2 Clever Competition finalists from Taiwan!

December 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Posted in Hsinchu International School, Taiwan Schools | Leave a comment
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Say hello to two clever young writers from Grade 2M of Hsinchu International School in Taiwan! Isabel Huang (holding her prize, a signed copy of The Tale of Sybil Snake) won 2nd Place in the Grade 1 to 3 Category of my latest competition, the My Favourite Season Haiku Competition, and Alyssa Lin (holding a signed copy of The Tale of Chester Choi), won 3rd place! Standing with them is their lovely teacher, Cairan Meister, Congratulations girls! You can see their winning entries on my Clever Competitions page here!

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!

Well done Jemma Julian!

August 19, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Book Week, children's literacy, Fabulous fans! | Leave a comment
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Followers of my Clever Competitions over the years may remember Jemma Julian, a fantastic writer who regularly won places in my Clever Competitions! Jemma is now 14 years old, and I caught up with her and her lovely mum Diana Reynolds at Beecroft for lunch today! Gemma not only still writes stories, but also she is now the  published author of a beautiful book about Australian wildlife called Fiona for Fauna. Isn’t that amazing? Here she is above with her book, with Diana who drew the wonderful illustrations. Click on this link if you want to find out more!

Not only is Gemma a published writer, but also she has her own Youtube channel where you can see her singing songs she has written herself! She is such a talented person! And guess what? Gemma has always read lots and lots and lots of books! That’s how you become a highly creative and imaginative human being!

Maybe if you also keep reading lots and lots of books, and entering writing competitions like Gemma, you can become a published author and song-writer too!

Prize-giving at Arden Anglican School, Beecroft

August 19, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Arden Anglican School, Beecroft, Australian schools, Awards, Sydney schools | Leave a comment
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This morning I also visited Arden Anglican School in Beecroft where I met all the Grade 1s to Grade 3s in chapel, and presented a Boxed Set of the Chinese Calendar Tales to First Prize winner Saskia in the Practically Perfect Pig Tale Story Competition, Grade 1 to 3 Category! Isn’t she a clever girl! I also presented The Tale of Sybil Snake to Second Place winner Alisha (who sadly was home sick today, so her best friend received it on her behalf) and The Dark Horse Activity Book to young Muyao Zhang, who placed fourth! I look forward to receiving lots more entries from Arden Anglican School in my future competitions! You can see me below, with my pig Ping Pong and Saskia (left), and Muyao (right).

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!

The results are out in The Practically Perfect Pig Tale Competition!

June 15, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Illustration by Harry Harrison

At last! The results in my Practically Perfect Pig Tale Competition are out! Thank you all for your kindness and understanding over the last few weeks – it’s been a difficult time for me on the domestic front, which has caused some delay in getting all your stories read and marked on my special anonymous marking spreadsheet! But it’s also been a huge pleasure, and great fun, for me to read your stories! It was obvious that you all made a huge effort, and the overall standard was very high.

Thank you, each and every one of you, for your fantastic efforts and do make sure you enter my next Clever Competition!

There were a total of 44 entries from 12 fabulous schools in Beijing, Chicago, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Shanghai and Sydney. Special congratulations to First Place winners Saskia McDonald (Grade One to Three Category) and Daisy Palmer (Grade Four to Six Category)  who each receive a Boxed Set of the Chinese Calendar Tales! Congratulations also to the Second and Third Place winners who will receive a signed copy of one of the Chinese Calendar Tales of their choice!

To see the winning entries, just click here on my Clever Competitions page. And have fun reading the stories!

I’ll be posting details of my next Clever Competition when you all get back from holidays in September! Just scroll down to the link at the right hand side to subscribe to this blog, or to my newsletter to find out as soon as the details are posted!

Time’s Up! And the judging begins…

May 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Beijing Schools, Chicago schools, Clever Competitions, Hong Kong Schools, Melbourne schools, Shanghai schools, Sydney schools | Leave a comment
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Time’s up in my Practically Perfect Pig Tale Competition, and it’s time to start judging your fabulous entries! I’ve had over 50 magnificent entries from schools in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Melbourne, Sydney and Chicago – so it might take me a little bit of time!

So please be patient, all you clever writers out there, and Ping Pong Pig and I will be singing out the results as soon as we can!

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