Posted in info, National Year of Reading

Summer 2012 issue – coming to your letter box this week!

Here’s the cover of issue 17, featuring the artwork of 11-year-old Clarissa, winner of our 2012 Design-a-cover comp. Packing it into envelopes has really put us in a holiday mood!

issue 17 (cover)

What will you find inside this issue?

Look out for your copy in the mail this week. (Or subscribe now – Alphabet Soup is the perfect Christmas gift for young writers and keen readers!)

Posted in info

Three Quick Questions – Kathryn Apel #18

Kathryn Apel

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 Kathryn Apel, author of Fencing With Fear, and This is the Mud.

1. Where do you like to write?

Sometimes my brain likes to write by itself and I have to stop what I’m doing and dash for paper/pencil, computer—anything! —just to catch the words. My brain likes to write when I’m;

driving (alone)

walking (with the dog)

chopping vegetables

in the shower.

I like to write at the computer, because I can organize my ideas neatly and I don’t have to worry about my handwriting, which gets messier and messier the faster I write. (And even messier still when I change my mind and start scratching things out.) Sometimes I decide; It’s time. I will write. I sit at the computer … walk to the fridge … sit at the computer … walk outside … sit at the computer … go on Twitter … check my blog … go to the fridge … sit at the computer … and FINALLY … the ideas and the words come. Yay and hurray, I say!

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

I really enjoyed the unexpectedness of the picture book Fred Stays With Me by Nancy Coffelt and illustrated by Tricia Tusa. I think it’s cleverly done. I even gave a bark of laughter—which is appropriate, because Fred is a dog.

Fred Stays With Me (cover)
Kathryn Apel recommends Fred Stays With Me

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

“Did you see that?”

You can find out more about Kathryn Apel on her blog, and on her website.

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

(Psst … see you back here tomorrow when we talk to author Dee White.)

Posted in authors, teachers' resources

Literary auction: $$ for Qld Floods

Authors for Queensland is an online auction set up to raise money for the Qld Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal. Up for auction are books signed by the authors and/or illustrators, picture book illustrations, manuscript assessments for writers, author mentorships, Alphabet Soup subscriptions and much more. (Make sure you check with an adult about bidding for items.)

Items that caught our eye included:

  • Signed copies of Wendy Orr’s new book Raven’s Mountain (out February)"Raven's Mountain (cover)"
  • Signed copies of Katrina Germein’s My Dad Thinks He’s Funny
  • Signed copies of Karen Collum’s Samuel’s Kisses
  • Signed copy of The Tomorrow Book by Jackie French
  • A full set of signed Billie B Brown books by Sally Rippin
  • Signed copy of This is the Mud by Kathryn Apel
  • Signed copies of Famous and Chess Nuts by Julia Lawrinson
  • Illustration (unframed) by Judith Rossell from Janeen Brian’s book Too Tight Benito

The auction ends 24 January 2011.

Posted in authors, Events, info, teachers' resources

“Lights Out!” (Kathryn Apel)

Kathryn Apel is the author of Fencing With Fear and This is the Mud. She’s here today to help us celebrate the launch of the Undercover Readers Club by sharing the books that she liked to read after ‘lights out’ when she was a child. Welcome, Kat!

"Fencing with fear cover""This is the mud (cover)"

What did I read after lights out when I was growing up?

"Kat Apel photo"
Kathryn Apel

Oh – that’s so easy!

If I was reading anything undercover when I was a kid, it would have been an Enid Blyton. (And then Nancy Drew … ) I loved the The Secret Seven and The Famous Five. I even staged a protest when our librarian banned these books from our school. Disgraceful – that they should be banned!

My lights-out reading was by the glow of the lounge room light spilling into my bedroom. I crouched near the door and tilted the words toward the light – but had to be ve-ry careful turning the pages, so I didn’t alert my parents to my presence. Just as well I had a carpeted bedroom floor. It softened flurried footsteps on those frantic flights back to bed! (Though the bedsprings did give me away on occasion … )

I also remember staying at my cousin’s house for a holiday and going to Vacation Bible School. My cousin and I were in stiff competition for the most bible verses memorised, and I needed an edge! My cousin was puzzled at how I had memorised so many verses next day – but I wasn’t telling him about that torch trick!

Yr 3 student Curtis Costa obviously had a few tricks up his sleeve, too. I was pretty chuffed by his review of my book  Fencing With Fear: “When I was reading and Dad told me, ‘Lights out!’ I hid the book, turned on my lamp and kept reading because it was so exciting.” What an awesome review! Thank you, Curtis.

Hmmmm … All this talk about Undercover Readers is making me a bit suspicious of my two book bug boys … and their lights out routines.

Why are you both looking soooo suspicious?

Kat

"Kat's symbol"

© 2010 Kathryn Apel

Visit Kat Apel’s site to find out more about her and her books.


"undercover readers logo"Alphabet 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.