I’m really excited this week to take on my first distance-learning student through the School for Young Writers. I’ve known this particular young writer for a number of years and had the pleasure of teaching her as part of our workshops last year. I just can’t wait to get started.
Delighted to announce that I’m now represented by Essie White of Storm Literary Agency. So excited to become part of this amazing group of authors and illustrators.
I’m really thrilled to hear that I’ve had two pieces accepted into ‘Bonsai’ – a forthcoming anthology of New Zealand Flash Fiction to be published by the University of Canterbury Press in 2018. The two pieces ‘Schrodinger’s Cat’ and ‘What the Science Tells Us’ are both pieces which I initially wrote for Flash Frontier’s science issue so it’s great to see them having a new lease of life in this lovely anthology. And I’m in great company – I’ve heard from some of the other authors included in this book – there’s going to be some amazing writing in there!
Had a fantastic Sunday evening at the Hell Fire Club poetry session in Lyttelton. Amazing to hear so many talented, local poets all in one place. This was my first time doing open mic poetry so I was honestly a bit nervous. I’ve ready plenty of fiction to audiences before but have never really been happy with my poems. So, it was with some trepidation that I stepped up to the mic….
Fun evening, met some great new people, and I’ve been invited back as a guest poet next time!
On Thursday next week, some of Christchurch’s brightest and bravest young poets will take to the mic to perform their work for National Poetry Day. And I’m thrilled that some of them are my students.
In the build up to this celebration of poetry, I’ve been doing lots of work on poems with my classes. It’s great fun to explore concepts such as rhyme and rhythm, which children’s poetry does so well. But what is poetry, really? When I ask my students about non-rhyming poems they often look at me blankly. They usually can’t think of any poems that don’t rhyme and often have no idea how to begin writing one. Of course, I have the odd student who writes beautiful poetry like they’ve been doing it all their lives, but that really is the exception.
So, my plea, this National Poetry Day, is for all of us, parents and teachers, to read more poetry to our children. Not just the funny, bouncing rhymes of childhood, but poetry that explores feelings, ideas, places and things. That way we can help inspire the next generation of poets.
Sometimes there are those magic moments. I had a lovely phone call on Monday evening from a parent of a student in one of my writing classes. He phoned to let me know what a HUGE difference my class was making to his daughter’s writing. She’s gone from being a reluctant writer to writing three books over the last school holidays. Yay!
Today, Dr Jane Goodall is in Christchurch. She has been a hero of mine for many years and today, at last, I get to hear her speak. Can’t wait!
What an amazing evening at the National Flash Fiction Day celebrations last night. I was so pleased to see one of my students doing so well again, in this year’s competition. Well done Shelby!
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