Perth writing workshops for kids with Cristy Burne

Takeshita Demons (cover)Do you like reading fantasy, adventure, action or horror stories? Cristy Burne has a writing workshop for kids who want to write their own! The workshops start on Monday 7 May and run for 6 weeks at the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts.

(If you know a grownup who likes writing, there are workshops for grownups, too!)

Check out Cristy Burne’s blog for all the details or email her with your questions. Get writing!


2012 Perth Writers Festival

Other people wandering about at the Perth Writers FestivalYesterday was Family Day at the Perth Writers Festival and we had a brilliant time wandering about the grounds of UWA listening to free talks and bumping into authors and illustrators of our favourite books.

Here’s a photo of other people who were also wandering about enjoying the literary goodness of the day.  ———————————————————————->

We started the day in the tropical grove listening to Cristy Burne talking about school camping trips and Japanese horror stories (it turns out there’s not much difference). James Roy was giving out some good writing tips to keen young writers in his audience. Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac had their audience roaring with laughter, stamping feet … and throwing plastic fruit … as they performed the story of The Greatest Liar on Earth—their new picture book. There were also baby animals to help launch Karen Blair‘s book Baby Animal Farm (and cupcakes, too). And heaps of other author and illustrators talks which we didn’t get to because we were so interested in each session we kept forgetting to duck out halfway through to check out the others that were running at the same time. (OOPS—did you go to any others? Let us know what you thought in the comments!)

Here’s a photo of Briony Stewart, author of the Kumiko and the Dragon series.

Briony Stewart, Perth Writers Festival 2012

(She looks like she’s singing opera in this shot, but actually she’s talking about the bravery of the characters in her story.)

And a shot of author and comedian Oliver Phommavanh signing a copy of Thai-riffic! for us.

Oliver Phommavanh at Perth Writers Festival

And we just had to take a photo of this art installation by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa. It is called Breathing Flower and it was floating on the reflection pond at Whitfield Court. It’s HUGE and amazing to look at. And it’s there for the Festival of Perth (not just the Writers Festival) but we reckon it makes a good writing prompt for a story or poem …

Breathing Flower (art installation by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa)

If you’re in Perth, did you go to Family Day this year? Who were your favourite speakers? (Was there anyone else you wish was a speaker?)


Three Quick Questions: Cristy Burne (#8)

All through October, Alphabet Soup is celebrating turning three. We have heaps of writers and illustrators stopping by to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS and today’s visitor is Cristy Burne, author of the Takeshita Demons books.

Takeshita Demons (cover)The Filth Licker (cover)


1. Where do you like to write?

In a café, on my laptop, with a chilli hot chocolate somewhere nearby. I like writing in cafés because it usually means I have two or three hours of uninterrupted time.

2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?

I usually read action-adventure-fantasy stories, but lately I’ve been trying some different genres. Most recently, I loved Meg McKinlay’s Duck for a Day … it’s quirky and clever and fun. I also loved Warning! Aliens are Invading the School! by Dinah Capparucci—it’s Very Funny!

Duck for a day (cover)
Cristy Burne recommends Duck for a Day by Meg McKinlay
Warning! Aliens are invading the school! (cover)
Cristy also recommends Warning! Aliens are Invading the School! by Dinah Capparucci

3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?

Cristy ... and head
Cristy ... and head


I like to write scary stories about strange monsters and spooky demons, so “headless” is a great start for imagining a new kind of creature. It opens up lots of nice questions: Why is it headless? Does it miss its head? Does it have any extra bits to make up for its missing head? Is it attacking me? Is it making me a cup of tea?

Find out more about Cristy Burne and Takeshita Demons—visit her website and check out her blog.

© October 2011 “Three Quick Questions with Cristy Burne” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)

(Psst … see you back here tomorrow, when author Sheryl Gwyther answers our Three Quick Questions.)