Posted in competitions, info

To improve your writing skills – keep writing!

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.

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Rebecca

Book review: How to Write Stories by Celia Warren

Do you want to write your own stories but you need a bit of help to get How to Write Stories coverstarted? Or perhaps you want some tips to make your stories even better. How to Write Stories is a very helpful guide for any story writer!

Make sure your story has an attention-grabbing beginning, an entertaining middle and a satisfying ending (so your readers want to read right to the end). There’s also information about what sort of story to write (the ‘genre’), how to gather ideas for your stories, and tips about the setting and characters.

Have you ever had writer’s block? I really liked the use of a ‘never-never’ list to start your creative ideas flowing again – like ‘Never go through the green gate’ and ‘Never touch the red button.’ You decide what happens if someone does what they should never never do, and you’re sure to be off and writing again!

At the back of the book you’ll find a glossary where you can look up any ‘writer’s’ words you might not know.

How to Write Stories is one book in a set of ‘How to … ‘ writing-themed books. Other books in the series include How to Write Letters & Emails, How to Write Reports and How to Write Poems.

We found How to Write Stories at our local library – ask for it at your closest library or school library. Then get writing, and enter our current competition, or send your story to us and it might be published in Alphabet Soup magazine!

How to Write Stories by Celia Warren, QED Publishing, London, ISBN 978 1 84538 740 2

This book was selected for review from the Editor’s own collection.
Posted in competitions, info

Competitions for kids aged 12 and under

Writing a story

Are you under 12? Do you like writing your own stories? Or are you a budding artist? Alphabet Soup magazine is currently accepting entries for two competitions:

1. WINTER 2009 WRITING COMPETITION entries close 3 JULY 2009

Win a $20 book voucher! Write a SHORT STORY up to 350 words (shorter is fine). Stories must include this line: ‘The paper aeroplane was gone!’

Please remember to include a COMPETITION ENTRY FORM for each entry. This may be printed from the Alphabet Soup website, photocopied, or contact us to have one emailed or posted to you.

2. DESIGN-A-COVER COMPETITION entries close 16 SEPTEMBER 2009

See your artwork on the cover of our summer 2009 issue (and win a pack of quality colour pencils too)!

Using any materials you like, design a cover for our summer issue. You may enter as many times as you wish but each entry must have a separate COMPETITION ENTRY FORM. This may be printed from the website, photocopied, or contact us to have one emailed or posted to you. 
See the ‘competitions’ page of the Alphabet Soup website for the rules and conditions, and to print an entry form.
Posted in competitions, Events, info

Winter 2009 issue OUT NOW!

Winter issue 2009

Doesn’t a serve of delicious alphabet soup sound like just the thing for this cooler winter weather? The winter 2009 issue of Alphabet Soup is out now!

Inside Alphabet Soup magazine this issue:

  • Q&A with Jo Oliver (author-illustrator of Pilgrim)
  • interview with an Air Traffic Controller
  • Stories, poems and good books
  • Kids writing (poems, stories and book reviews)
  • winners of our autumn writing competition
  • details of our winter writing competition
  • details of our design-a-cover competition
  • and more!

Where can you buy a copy? If you live in Western Australia, you can buy copies at Westbooks children’s bookstore (396 Mill Point Rd, Victoria Park) and   Zero to Ten (330 South Tce, South Fremantle).

You can also order single copies (or subscribe!) from our website www.alphabetsoup.net.au, where you can order online with a credit card, or print off an order form to post in to us with a cheque or money order.

Get reading (and writing)!