the Pooh was born in the Year of the Tiger!

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Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 heard me read my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Ping Pong Pig – and had a lot of fun filling in the missing words! Congratulations to the Bandicoot Team in Years 5 and 6 which narrowly defeated the Echidna Team in filling in the blanks! I hope that this afternoon has inspired you all to have a go at writing your own rhyming verse…I have a feeling that you will be rather good at it!

And, of course, I hope that you’re all going to enter my next Clever Competition for kids which will be announced on this blog on the 1st of September!

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Huge thanks to lovely librarian Sarah Skelton (above right) and her fabulous assistant Gill Davidson for hosting me today! I wonder if you can guess what year of the Chinese Zodiac we were each born in?

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!

Well done Daisy!

June 22, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Japanese International School, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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On Wednesday afternoon, I had the great pleasure of presenting Daisy Palmer, winner of the Grade 4 to 6 Category of the Practically Perfect Pig Tale Competition, with her First Place prize of a Boxed Set of the Chinese Calendar Tales! Here we are at the assembly at Japanese International School in Hong Kong, with, from left to right, librarian Cath Wan, Principal Simon Walton, Daisy’s mum Claire, and head of Student Support, Glenda Baillie. Thank you Simon for inviting me – it was a real honour!

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