Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: My Coonawarra Farm Resort Camp Experience

My Coonawarra Farm Resort Camp Experience (May 2019)
by Jessie, 11, VIC

This was my first camp experience and I will never forget it!
The lead up to camp made me both excited and a little bit nervous. I got to buy some new items for camp, which was great and our teddies were also invited to come. I brought my pink bear, who wore her handmade colourful scarf and my friends brought their stuffed toys too.

It was a cold start to our first day, but only the adults noticed that. The kids were all too excited to care and just wanted to get on the bus and go. The weather soon warmed up and the bus trip there and back was heaps of fun and we stopped for lunch at a park. I was very lucky to get to sit with Sarah on the way up, who was my designated bus buddy and then on the way back I got to sit in the prestigious back row with Bianca, Milly and Emma. On the bus there was lots of talking, laughing and singing and on the way back many of the boys sang ‘Let It Go’, redefining how NOT to sing in tune and why not everyone should try to reach the high notes.

The camp I went to (Coonawarra Farm Resort) is located in East Gippsland on approximately 140 ha. It is surrounded by bush, with a huge lake and beautiful views and home to a variety of wildlife, including kangaroos.

Our rooms were terrific, warm and had bunk beds. I shared a room with Milly, Emma, Sarah, Jemima and Lila. We all took turns getting the top bunks, as they were the most sought-after location, with the best views. We had a lot of crazy fun in our rooms including singing, dancing and way too much laughing and not a lot of sleeping.

The food was great, all cooked and prepared for us and the only jobs the kids had to do was help with setting the tables. The only thing that I didn’t really like about camp was that I couldn’t get the shower water temperature as warm as I liked.

We got to do lots of activities such as red faces, trivia night, movie night, night walk, high ropes, hut building, rock climbing, damper making, visiting Den of Nargun, etc, but my favourites were horse riding, the flying fox and the big swing.

I got to go horse riding in a large group, luckily which included my friends Emma, Bianca and Sarah. My horse was called Buzz. He was white and patchy and was a really nice, calm horse. The only thing is that he did those things no one wants to talk about, as he walked along, not even trying to wait until he got back to the paddock.

The Big Swing, what a rush! The adrenaline you get just as you pull the rope was great. Your life flashes before your eyes. Then you just have to do it again and again. I chose the very top level both times, but I would have gone even higher if I could and I could have done it all day.

The Flying Fox was so much fun, though the hill we had to walk up to get there was very steep. The Flying Fox was very high, with incredible views and you could hear the air rushing past as you travelled along the line.

Archery was another of our activities. I didn’t find it that much fun, as the target just kept moving and the ground kept jumping in front of my arrow. I think Mrs Harvey had the same problem.

In groups we all had to attempt to make waterproof huts out of branches, logs, bark etc. Then the adults got to throw large buckets of water over the huts, drenching us. Mr Bennett seemed a little bit too happy doing this job. He had a big smile on his face seeing us all wet and listening to us scream. We then got to warm ourselves by the fire and make and eat damper. The damper had the best fruit in it, that made it especially yummy.

I will also give a special mention and thank you to Monty, who we met while building our huts. Only a small group of kids will know who I’m talking about, but he was very special to us and though only with us for a short time, he touched our lives, gave us a huge amount of laughter and will forever be in our hearts.

We also went on a trip to Den Of Nargun which was the best. I really enjoyed the aboriginal stories and the beautiful views on the way.

Overall I think this was a terrific camp.  I had the best fun, I got to have so many new experiences and I left with fantastic memories that will last a lifetime.


Jessie has had work published at Alphabet Soup previously. You can read her book review here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!
Posted in poetry, Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Mamie

by Liora, 9, Manhattan, USA

This woman is nice
This woman is respectful
This woman likes rice
This woman is grateful

This woman is funny
This woman is fancy
This woman is as sweet as honey
This woman likes coffee

This woman likes children
This woman gives to the poor
This woman eats lemon
This woman likes to bring me to the store

This woman is my grandmother
This woman has two brothers
I hope she likes to sip coffee in a cafe
Wishing her a very happy Mother’s Day!Photo of coffee and flowers by Ylanite Koppens via

You can read more of Liora’s poetry here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.


Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Warmth of my Life

by Anishka, 9, QLD

I know you do the washing up every night.
And clean up all my mess.
You always make us happy,
And still find time to stress.

Thank you for your hugs,
And teaching me how to keep in touch
Even though I never thanked you
I love you very much.

You are so hardworking
Today it’s your special day
We’ll give you whatever you want
On the twelfth of glorious May

I’ll answer all your work emails
And order 50 pizzas from the pizza store
Because I know you like them
I also know you like little cute boars.

You’re the one special mother
Who gets all these gifts from me
Because I am thankful
I might make you some tea.

The tulips in our garden
Do not grow without sunlight
You are their sunshine,
Without you it would be always night.

The honey in the bees’ hive
Wouldn’t be there without you,
For you, gave them loads of flowers
And  a nice sunny area too.

You might be a university student,
Or work for a company of book covers
But there is something you will always be
My happy, loving mother.

One more word for you mum,
There goes another Mother’s day
But remember one thing
I will always love you in every way.

A garden bed of multicoloured tulips.


Anishka is a regular contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here.

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Cheese rolling

by Liora, 9, Manhattan, USA

 Photo by Min An from Pexels

“Go, go, go!”  The mascot cheers.
“Crunch” The grass gets run over by all the people rolling all over it, determined to get the cheese.
The referees discuss the game, making sure it’s fair.
While the girl players get their face covered with hair.
“Woohoo, so close, get the cheese!” a fan in the audience cheers.
Players dodge and cheer, run and fall,
tumble and flip, in order to catch the cheese.
Thump!” That’s the sound of  players falling all over each other.
Then someone says, “oh brother.”
They have just figured out that someone found the cheese.

This is Liora’s first poem for Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Jungle Island

Jungle Island Excursion

by Gabriel, 8, NSW

We got on the school bus at 6:00am to go to the ferry which was waiting for us to sail to Jungle Island. On the bus I could see lush green grass and golden kangaroos.

After the first hour on the school bus the teacher gave us one pack of cookies each. I munched on the cookies while I looked at the scenery.

After three hours we stopped and walked aboard the ferry. The ferry had three floors. The second floor was where the driver sat and snacks were kept. Mr. James our teacher pointed out that on the horizon you could just see the island. I spotted two leather-back sea turtles, five green sea turtles and one school of dolphins.

After two hours, we set foot on ground again. We unloaded our bags from the ferry.

Jack (my partner) and I set up our tent.  After everyone had finished setting their tent, all of us went trekking in the jungle. We each had to pick up a fruit that looked interesting, then study it. We saw many birds, monkeys, water-dragons and salt-water crocodiles. After an hour trekking in the jungle it was lunch, so we went back. We had a tropical and seafood smorgasbord. There were mangoes, pineapples, squid, octopus, prawns, kiwi, bananas, salmon and hundreds of other types of food.

Next, was the break so I waded in the water. The water was cool. I also saw some hermit crabs.

After that we went snorkelling, where there were many different colours of coral. I also saw angel fish and one baby humpback whale very far away. Jack and I swam with some dolphins that were friendly, then we pretended to be some other animals like octopus and crabs. After an hour we came out of the water.

Next, we went kayaking. Jack and I were on a kayak together, where I was at the back. We were told not to go close to the coral because coral takes hundreds of years to grow. The water was so clear that I could see the sea bed! There were fish all shapes, sizes and colours. Many small fish swam in the shade of all our kayaks.

We kayaked under four caves. There were many huge rocks in the middle of the river. It would already take a lot of effort to go against the current but even more to turn the kayak. We kayaked for two hours which really made me tired.

Later, we had dinner, which was a barbecue. There was grilled fish and grilled squid. After dinner, I snuggled up in my sleeping bag and fell asleep. I was one of the last to wake up. Jack wasn’t in the tent so I asked Bill.

Bill said Jack had already gone to get breakfast so I met Jack there, where we had scrambled eggs and bacon. It was scrumptious.

Later, we went fishing. Jack caught a huge fish and it was one metre long! I caught a small fish and I used it as bait then caught a huge fish. It was a tiny bit smaller than Jack’s fish. After that, instead of using fish, I used earthworms. I caught a fish much bigger than Jack’s. The teacher helped us cook my second fish. Jack and I tried it and it was delicious.

Then, all of us had one hour of swimming to practice. I brought a diving camera and took pictures of fish and coral. I took zoomed in pictures of a sperm whale far away. Most pictures were zoomed in on little fish.

When we got out of the water, it was break time. I quickly used iMovie and made a video of the fish and coral. Then I drew some pictures of fish.

We could have two hours doing anything we wanted but we had to keep close. I wrote a report about Jungle Island and also went diving with Jack.

This is the best camp I have ever been to! I liked kayaking the best! I wish you were here!

Gabriel is a regular contributer to Alphabet Soup. You can read some of his earlier work here. If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Burning Yuan Ming Yuan October 1860

This poem was inspired by a visit to the Old Summer Palace (Yuan Ming Yuan) in Beijing, China, and researching the history regarding the burning down of this beautiful palace in 1860.

Burning Yuan Ming Yuan October 1860

by Joshua, 10, NSW

Flames of fire roaring high,
Reaching up to the sky.
Beautiful gardens,
Now all in ruins.
Everything burning.
I am watching.

Something lovely,
Now all history.
Standing there
Just there.
Everything burning.
I am watching.

Locals help,
They don’t yelp.
All ashes,
Many smashes.
Everything burning.
Sadly watching.

You can read some of Joshua’s earlier work here If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!