All hands on deck

Some of you noticed that it has been very quiet on the Alphabet Soup front. I had to go to hospital suddenly and then I had an operation. It was quite an adventure! But I’m back at the desk now. And it’s all hands on deck to get the summer issue out as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Be sure to stop back on 5 December 2010. Karen Collum, the author of new picture book, Samuel’s Kisses, will be here on a blog tour. While you’re waiting, you can check out the other stops on her tour:

"Samuel's Kisses cover"Dec 1: Kathryn Apel

Dec 2: Dee White

Dec 3: Sheryl Gwyther

Dec 4: New Frontier Blog and Serena Geddes

Dec 5: Alphabet Soup magazine

Dec 6: Susan Stephenson

Dec 7: Katrina Germein

It’s not long until the school holidays arrive. Enjoy your last days of term and keep an eye on your letterbox for the summer issue of Alphabet Soup—out soon!

~ Rebecca Newman, Editor

authors, illustrator, teachers' resources

Happy Roald Dahl Day!

September 13th is Roald Dahl Day!

"Matilda by Roald Dahl"I loved reading his books when I was growing up, and I’m still reading them. Now my kids are reading them—my daughter really likes Matilda.

I can’t imagine Roald Dahl’s stories without Quentin Blake’s illustrations. (There should be a Quentin Blake Day, too. While we’re waiting for someone to organise that, you can check out Quentin Blake’s fantabulous website.)

Anyway, back to Roald Dahl. Here’s something you didn’t know about me. When I was about 11, I used to correct people who thought Roald Dahl’s name was RONALD Dahl. They never believed me. (I was quite bossy about it but they didn’t know anyone else called Roald, so they thought I had it wrong. Ha!)

"Revolting Rhymes cover"Then, when I was 15, I had to learn a poem off by heart to recite in front of the class. I was very slack and I didn’t think about the assignment again until three days before the recital. In a bit of a panic,  I borrowed Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes from the library and I spent two nights frantically learning ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’ It was fun and actually not too hard to memorise (even though it’s quite long) because of the rhymes and the way the story unfolds. And because, when you have someone listening to you reciting it (and they don’t have the book in front of them, so they can’t read ahead) you can’t wait to get to the funny bits!

I can’t remember what anyone else’s poems were about but I can still recite big chunks of Jack. If you haven’t read Revolting Rhymes yet, find a copy immediately. (If you can’t buy your own, ask for it at your school library or your local library.)

Visit the official Roald Dahl Day site for a free PDF with Roald Dahl Day activities. You could have a Roald Dahl Party to celebrate your favourite books any day, of course. It doesn’t have to be 13 September!

Here’s my favourite Roald Dahl Book. What’s yours?

"The BFG by Roald Dahl"

~ Rebecca Newman, Editor,  Alphabet Soup

competitions, 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!


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

Dale Harcombe (Write and Read With Dale)


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

Sally Murphy (Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children Blog)


3 September Promotion and Alphabet Soup

Claire Saxby (Let’s Have Words)


4 September Submissions, and selecting material

Mabel Kaplan (Tales I Tell)


5 September Alphabet Soup in the classroom: benefits for teachers

Dee White (Teachers Writing Helper)


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

Robyn Opie (Writing Children’s Books)


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

Sandy Fussell (Stories Are Light)


You can subscribe to Alphabet Soup via our website

competitions, info

Merry Christmas from Alphabet Soup

Merry Christmas to our Alphabet Soup readers!

Thanks to everyone who subscribed or bought single copies this year – this ensures we can continue to publish the magazine! (Just a reminder – if you’re thinking of placing further orders, the introductory offer of free postage and handling for delivery to Australian addresses expires on 31 December 2008. We will honour orders postmarked 31 December 2008.)

Alphabet Soup News:

  • On 29 November Gabrielle Bastow officially launched the magazine in Kings Park. (Gabrielle is a Literacy Consultant to the Benchmarking and Educational Measurement Unit who will manage the central components of the 2010 NAPLAN Testing Project.) Gabrielle gave a great speech! She also suggested we consider including a cryptic crossword (or some cryptic clues, if not a whole crossword) in future issues of the magazine. What do you think?
  • We’ve started a new blog for the magazine ( which has information such as book reviews, news about upcoming writer’s festivals with children’s events and behind-the-scenes info about what’s happening at Alphabet Soup.
  • We held our first writing competition and we were impressed with the excellent stories and poems you sent in! Winners will be announced in January and a new competition will appear in the next issue of Alphabet Soup – which is due out in February 2009.
  • If you live in WA we are pleased to advise that children’s bookstore, Westbooks, now stocks the magazine! You can find Westbooks at 396 Mill Point Rd, Victoria Park – they have friendly staff, and shelves and shelves of fabulous books. It’s worth a visit!

We hope you enjoy the holidays and find time to curl up with a good book. If Santa doesn’t leave a few books in your Christmas stocking, you can visit your local library! (And if you live in WA, don’t forget to record your books for the WA Premier’s Summer Reading Challenge.

If you’d like to be added to our email list for updates and news about the magazine and children’s book events, please send an email to with ‘subscribe enewsletter’ in the title.

Keep reading – and writing!


Rebecca Newman
Ph: 0412 820 478

Alphabet Soup Publishing
PO Box 742, Willetton WA 6955


MEDIA RELEASE: Alphabet Soup. A new children’s literary magazine.

Issue 1 cover
Issue 1 cover

Perth editor and mother-of-three, Rebecca Newman, has launched Alphabet Soup magazine for primary-school aged kids who love books and reading. Rebecca started work on the magazine 18 months ago, after she was unable to find a suitable magazine for her young daughter, who is an avid reader.

Schools, children’s libraries and early childhood educators have been enthusiastic about issue 1. Specialist literacy educators have previously imported similar publications from Canada and the USA — while despairing at the lack of a local product. Alphabet Soup magazine, with a section devoted to showcasing children’s writing, has found a ready-made readership.

Alphabet Soup will be very popular with children who love books, and already write their own stories,’ commented primary school teacher, Paulina Sweeney. ‘But magazines like this are also valuable for kids struggling with literacy. Seeing their writing in print gives a huge boost to their confidence, and that flows into their schoolwork.’

The magazine is not limited to children’s own work. ‘I aim to help kids develop a love of reading and literature, from a young age,’ says Mrs Newman. ‘I want to expose children to a variety of writing styles and genres … and also to give parents some ideas about suitable books for their children. There are many excellent children’s authors writing quality literature — but it’s not always easy for parents to know where to start.’

Inside issue 1, readers will find:
•    Q&A with children’s author, Jackie French
•    An interest article — interview with a WA bushfire brigade firefighter
•    Stories, poems and book reviews for children (by adults)
•    A crossword
•    A kids’ writing competition
•    6 pages of kids’ writing (stories, poems and book reviews)

Greg Mitchell’s colourful and quirky illustrations round out a really fun read!

Alphabet Soup is published quarterly and can be ordered online (, or by sending address details with a cheque or money order to the publisher.

Rebecca Newman (Publisher and Editor)
Ph: 0412 820 478

Alphabet Soup Publishing
PO Box 742
Willetton WA 6955 AUSTRALIA



Single copies: $7.00 (including GST)

1-year subscription (4 copies): $25.00 (including GST)

Free postage and handling until 31 December 2008 for all orders with Australian delivery addresses. Contact the editor for postage and handling costs to addresses outside Australia.

Rebecca Newman is available for interview.