Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

PASS THE BOOK BATON

It’s Friday! And that means it’s time for Pass the Book Baton. Every week Alphabet Soup features a book creator who will answer one question before throwing a new question to the next Friday visitor. (It’s kind of like a book relay in slow motion.)

Today the book baton is passed to Sally Murphy. Sally has written over forty books for children including picture books, novels, non fiction, and verse novels. Her poetry has been published in magazines, anthologies and online. Sally’s latest book is Sage Cookson’s Fishy Surprise — book three in a series about a girl with parents who are celebrity tv chefs.

 

Sally’s next book — coming soon! — is called Looking Up. You might recognise some of these other books by Sally Murphy:

Last week Gabrielle Wang asked:
I would love to know how you began. I’m interested in hearing about that transition between being unpublished to being published. Did it take you long? Did you ever want to give up? Did you have many rejections?

Sally answers:
Where did I begin? Gosh that’s a hard one — I was always a writer. I started writing ‘stories’ before I could actually write anything legible, and as I grew up I didn’t really stop. I made up poems and stories all the time. I always knew I wanted to be an author, though by the time I left school I was less sure about how I would achieve that and earn a living.

So, although I kept writing I also did other things: became an English teacher, got married, had children. And I wrote in my spare time, and I submitted manuscripts, not really knowing a lot about the industry. I was rejected repeatedly. But persistence paid off. First I had a few poems published in small publications. Then, by chance, I saw an advertisement for teachers to write educational resource books and the next thing I knew, I had my first book contract. I was published!

It was a few more years, still writing and bringing up children (I have six) before I realised my dream of having fiction published. The educational books gave me the confidence to keep going, and I spent a lot of time studying market guides, and researching publishers and publishing on the internet, as well as improving my writing by writing, rewriting, getting critiques from a critique group, attending conferences and workshops and so on.

Looking Up by Sally Murphy

Looking Up (coming soon!)

My first trade publication came about because I saw online a call for manuscripts for a new chapter book series. I read the guidelines carefully and also read the few titles which had already been published in the series, to get a feel for what the publisher (Banana Books) wanted. Then I wrote, revised and submitted two manuscripts. The day that one of those was accepted was amazing.

Now, twenty years from my first educational book being published, I’ve had over 40 books (trade and educational) published. I still get rejections — more rejections than acceptances. And every time I get one I feel sad. But I also know that no piece of writing is wasted. Published or unpublished, that manuscript has added to my skills, a bit like sportspeople learn from every game or every training session.

Do I ever want to give up? Yes. When I get lots of rejections. Or when I can’t get a story to work. Or when I get a negative review. But the feeling never lasts long. I’m a writer. Writing is what I do.

Visit sallymurphy.com.au to find out more about her and her books.


Dropping InAnd now Sally Murphy passes the baton to the next Friday visitor — Geoff Havel. Geoff’s most recent book is Dropping In; an action-packed novel that explores friendship, bullying, and living with a disability.

Sally asks:
What is the thing (or things) you are most proud of in your writing career to date?
..
Check in every Friday for questions and answers from children’s authors and illustrators.
 ..
See you next week!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

Nightmares
by Jin Xiang, 10, VIC

 

Nightmares (artwork by Jin Xiang)

This will not be fun,
As your deepest fears,
Each and every one,
Brings out more tears.

They have come, they are here,
To haunt your life,
To grow your fear,
Cutting you like a knife.

Tearing you apart,
Your life has been shattered,
Breaking your heart,
Until nothing else mattered.

Suddenly you hear it, you do,
That ringing beep,
That saves you,
That wakes you from your sleep.


We’ve published Jin Xiang at Alphabet Soup previously — you can see her work here.  If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

 

Read Full Post »

Photo of dancers from pexels.com

I LOVE TO DANCE
by Anishka, 7, QLD

I love to dance.
The music gets me on my feet,
I follow the music with fifteen merry steps.

The melody is sweeter than the butterfly,
That’s flapping its wings,
It takes me round and round being careful,
Not to get dizzy and fall.

But I have fun,
Felt just like an angel.
Off I go, twirling and spinning,
Just like tingling, as I love dancing.


Anishka has been published at Alphabet Soup many times — you can read all her earlier work here.

If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!

Save

Read Full Post »

THE JACARANDAS
by Sophie, 9, QLD

It seems to be the season where all the jacarandas fall
I see jacarandas on the ground, not just one, but all

I see the beautiful colours so purple so bright
It is even better than the moon at night

Wow! I’m so lucky to see these flowers
I could stand here and look at them for hours


This is Sophie’s first poem published with Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!

Read Full Post »

TWISTED Ps
by Zara, 8, VIC

The painful panda picked up a peaceful peach playing a piano.
Pink pigs prefer pineapples.
Purple peacocks don’t like pasta or prawns.
Penelope Parker has a pet penguin and pet parrots.
The police pointed to a polar bear poking a poisonous pilot.


This is Zara’s first poem published with Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!

Read Full Post »

PASS THE BOOK BATON

Today we introduce a new Friday feature — Alphabet Soup will be featuring a book creator every Friday who will answer one question. And then they will ask one question of the next Friday’s visitor. (It’s kind of like a book relay in slow motion.)

We’re thrilled to have Kathryn Apel visiting for our first ever Pass the Book Baton! Kathryn writes poetry, picture books, novels and verse novels. You might know some of her books from the photo below.

 

Kathryn starts our interview series, so we asked Joseph to give her an interview question. (Joseph is 12, and is one of our Top Reads team members. He has reviewed Kathryn’s verse novels for Alphabet Soup.)

Q. I really enjoyed Bully on the Bus and On Track, both verse novels. But you’ve written other books, too. Why did you decide to write those two books as verse novels?

A. Verse novels very often deal with issues that have a lot of heart. They have humour and laughter too, but I think the raw emotions are key. I really wanted to try writing a verse novel, and chose a topic that would interest sporty kids. My first attempt was a verse novel about training, with threads of sibling rivalry and self-doubt. But I didn’t get far before I panicked. In fact, I’d only written 139 words! (I think I was feeling that self-doubt!)

Bully on the busI put it away to think about (or forget about) and went back to polishing a manuscript about bullying. It was a chapter book I’d written for younger readers. But then I had feedback from a critique-buddy, and realised the chapter book I was writing was really the verse novel I wanted to write. I sat down straight away, and started working Bully on the Bus into a verse novel. At first, I thought I’d flick between verse and prose (poetry and paragraphs) … but once I started, the prose sounded clunky and heavy, whereas the verse was lighter and so much better. It all needed to be written in verse.

Bully on the Bus was accepted … and published … and I was still writing that verse novel about training; On Track. I thought it was going to tell Toby’s story. I didn’t realise that his older brother Shaun also had a story to tell. Being a verse novel made it easier to feel the emotions from both sides — and to switch between the two brothers.

On track (cover)My heart soars when I’m writing verse novels. Maybe because I’m writing about topics that are important? That can make a difference in someone’s life? Or maybe because they’re just so very beautiful to write … and read. Though I do often get teary when writing them … and reading them — even my own. It’s also fun to slip in short and snappy little jokes, and the verse novel format enables that.

Writing a novel — without the verse — scares me. It seems so enormous! But writing a verse novel, I can write short, complete pieces, individual poems that slowly, carefully, bit by bit, build to tell the story.

I remember when you reviewed Bully on the Bus, Joseph, you said you would like to read more verse novels and maybe write one, too. I’m wondering how you’ve got on with that. Don’t worry if you haven’t written much yet — ideas grow once you’ve made the start.


Steve goes to carnivalAnd now Kathryn can pass the book baton to our next visitor. (Actually two visitors at once — Joshua Button and Robyn Wells who are the author-illustrators behind Steve Goes to Carnival.)

My question for Joshua Button & Robyn Wells:   I read that you collaborate for hours over the kitchen table. Can you describe your process — and how you came to form this wonderful working partnership?


Visit Kathryn Apel’s website: https://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/ to find out more about her and her books. (You can also read Joseph’s reviews of her verse novels Bully on the Bus and On Track here on Alphabet Soup.)

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

 

Every Friday Alphabet Soup will feature an interview with a children’s book creator — writers, illustrators and writer-illustrators. Our Friday guest will answer a question and then ask one question of the next writer or illustrator. (It’s a bit like running a book relay in slow motion.)

We’re calling it:

PASS THE BOOK BATON

Be sure to check in on Fridays. Our first writer will be setting off with the baton tomorrow morning.  See you then!

Save

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »