I have a fond place in my heart for the old Burnside Homes on Pennant Hills Road in North Parramatta, NSW. They have such a rich history and I feel privileged to have been enabled to glimpse the personal stories of past residents by my various roles in the After Care program over the years. So it was with great pleasure I visited the Airlie building on Monday (24.8.15), to read When I See Grandma to two gorgeous gatherings of preschoolers.
What I found inside this old building was a modern and well set up preschool with warm, professional teachers committed to best practice. It was an inviting, welcoming and culturally sensitive space and I was made to feel very comfortable. This all made for an engaging, fun and relaxed visit in which the children responded with genuine enthusiasm. What more could an author want?!
I followed When I See Grandma with My Nanna is a Ninja (illustrated by Peter Carnavas and written by Damon Young) for a bit of light-hearted balance. I was chuffed to hear them divided as to their favourite story of the day!
Hooray for Book Week! And thank you Airlie Preschool for celebrating it with me!
You can hear past residents from Burnside talk about their childhood at the Homes at: www.burnside.org.au/stories
I have a permanent 'blogspot' over at the new Just Write For Kids Blog on the first Friday of every month, plus a 'roving' spot. Just Write For Kids Blog is a new website for writers, teachers, parents and all with an interest in children's literature. . Here's the link to my first post - an interview with emerging author Shelly Unwin who has just signed not one, but a FIVE book deal with a major publisher! (LINK) I'd love for you to pop over and look around - it even has a facebook page to "like' and follow...
I am super excited to tell you all that my flash fiction story 'Skin Deep' was highly commended in the Fellowship of Australian Writers Queensland (FAWQ) Flash Fiction Competition. "What is flash fiction?" I hear you ask! Flash fiction is a super short story - how short varies, but for this competition it was a story in less than 250 words. I love it because they are great stories that are quick to read (not so quick to write!) I can't reprint it here because it will be published in the FAWQ magazine 'Scope'.
Here's what the judge, Dimity Powell said:
I would again like to extend my sincere congratulations to Pat Simmons, Debra Tidball and Christine Johnson who all gained placings in the recent FAWQ Flash Fiction comp I had the honour of judging...I was thoroughly delighted by some of the entries and inspired by all those who were brave and bold enough to enter in the first place. Well done everybody! Challenges like these are what gives us the impetus and encouragement to share more of ourselves and our words - with others. In the end, placing in comps is it not all that matters (although lovely!) but what you make of the opportunities presented to you. You are all writing winners.
You can find out more about Dimity here.
I first read flash fiction in Short and Twisted - an anthology of short stories and poems. I submitted two stories for this year's anthology (not Skin Deep), but they were not accepted - perhaps next year!
Interested in writing flash fiction? There's a great facebook group for you - 52 flash fiction challenge - write a quick story every week for a year - you'd have to improve by the end of it (see my prior post :) ) and then you could enter the competition next year too!