Posted in competitions

An Aussie Year Blog Tour

An Aussie Year

An Aussie Year is a new picture book (out this month!) about what Australian children love to do each month of the year. There’s a Blog Tour to celebrate (we’ll be featuring a book review of the book on our stop of the tour).

Would you like to see one of your stories published? Then DON’T FORGET to enter the ‘An Aussie Year writing competition‘. The winning entry will be published on the Kids’ Book Review site as part of the book launch celebrations! (Entries close 27 October, so get those entries in!)

Posted in authors, illustrator

Stephen Axelsen and The Nelly Gang

Stephen AxelsenToday we welcome Stephen Axelsen to the blog. Stephen is here as part of a blog tour to celebrate the launch of his new graphic novel The Nelly Gang — you can read a review of the book hereWe asked him some questions about how he goes about creating a graphic novel.

The Nelly Gang (cover)How is creating a graphic novel different from writing and illustrating a picture book?
The biggest difference is that a graphic novel has a lot more pictures in it than a regular picture book, so they take much, MUCH, longer to illustrate. The writing takes a bit longer too. The Nelly Gang took more than a year to make. Also in graphic novels the story is mostly told in speech balloons. These balloons have to be designed and positioned so that they are nice and clear and don’t interfere with the pictures.

Why did you choose to tell this story as a graphic novel rather than a picture book or otherwise?
The story would not fit into a picture book, unless it was a very, very thick one. (There are up to 25 pictures on some double pages.) The Nelly Gang could have been a novel, I suppose, but I love drawing the old costumes and wagons and things too much just to use words.

How did you go about creating The Nelly Gang?
The story plan was the first thing put down on paper, but the very, very first ideas were pictures in my head; vague images of things I wanted to draw. Then I wrote the first story plan or plot, after which I began the rough drawings. The drawings would suggest new story ideas, and while rewriting the story NEW picture ideas would pop up, so I’d change the story again. The writing and drawing kept changing each other in an endless loop until I nearly went mad (or maybe I did go mad) and it was time to STOP and call the story finished.

What sort of tools do you use?
I used a mixture of ‘traditional’ and ‘digital’ media, which means that I did the drawing outlines with old fashioned pen and ink on paper, then scanned these into my computer where I tidied things up, added the colour then the speech balloons and text.


The Nelly Gang is set in 1860. How did you go about researching for the book?
A lot of my research was done online, but I also travelled to old goldfields, visited Sovereign Hill at Ballarat (which was excellent for picture reference) and even had a paddle steamer ride at Echuca. I had to have a paddle steamer in the story because they are such wonderful things to draw!

Now that The Nelly Gang is out, are you working on something new?
I am working on two big books at once now – a picture book for an American publisher about Joe Dumpty, P.I. (Humpty Dumpty’s brother, who is a Private Investigator.)

AND the sequel to The Nelly Gang, called Nelly and the Dark Circus. As the title suggests it is set mostly in a circus, and Nelly is in it. So is her goat, Queen Victoria, of course. 

Do you have any tips for young graphic novelists?
The best thing to do is look at as many graphic novels as you can find, choose the ones you like best and copy bits of them. Very soon you will start having your own ideas and awaaaay you’ll go!

You can find out more about Stephen Axelsen (and the books he has illustrated and written) when you visit his website. Check out the other stops on his blog tour for more news and information about The Nelly Gang and graphic novels:

Nelly Gang Logo

THE NELLY GANG Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday September 14th  — Launch at The Story Arts Festival, Woodlands of Marburg.  (Launched by Megan Daley)

Monday September 16th — Children’s Books Daily  

Review and Book Launch update + giveaway

Tuesday 17th September —  DeeScribe Writing

Review + five tips on graphic novel making 

Wednesday 18thSeptember — Kids Book Review

Review + giveaway

Thursday 19thSeptember — Sheryl Gwyther’s Blog

Writing and Illustrating Graphic Novels

Friday 20thSeptember — Soup Blog [You’re here!]

Review + interview

Saturday 21st September —  BuzzWords

The Value of History + review

Interview with Stephen Axelsen © 2013 Stephen Axelsen and Rebecca Newman https://soupblog.wordpress.com

Posted in Events, info

Who’s on the team behind Alphabet Soup?

This is the last day of Alphabet Soup‘s First Birthday Blog Tour. What a great week Alphabet Soup's spring '09 coverwe’ve had – if you’ve just joined us, be sure to check out the list of blog tour stops below!

Sandy Fussell – author of the Samurai Kids series – is hosting us over at her blog: Stories Are Light. Today we’re talking about who is on the Alphabet Soup team, and why an Editor and Publisher can’t do it all on her own. See you there!

WHERE WE’VE BEEN ON THE BLOG TOUR:

1 September What led the publisher to start Alphabet Soup magazine?

Dale Harcombe (Write and Read With Dale)

http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale

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2 September What goes into ‘whipping up’ an issue of the magazine?

Sally Murphy (Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children Blog) http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com

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3 September Promotion and Alphabet Soup

Claire Saxby (Let’s Have Words)

http://www.letshavewords.blogspot.com/

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4 September Submissions, and selecting material

Mabel Kaplan (Tales I Tell)

http://belka37.blogspot.com

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5 September Alphabet Soup in the classroom: benefits for teachers

Dee White (Teachers Writing Helper)

www.teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com

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6 September ‘First birthday’ giveaway. Win a set of the first four issues!

Robyn Opie (Writing Children’s Books)

http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com

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7 September Who’s on the team behind Alphabet Soup magazine?

Sandy Fussell (Stories Are Light) http://www.sandyfussell.blogspot.com

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You can subscribe to Alphabet Soup via our website www.alphabetsoup.net.au

Posted in authors, Events, info

Win 4 issues of Alphabet Soup!

We are nearing the end of our week-long blog tour. We’ve had a great time visiting Alphabet Soup's first 4 issues!Australian authors on their blogs, and celebrating Alphabet Soup‘s first birthday issue!

Today don’t forget to pop by author Robyn Opie’s blog (Writing Children’s Books) – where you could win a set of the first 4 issues of Alphabet Soup! Good luck!

(And if you’ve just joined us – welcome! – you can check out our earlier blog visits on the list below.)

BLOG TOUR DATES:

1 September What led the publisher to start Alphabet Soup magazine?

Dale Harcombe (Write and Read With Dale)

http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale

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2 September What goes into ‘whipping up’ an issue of the magazine?

Sally Murphy (Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children Blog) http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com

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3 September Promotion and Alphabet Soup

Claire Saxby (Let’s Have Words)

http://www.letshavewords.blogspot.com/

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4 September Submissions, and selecting material

Mabel Kaplan (Tales I Tell)

http://belka37.blogspot.com

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5 September Alphabet Soup in the classroom: benefits for teachers

Dee White (Teachers Writing Helper)

www.teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com

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6 September ‘First birthday’ giveaway. Win a set of the first four issues!

Robyn Opie (Writing Children’s Books)

http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com

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7 September Who’s on the team behind Alphabet Soup magazine?

Sandy Fussell (Stories Are Light) http://www.sandyfussell.blogspot.com

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You can subscribe to Alphabet Soup via our website www.alphabetsoup.net.au

Posted in authors, Events, info

Alphabet Soup in the classroom

Alphabet Soup‘s spring ’09 issue is in the middle of a week-long blog tour to Alphabet Soup's first 4 issues!celebrate the magazine’s first birthday!

Grab a virtual cupcake and line up at the door – today we visit Dee White’s blog: Teachers Writing Helper. We’ll be talking about how Alphabet Soup can be used in the classroom.

BLOG TOUR DATES:

1 September What led the publisher to start Alphabet Soup magazine?

Dale Harcombe (Write and Read With Dale)

http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale

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2 September What goes into ‘whipping up’ an issue of the magazine?

Sally Murphy (Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children Blog) http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com

-~-

3 September Promotion and Alphabet Soup

Claire Saxby (Let’s Have Words)

http://www.letshavewords.blogspot.com/

-~-

4 September Submissions, and selecting material

Mabel Kaplan (Tales I Tell)

http://belka37.blogspot.com

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5 September Alphabet Soup in the classroom: benefits for teachers

Dee White (Teachers Writing Helper)

www.teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com

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6 September ‘First birthday’ giveaway. Win a set of the first four issues!

Robyn Opie (Writing Children’s Books)

http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com

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7 September Who’s on the team behind Alphabet Soup magazine?

Sandy Fussell (Stories Are Light) http://www.sandyfussell.blogspot.com

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You can subscribe to Alphabet Soup via our website www.alphabetsoup.net.au

Posted in authors, Events, info

Submissions to Alphabet Soup magazine

Have you thought about sending in a story or poem to Alphabet Soup magazine? Alphabet Soup's first 4 issues!

This is day 4 of our blog tour to celebrate the magazine’s first birthday, and we’re answering questions about adults’ and kids’ submissions over at Mabel Kaplan‘s blog today. See you there!

BLOG TOUR DATES:

1 September What led the publisher to start Alphabet Soup magazine?

Dale Harcombe (Write and Read With Dale)

http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale

-~-

2 September What goes into ‘whipping up’ an issue of the magazine?

Sally Murphy (Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children Blog) http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com

-~-

3 September Promotion and Alphabet Soup

Claire Saxby (Let’s Have Words)

http://www.letshavewords.blogspot.com/

-~-

4 September Submissions, and selecting material

Mabel Kaplan (Tales I Tell)

http://belka37.blogspot.com

-~-

5 September Alphabet Soup in the classroom: benefits for teachers

Dee White (Teachers Writing Helper)

www.teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com

-~-

6 September ‘First birthday’ giveaway. Win a set of the first four issues!

Robyn Opie (Writing Children’s Books)

http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com

-~-

7 September Who’s on the team behind Alphabet Soup magazine?

Sandy Fussell (Stories Are Light) http://www.sandyfussell.blogspot.com

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You can subscribe to Alphabet Soup via our website www.alphabetsoup.net.au

Posted in authors, Events, info

Day 3 of our blog tour!

Do we have a facebook page? Where can you buy the magazine? Alphabet Soup's first four issues!

Find out by visiting Claire Saxby’s blog (Let’s Have Words) where we are up to day 3 of our week-long blog tour. See you there!

BLOG TOUR DATES:

1 September What led the publisher to start Alphabet Soup magazine?

Dale Harcombe (Write and Read With Dale)

http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale

-~-

2 September What goes into ‘whipping up’ an issue of the magazine?

Sally Murphy (Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children Blog) http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com

-~-

3 September Promotion and Alphabet Soup

Claire Saxby (Let’s Have Words)

http://www.letshavewords.blogspot.com/

-~-

4 September Submissions, and selecting material

Mabel Kaplan (Tales I Tell)

http://belka37.blogspot.com

-~-

5 September Alphabet Soup in the classroom: benefits for teachers

Dee White (Teachers Writing Helper)

www.teacherswritinghelper.wordpress.com

-~-

6 September ‘First birthday’ giveaway. Win a set of the first four issues!

Robyn Opie (Writing Children’s Books)

http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com

-~-

7 September Who’s on the team behind Alphabet Soup magazine?

Sandy Fussell (Stories Are Light) http://www.sandyfussell.blogspot.com

-~-

You can subscribe to Alphabet Soup via our website www.alphabetsoup.net.au