Thursday, April 10, 2014

Byron Bay Book Launch

What? BOOK LAUNCH - Two Wolves and My Life & Other Stuff That Went Wrong

Where? Byron Bay Community Centre, SCU room

When? Thursday 17 April, 1:15-2:15pm
(Right after my NRWC Your Life & Other Stuff You Made Up writing workshop for 9-13 year-olds.)

Cost: Free!

Menu: Vegemite on Toes, Wetlands Surprise, Creaming Soda Vomit, Jagrofest Wings, Scabs.

Details: Join me and 13-year-old wunderkind author Raph Atkins (whose story 'Morris' is featured in My Life & Other Stuff That Went Wrong) to celebrate the launch of my two new books.

Two Wolves is a mystery-adventure novel for 10+ year-olds and My Life & Other Stuff That Went Wrong is a book of weird-funny-gross short stories for ages 7+. (We're also re-launching My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up with a fresh cover.)

It’ll be a fast, funny session for kids and adults with giveaways and weird snacks provided. There will be an opportunity to buy and have books signed afterwards.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Inside a Dog

I'm blogger-in-residence at Inside a Dog (State Library of Victoria's Centre for Youth Literature) for the month of April.

My plan is to develop a movie script based on my new book Two Wolves in collaboration with readers of the blogI'd love you to join in and throw around ideas for the script, talk about the best book-to-movie adaptations, learn a bit about screenwriting, draft some scenes and use transmedia tools (images, video, maps, apps and music) to develop the film. I'd also like you to test-drive the new Web-based Story Scrapbook story brainstorming tool before it's released into the world.

You don't need to have read Two Wolves yet. Although you can get a free sample here:

If and when the movie is made I'll ensure there's a Special Thanks credit for any Inside a Doggers who leave comments and contribute to the development of the screenplay.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

WIN My Life & Other Stuff That Went Wrong

My Life & Other Stuff That Went Wrong, my new book of weird-funny-gross short stories hits bookstores today. To celebrate, get creative, enter the competition, win a copy of the book and a limited edition 'Morris' t-shirt. Entries close 3 April.

Raph Atkins is a super-talented 13-year-old writer whose short story 'Morris' features in My Life & Other Stuff That Went Wrong. Raph also stars in the two-minute trailer for the book below, and he's running the competition on his Facebook page.

Warning: Competition involves scabs and toenails. Not for the weak stomached.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Somerset Celebration of Literature 2014

For three days each year, Children's and Young Adult books become rock 'n' roll, at the Somerset Celebration of Literature. Somerset College on Queensland's Gold Coast has just wrapped it's 21st Celebration with more than 15,000 ticket sales.

I have been lucky enough to speak at the fest twice before but this year's was more impressive than ever with packed sessions, fairy-lit night-time parties and amazing authors, staff, student helpers and parent volunteers. We stayed in a beautiful hotel and, most importantly, we ate Dippin' Dots ice cream – that's what keeps the peeps coming back year after year.

Here's my experience of Somerset 2014 in pics.

With author Jacquie Harvey at the Prologue Party on opening night.
At the Prologue Party, I launched the 2014 Room to Read World Change Challenge,
our bid to raise $20,000 for 20,000 books for kids in the developing world.
Adele from the State Library of Victoria's dynamic Centre for Youth Literature
announced the 2014 Inky Awards long list.
I ran a Story Scrapbook workshop which produced some fun creative results. The Web-based version of the tool will launch in the next couple of months.

In another session, the inmates turned on me, chanting, 'Slime him! Slime him!' And slime me they did.

International Slime-an-Author Day.
Don and Hayley were my student guides and constant companions for the fest.
I voted them employees of the year and have requested that they receive large cash payments
and bonus marks from the school. No word as yet.
I met lots of new authors and picked up lots of great books.
I'm almost done with 'All I Ever Wanted' - one of the best Young Adult books I've read.
With Jacquie Harvey, Sarana Behan from Random House, illustrator Tony Flowers and madman-author Nick Falk.
Tony Flowers' Literary Dinner tablecloth decorations.
I haven't eaten very many of my books before.
But this one was a cake, so I devoured it with the people below.
(L-R) Authors & illustrators Nick Falk, Jess Shirvington, Andrew Weldon, Tony Flowers, Me and Gabrielle Wang.
It was the most delicious book any of us had ever eaten. 
And, of course, Dippin' Dots... Sure, kids like the books but they LOVE Dippin' Dots. So, too, the authors.

Sadly, no Dots were available to be photographed. I had eaten them.

I wound down after the festival with a quiet spot of child-chucking (below). He's mine, so I think it's legal. And he asked me to do it again immediately after he surfaced. And again. And again.

Somerset is a school with a focus on service and on bringing literature to as wide an audience as possible, with some students travelling many hours by bus to attend. The festival is an impressive feat, executed with a sense of joy, camaraderie and kindness. A big thank you to all who contributed but, in particular, to Andrea Lewis and Karen Mackie who make the festival happen year after year. I look forward to attending the 42nd Somerset Celebration in 21 years' time (hoping they'll open up ticket sales to local nursing homes).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Room to Read World Change Challenge 2014

Help us reach our 2014 goal of $20,000 for 20,000 local language books for kids in the developing world.

Last night I launched the 2014 Room to Read World Change Challenge at the Somerset Celebration of Literature, one of Australia's biggest festivals of Children's and Young Adult books (15,000 attendees this year!).
Part of the 600-strong crowd during last night's launch of the 2014 Room to Read World Change Challenge at
Somerset Celebration of Literature 
In 2014 I want to, once again, harness the positivity, energy and crazy ideas of Australian school students to give children in the developing world access to books in their own language.

The Project: 2014 World Change Challenge

Our Goal: $20,000 for 20,000 books in 2014

The Method: Students, classes and schools all over Australia can get involved and create their own wild and wonderful challenges to help raise money towards our goal.

Prizes: For the class or group that raises the most money, Random House Australia will fly me to your school and give a free author talk or writing workshop.
Second prize is $250 worth of books from Random House.
More prizes announced soon!

To Register: Leave a comment on this post below or send an email. Room to Read will 
be in touch with registration details.

Watch the 4-minute video below to get ideas for your own World Change Challenge.

Our first World Change Challenge in 2012 saw the building of this school library in Siem Reap Cambodia. 

World Change Starts With Educated Children.
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