Posted in authors, info

What to Write About (Dee White)

Dee White (photo)Yesterday we announced the Alphabet Soup Creativity Award—for outstanding work published in Alphabet Soup magazine in 2012. Today we welcome Dee White to share some ideas for what to write about, and to tell us about the prize she has donated for the winner in the Most Outstanding Story category.

Over to Dee!

A House Can Tell A Story

There are so many potential stories hidden inside your home.

You just have to use your imagination and look for them.

  1. What if you opened a drawer and found a secret letter hidden there?
  2. What if something in your house came to life and started chasing you or wanted to be your friend?
  3. What if your house could talk and told you a story about the people who used to live there before you did?
  4. What if your house got blown away like Dorothy’s in The Wizard of Oz and you ended up somewhere completely different?
  5. What if there was a treasure chest hidden in your garden?
  6. What if there was a secret compartment in the wall of your bedroom and it led to another world?

One of my favourite things to do when I can’t think what to write about is to look around a room in my house and pick an object. It could be a wall, a door, a light switch, anything.

Next I imagine what it would be like to be that object sitting there day after day. I think about what that object can see and do and how it might feel. Then I write a piece about it.

It’s fun to do this with a writing friend and see if they can guess which object in the room you are writing about.

This excerpt is from Dee’s new e-book, 10 Top Writing Tips For Kids: What to Write About.

Dee is donating a free copy of this book and one hour’s mentoring (a manuscript appraisal) to the winner of the Most Outstanding Story category of the 2012 Alphabet Soup Creativity Award.

THE  MENTORING
Here’s how it works.

The winner will send a 500-word piece of writing to Dee. If it’s part of a longer story they’ll need to also send in a plot summary or information about what happens in the rest of the story. Dee will give tips on how to improve the piece of writing and the winner’s skills in general. She’ll also answer questions they might have about the piece or writing in general.

ABOUT 10 TOP WRITING TIPS FOR KIDS

10 Top Writing Tips for kids
10 Top Writing Tips For Kids by Dee White

Dee has written this series to encourage and inspire kids who love to write. 10 Top Writing Tips for Kids: What to Write About was released in November 2012.

Other books in the series coming in 2013 are:

  • 10 Top Writing Tips For Kids – Heroes and Villains
  • 10 Top Writing Tips For Kids – Want to Be a Writer?
  • 10 Top Writing Tips For Kids – Make Your Writing Sparkle

More about the 10 Top Writing Tips books can be found at http://10topwritingtips.wordpress.com

ABOUT DEE

Letters to Leonardo (cover)
Letters to Leonardo (Dee’s Young Adult book)

 

Dee White has worked as an advertising copywriter and journalist, but wanted to be an author from the time she was seven. Her first book for young adults, Letters to Leonardo, took more than ten years to research and write. Dee’s other titles include Hope for Hanna, A Duel of Words and Harry’s Goldfield  Adventure.

Hope for Hanna (cover)Harry's Goldfield Adventure

A duel of words (cover)Dee is passionate about encouraging young readers and writers, and her blogs Writing Classes for Kids and DeeScribe Writing are full of career and writing tips for students and new and emerging writers.

She runs writing workshops for primary and secondary students across Australia with sessions focusing on story ideas, plotting and character development. She also runs them online at Writing Classes for Kids.

She is honoured to be providing the prize for the inaugural Alphabet Soup Creativity Award, and hopes that it will help encourage young writers.

For more information on the 2012 Alphabet Soup Creativity Award, visit the Award page (there’s a tab at the top of this blog).

Excerpt from 10 Top Writing Tips for Kids: What to Write About © Dee White 2012.
Posted in info, poetry

Alphabet Soup Creativity Award

We love reading all the work you send us and we really love publishing it, too. Sometimes we’re blown away by the amazing stuff we find in our inbox and our post office box. And that’s why we are thrilled to be announcing the inaugural ALPHABET SOUP CREATIVITY AWARD.

Prizes will be awarded in three categories:

Most outstanding story

Most outstanding poem

Most outstanding artwork

If you are a child who had work published in the magazine this year, you are automatically in the running for this Award. (This excludes the winning pieces in the writing or design-a-cover-competitions).

The prizes:

Most outstanding story—the winner will receive $50.00*, an ebook by Dee White, and a manuscript appraisal (professional feedback) from Dee White on a 500-word story they have written (not necessarily the story that was published in Alphabet Soup).

Most outstanding poem—the winner will receive $50.00*, a book of poetry by Lorraine Marwood, and a poetry appraisal (professional feedback) from Lorraine Marwood on an unrhymed poem up to 15 lines written by the winner (not necessarily the poem that was published in Alphabet Soup).

Most outstanding artwork—the winner will receive $50.00*, a book by James Foley, and an illustration appraisal (professional feedback) from James Foley on a piece of artwork (not necessarily the artwork published in Alphabet Soup).

You’ll hear more about these people and the prizes this week, starting on Monday. And on Friday we’ll announce the winners here on the blog. (If you are a winner, we will also notify you personally.)

Read more about the award (including some fine print) on the Alphabet Soup Creativity Award page.

*$50.00 cash for each category is courtesy of The Book Chook. (Thank you!)

Posted in info

Three Quick Questions – Dee White #19

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 Dee White, author of Hope for Hanna, and YA novel Letters to Leonardo. Dee also runs the Writing Classes for Kids blog.

Hope for Hanna (cover)

1. Where do you like to write?

My favourite place to write is my study or my lounge room, which have amazing views (here’s a pic).

The view from Dee's study
What a view! (© Dee White 2011)

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

A book I’ve read recently that I’d recommend is Head Spinners by Thalia Kalkipsakis.
Head Spinners (cover)
Dee White recommends Head Spinners by Thalia Kalkipsakis.

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

A word or phrase I would use to kickstart inspiration is, “You wake up in the morning and your cat has brought you breakfast in bed.”

You can find out more about Dee White on her blog, and on her website. And make sure you check out Dee’s Writing Classes for Kids blog, too—there are writing tips, writing tutorials for download, competitions and more …

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

(Psst … see you back here tomorrow when we talk to author Robyn Opie.)

Posted in activities, competitions

Writing Classes for Kids online

Australian author Dee White has started a new website called Writing Classes for Kids (& adults). You’ll find info about writing, writing tips, links to useful websites, writing competitions, and writing classes for kids and grownups (available as $5 downloads).

Check out the info about the first competition on the Writing Classes for Kids website. There’s a category for 8 to 12s and there are book prizes—the competition is free and entries close 30 November 2011. Good luck!

Posted in authors, Events, teachers' resources

“Lights out!” (Dee White)

A big welcome to our guest blogger today – Dee White. Her books include many fiction and nonfiction titles, including Hope for Hanna, and a Young Adult book, Letters to Leonardo.

Letters to Leonardo (cover)

Hope for Hanna (cover)

Dee White photo
Dee White

Reading after lights out was a constant source of conflict in our house. My sister and I shared a set of bunk beds – she was on the top one so the light source was definitely better for her.

We didn’t actually read by torchlight. We kept the bedroom light on so if the other person wanted to sleep then that was just too bad, or you got used to sleeping with the light on.

Official lights out at our place was at 8.30pm. But we soon learned that once parents became engrossed in their television show or ‘winding down’ because the kids were now in bed, they forgot to check to make sure that lights stayed out.

Ours wasn’t the most foolproof method. It was easily detectable, and it led to sisterly verbal exchanges that also attracted parental attention.

During these clandestine sessions (which occurred almost every night), I liked to read books that are pretty much like the ones I write today – books about real people and the things that happened in their lives. Early on I was a big fan of ‘The Whiteoaks of Jalna Chronicles’ by Mazo de la Roche (this could have been the influence of my European father).

In my teens, I gravitated towards tragically romantic books like Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence, Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’urbervilles and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. I liked thick books that I could savour, ones that didn’t end too quickly.

Today, I see the same trait in my eldest son. His undercover reading tastes include books by Clive Cussler, Robin Hobbs and Matthew Reilly. My youngest is more an Artemis Fowl, Diary of a Wimpy Kid kind of guy.

I’ve always loved reading, but I have to admit that it’s so much more exciting when you’re reading undercover – when the threat of detection lurks around every corner.

© 2010 Dee White

You can find out more about Dee White and her books by visiting her website: www.deescribe.com.au

You can also visit her blogs:

http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com

http://content.boomerangbooks.com.au/kids-book-capers-blog/


Undercover Readers logoAlphabet Soup magazine is celebrating the launch of Undercover Readers (our new reviewers club for kids)!  If you’d like to join the Undercover Readers Club, you’ll find an information pack you can download from the Alphabet Soup website. As part of the celebrations, we have a different children’s author or illustrator visiting Soup Blog each day until 29 June 2010 to talk about what they used to read after ‘lights out’ when they were growing up. So be sure to check back tomorrow!

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

-~-

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 competitions, Events, info

Come on a blog tour with Alphabet Soup magazine!

Tomorrow we are taking the spring 2009 issue on a blog tour! Alphabet Soup's spring 2009 cover

From 1 – 7 September, Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup‘s Publisher and Editor) will be visiting 7 different blogs, where she’ll be answering questions about the magazine. Find out what started it all, how the magazine could be used in the classroom, who’s on the team at the magazine, and more!

The spring ’09 issue marks the magazine’s first birthday. To celebrate, there’s a set of the first four issues to be won – so make sure you visit Robyn Opie’s blog on 6 September!

Tomorrow you’ll find us at our first stop on the tour, talking to Dale Harcombe at ‘Write and Read With Dale‘.

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