The results are out in my Dashing Dog Story Competition!

May 2, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, writing competitions | Leave a comment
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Desmond holding child

At long last I’ve finished the judging of my Dashing Dog Story Competition! I had some important family matters to attend to over the last month, and as we all know, family comes first – even when there’s an exciting competition to be judged! So thank you all so much for your patience! There were a very impressive 66 entries in all, from students in 17 different schools in 7 cities around the world: Beijing, Changzhou, Chicago, Doha, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Shanghai. The overall standard of the stories was very high, making it extremely difficult to pick the order of the winners!

Special congratulations to the first place winners in each category:

FIRST PLACE in GRADE ONE TO THREE CATEGORY: Hannah Thompson, Grade 3 Methodist Ladies College, Kew, Melbourne, 8 years old

FIRST PLACE in GRADE FOUR TO SIX CATEGORY: Aoife Mary Walshe, 4th grade, SUIS HongQiao Campus, Shanghai, 9 years old

And to the ten other place-winners! If you’d like to read their fabulous stories, click here right away!

Enjoy!

Desmond Dog at Discovery Bay International School!

April 25, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Posted in Discovery Bay International School, Hong Kong Schools, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Sarah Brennan and the-not so-believable pirate 23Apr18

Desmond Dog and I dashed into Discovery Bay International School on Monday for a fabulous day of story readings of The Tale of Desmond Dog for the whole of primary school and a poetry workshop for some selected students –  just before I left for Sydney in the evening! Here I am Aha Me Hearties-ing with lovely librarian Melanie Foti who was my host for the day – she makes a great pirate, don’t you agree?! Below you can see me with the fabulous Year 5s and 6s, and beneath that, with Maddy and Grace, Year 6 Library Amabassadors who also make EXCELLENT pirates!

Sarah Brennan with y5 and y6 23Apr18

Sarah Brennan with Maddy and Grace Y6 Library Ambassadors 23Apr18

Bear with me please!

April 19, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Desmond saving cat

Hello again, all you patient writers who sent in such fantastic entries into my Dashing Dog Writing Competition! I’ve been working as hard as I can to judge your stories…but alas I have to be in Australia next week and won’t be able to complete the judging till I get back! I’m LOVING all the stories I’ve read so far! So please, bear with me – and I’ll let you know the results just as soon as I’m back in Hong Kong!

A fun morning at FSSA in Yau Tong!

April 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Fukien Secondary School Affiliated, Hong Kong Schools, Story Readings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to Head of English and Deputy Principal Nicolas Delbos (with me above right) and Sunny Ding (above left) for hosting me yesterday at Fukien Secondary School Affiliated Primary School for a morning of fun story readings with all the kids from Primary One to Primary Six! The P1 to P3 kids met my vain but loveable Pin Yin Panda as we explored the Legend of Lord Buddha’s Race and how all the animals got into the Chinese Zodiac in The Tale of Pin Yin Panda, while the P4 to P6s pretended to be fabulously fearsome pirates as I read them this year’s Chinese Calendar TaleThe Tale of Desmond Dog! We had a lot of fun!

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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Front cover image without text

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!

Another stunning sonnet from Suzhou…

April 9, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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During my visit to Suzhou Science and Technology Town Foreign Language School in China last month, I had the pleasure of meeting an exceptional young man, Ivan Huang Yiheng, whose teacher has sent me his latest work.

Meet Ivan, who is 15 years old, below:

生活照_爱奇艺.jpgand read his beautiful sonnet, based on the theme of Summer – Ivan has sent me some gorgeous summer photos from China which compliment the poem perfectly!

Summer  
Summer is just the grandest time of year;
Unending times of fun and merriment,
Masses of lovely flowers, heaven sent.
Moments of wonderment are everywhere,
Early mornings, the lovely sights appear.
Riveting colors in a wild ascent.
Painted on mountain tops without relent.
Loveliness so rich I can only stare. 
Ever deeper reds radiate in the sky
And I am fascinated by the show.
Sun is now shining brightly all around.
Unimpressed by the beauty from a high.
Robins keep right on pecking for they know
Easy breakfasts are waiting to be found.

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Thank you so much Ivan – and keep on writing – you have great talent!

Desmond Dog leaps into Beacon Hill School last Wednesday!

March 26, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Posted in Beacon Hill School, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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BHS with

Last Wednesday, Desmond Dog and I visited the fabulous kids of Beacon Hill School in Kowloon Tong! We had four funny (and highly educational :)!) reading sessions of The Tale of Desmond Dog with all the kids from Grades 1, 2, 3 and 6! They learned all about Hong Kong’s origins as a small fishing village, the infamous pirate queen Ching Shih, and the characteristics of people born in the Year of the Dog! A warm thank you to the lovely Emily Jeves, Teacher Librarian (above left) for hosting me, and to her assistant Shirley Lowe, Librarian, between us. Emily and Shirley are both Dragons, and I’m a Rat, if you’re wondering about the toys we’re holding!

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!

A great afternoon at Good Hope School in Hong Kong!

March 26, 2018 at 10:29 am | Posted in Good Hope School, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to my lovely host Shallin Ng for inviting me last Monday to speak to the girls of the prestigious Good Hope School in Wong Tai Sin about How to Become Great Writers in the Digital Age! We covered everything from freeing up time by reducing extra-curricular activities, to reducing time on social media and digital games, to reading copiously, to keeping diaries! Here I am above with Deputy Principal Ms Helen Yu who presented me with a beautiful gift. I hope to see you all again soon!

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Two brilliant young poets from Suzhou!

March 24, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Posted in poetry, Suzhou schools, Suzhou Science and Technology Town Foreign Language School | 2 Comments
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Meet Rose Yang Siyu (11) and her brother Jerry (14), students who attend the Suzhou Science and Technology Town Foreign Language School in Suzhou which I visited during my Beijing trip. The school is very keen to promote creativity among its students, including poetry-writing! I think you’ll agree that these sonnets below are wonderful!

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