Australian Author of Children’s Books and Teen Books: March 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Would You Rather?

I recently played a rather funny game of 'Would You Rather...?' with Booktopia TV host, Jack-Black-alike and funnyman, Andrew Cattanach.

He poses some of the most challenging questions of our time, like 'Would you rather have $100 cash or $500 worth of cheese sticks?' Must-see TV and a chilling insight into the mind of a children's and teen author.

P.S. Booktopia has some signed copies My Life books 2 & 3 available now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Advice For Young Writers

Here are my top ten writing tips for children published recently in Just Kidding Magazine. I hope you find lots of inspiration. I learnt much of this while writing the My Life series of short stories.

You can find more tips, story starters and interviews with some brilliant children's authors over on my Create page. Or, if you write a funny short story, you might want to enter my new short story competition for a chance to win some great prizes.

Teachers and parents should also take a peek at 'Tall Stories', a recent article in Haven Magazine that I contributed to on how to spark a child's imagination.


Monday, March 16, 2015

My Life & Other Massive Mistakes Book Tour

I'm half way through the My Life & Other Massive Mistakes book tour. In the past two weeks we've been to Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth meeting booksellers, librarians, teachers and kids. LOTS of kids. And it's true. They do smell bad. (The kids, not the booksellers.) But they're funny. And wildly creative. And they remind you to be freeeee. So I'll put up with the smell for now.

Next up, Melbourne and Brisbane, with Melbourne Children's Book Festival at The Wheeler Centre next Saturday bringing the My Life series alive on stage. (Also at this year's fest: Oliver Phommavanh, Andy Griffiths, Ursula Dubosarsky, Gabrielle Wang, Terry Denton, Mitch Vane, Shaun Tan and many more.)

You can follow my visual diary of the tour on Instagram.

Onward. I hope you're well and happy.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Life & Other Massive Mistakes Book Soundtrack

Music gets me going in the morning and drops me into the mood of the story that I'm writing. It also helps me to block out the rest of the world and feel the story rather than just thinking about it. 

The My Life series is funny, upbeat and Tom Weekly is a character who always looks on the bright side. The songs on the My Life & Other Massive Mistakes book soundtrack reflect that. I listened to these 12 songs throughout the writing of the book. Hope they get you going for the day, too. 

Feel free to share and embed the soundtrack wherever you like. Here are the links in case the Spotify window above is out of action:


Monday, March 9, 2015

My Life Short Story Competition

Know young writers (8-13 years-old) who tell funny stories? Enter the 2015 My Life Short Story Competition and win $1000 plus signed My Life books and $1000 worth of books for your school! (I secretly hope to find a story to include in my next My Life book, too.) 

You can only enter one story per person so rewrite and make it the best you possibly can. And remember that I'm trying to find a story that fits with the kind of humour in the My Life books, so grab one and have a read. All the details and an easy submission page for your entry are on the Random House Australia website:

Feel free to leave any questions on the competition below by clicking 'Comments'.

Happy writing!

Monday, March 2, 2015


A gang of old folks make a daring escape attempt from Kings Bay Nursing Home. Now, they're going to do it again and they need your help! Check out my short film book trailer above or read 'The Great Escape' in My Life & Other Massive Mistakes, then share your ideas on how you would escape from a nursing home using devious and wily old peeps weaponry. 
With the cast of the My Life book trailer. Extraordinary performances from a cast of, mainly, first time actors.
You can click 'Post a Comment' below or on the Youtube trailer or you can use the #RunCliffRun hashtag on Twitter or Instagram to share your idea. Include your first name and I will thank you in the back of the next 'My Life' book and, hopefully, use your idea in the next 'Great Escape' story.



My new book My Life & Other Massive Mistakes is out today. The book is full of stories based on all the massive mistakes I made when I was a kid. (Like sneaking a peek into the school staffroom at lunchtime. See the pic above by Gus Gordon.)

Over the next month I'm visiting schools, bookshops, festivals and libraries all over Australia and sharing more of my massive mistakes on Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. And I want you to share some of your own #MassiveMistakes, too.

If you've ever broken something important, had the world's worst haircut or embarrassed yourself in front of lots of people, you can leave a comment below or on the My Life Youtube trailer sharing your massive mistake. Or leave a comment or post on Instagram or Twitter using the #MassiveMistakes hashtag. I'm searching for Australia's Massivest (Is that a word?) Mistake throughout the month.

Deadline: 31 March.

I'll leave you with one of my #MassiveMistakes from childhood – the world's freakiest Easter parade hat. (I'm on the left.)

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