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Archive for July, 2009

Book Chook

© Greg Mitchell

The spring 2009 issue of Alphabet Soup will be out in mid August and inside you’ll find a new writing tips column from the Book Chook!

‘But who is this Book Chook?’ we hear you ask.

The Book Chook is the secret identity of an Australian writer who loves to read, write, and dress up as a chicken. (Doesn’t everybody?) She enjoys reading great stories that make her laugh, and make her feel as if she’s right in the middle of the action.

She says: it’s exciting to join Alphabet Soup (Chicken Soup would not have been exciting at all). And I’m looking forward to chatting to kids about the craft of writing.

If you have a question about writing, email it to bookchook@alphabetsoup.net.au and your question might appear in a future  issue of Alphabet Soup!*

*If we use your question, we will only print your name, age and state/country in the magazine unless you advise us otherwise.

[Dear Readers, Just in case you're wondering, the Book Chook is NOT ME! I do love reading, but my chicken costume hasn't been worn in years ... ~Rebecca - Alphabet Soup's Editor.]

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We’re very pleased to introduce you to Annette Flexman, the newest member of our Illustration by Annette Flexmanillustration team! Annette joins Greg Mitchell, who has been our sole (and hardworking!) illustrator since issue 1.

We asked Annette to tell us a bit about herself. And here’s what she said:

I discovered I loved drawing in early primary school. I remember drawing lots of farm animals, as we had lots of pets at home, and then moved on to space ships and space creatures as I got older!

I recently discovered watercolour pencils which are just fantastic to work with. I’m very excited about joining the Alphabet Soup team, especially because I get to read all those fantastic stories and poems from the young readers out there!

You can see a sample of Annette’s artwork up at the top of the post there. She’s been very busy with pencils, paper and scissors flying – getting pages ready for issue 4 (out mid-August 2009). Don’t miss it!

You can order copies of issue 4, (or subscribe to Alphabet Soup!) by going to our website www.alphabetsoup.net.au.

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The Children’s Book Council of Australia has released a ‘trailer’ for Book week 2009. This year’s Book Week theme is ‘Book Safari’!

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Monkey FistMake sure you check back on 8 August 2009 – we’ll be chatting with Sandy Fussell, author of the Samurai Kids series.

The fourth book in the series, Monkey Fist, will be out in August 2009 – stay tuned!

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If you like to write haiku and senryu, you might like to enter the 2009 City of Perth Library Haiku Competition. (First prize in the primary school category is a $40 gift voucher!) Entries close Thursday 13 August 2009, at 5 pm.

Entries will be displayed on the Haiku Wall in the Library during the WA National Poetry Week (31 Aug – 5 Sept). Entries will be judged by the Office of the Consulate-General of Japan, Perth.

Make sure you read the entry conditions.

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We came across this video of Stephen Michael King working in his studio. Watch him at work!

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Well done to everyone who sent entries in for our winter ’09 writing competition!

Over the past two days we’ve read through some imaginative and entertaining stories – and we’ve come to the conclusion that you really are a talented bunch. It’s difficult to choose just one winner for each age category.

Remember that writing as often as you can is a good way to improve your writing skills. So, even if you are not a prize-winner this time, entering the competition has helped your story-writing. Keep writing!

You’ll read the winning stories in the spring ’09 issue of Alphabet Soup and there’ll be a new writing competition announced in the spring ’09 issue. (Hurrah!)

And of course, while you’re waiting for the next writing comp, there’s still time to send in your artwork for our design-a-cover competition (for kids under 12). For entry forms and more details, see the competitions page on the Alphabet Soup website.

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