The Princess is thinking…be patient my friends!

November 1, 2018 at 10:16 am | Posted in Clever Competitions, Poetry competitions for children, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Precious and Bright Idea

Illustration by Harry Harrison from The Tale of Temujin

Do not disturb! This Princess Precious is thinking! And she’s loving all the entries in the Perfect Pet Poem Competition! I’ll be announcing the results soon – but please be patient in the meantime! Remember…a watched pot never boils!!!

Beware!! Just 11 days left in my Perfect Pet Poem Competition for Primary School kids!

October 17, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, Poetry competitions for children, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Short pic of Ching Shih

Ching Shih, the real-life pirate queen in my story The Tale of Desmond Dog, would like to warn you that you have just 11 days left to enter your Perfect Pet Poem in my latest Clever Competition! The deadline is 28 October – and you can enter from anywhere in the world!  But beware! If you miss the deadline, Ching Shih might just chop your ears off!! Read all the details of the competition here!

It’s time for a new Clever Competition!

August 19, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Posted in Book Week, Clever Competitions, Poetry competitions for children, Writing competitions for kids | 3 Comments
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Desmond saving catHello all my lovely followers out there! I’ve been away on summer holidays with my family, and have just had a fantastic time in Melbourne for Book Week, and now I’m back on deck here in Hong Kong! So it’s high time for another challenge for you budding writers!

This time you must write a poem about a Perfect Pet! It can be your pet, or a pet you’d love to have, or even somebody else’s pet! It can any sort of pet – from an ant to an elephant, so long as it’s a pet you’d love to have!

It can be any sort of poem too! Go to my Clever Competitions page here to find out how to enter and to check out all the rules!

The deadline is Sunday, 28th October, so get out your pen and paper, and start writing now! I can’t wait to read your entry!

The Dashing Dog Story Competition judging begins!

April 9, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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A big THANK YOU to all you wonderful writers out there who entered my Dashing Dog Story Competition! I’ve been away in Australia looking after my Mum over the last 2 weeks since the competition deadline, so I’m just starting the judging today!

There are a whopping 68 entries, from 18 different schools in 5 different countries ranging from Doha to the United States to Australia to China! So please be patient and bear with me, and I’ll post the results just as soon as I can!

Just 5 days left in my Dashing Dog Story Writing Competition!

March 26, 2018 at 11:29 am | Posted in Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Desmond chasing herons

WOOF! Desmond would like to warn you that there are just 5 days to go in my latest writing competition for Primary School aged kids anywhere around the world! So if you want to take part, quickly click here for all the details! I can’t wait to read your story!

Ahoy there! Just 31 days left to enter your Dashing Dog Story in my Clever Competition!

February 20, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Short pic of Ching ShihChing Shih would like to remind you all that you have only 31 days left until the deadline of the Dashing Dog Story Competition! She would also like to remind you that failure to enter might just result in your being tied in knots and hoisted overboard!!!!

So heave ho me hearties, and send those stories in! It’s very chilly at the bottom of the South China Sea! All the details you need are here!

Desmond starts his Hong Kong tour early!

January 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Story Readings, workshops, Writing competitions for kids, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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Front cover image without textDesmond Dog got off to an early start (a month before his official year begins!) yesterday when I visited one of my favourite Hong Kong schools, Kingston International School in Kowloon Tong! The Grade Ones met Desmond first, and as such, had naming rights for the two little creatures that Harry Harrison always adds in to his wonderful illustrations! See my next post to find out what they called them! The Lower Primary school all had fun pretending they were pirates, like the infamous baddie in the story, Ching Shih, with many a ferocious “Aha, me hearties!” but were reminded at the end of the story that Crime Doesn’t Pay! They also learned about Hong Kong’s early history! Then the Grade 4s to 6s all took part in my How to Write A Riveting Story workshop! I can’t wait to see their entries in my new Dashing Dog Story Competition! Warm thanks to Jade Englebracht who hosted me – I had a ball! More photos to come!

It’s time for a Dashing Dog Story Writing Competition!

January 14, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Chinese Calendar Tales, Writing competitions for kids | 4 Comments
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Desmond holding child

Are you a primary school student anywhere in the world? Do you love DOGS? Do you love writing stories? Then it’s time to enter my latest international Clever Competition, The Dashing Dog Story Competition!

Introducing Desmond Dog, the latest loveable character in the Chinese Calendar Tales series! Like all Chinese Zodiac dogs, he’s brave, noble and kind, and he LOVES protecting his little village, keeping everybody safe from harm! And of course, his Year of the Chinese Zodiac is just around the corner!

So it’s about time that we had a story writing competition all about DOGS! This time I want you to write me a story about a typical Chinese Zodiac Dog, like Desmond. I want him to be brave, kind, honourable and above all, DASHING!! You also must have

  • a title for your story, the more interesting the better!
  • a Chinese setting – be that a village, a city, a river, a lake, a mountain or even a Chinese planet in the future! So you’ll have to do a bit of research, and make sure to include lots of details which make the setting typically Chinese!
  • a scary typhoon!
  • a flying fish with golden scales
  • a wise philosopher
  • an evil cat
  • the colour mikado – and if you don’t know what colour that is, you’ll have to look it up!

Go to my Clever Competitions page here for all the details, rules and information.

The deadline date is Friday 23rd March, so pick up that paper and pen and get ready…get set…WOOF!

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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humpback-whale-1945416__340

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!

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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humpback-whale-1945416__340

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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