Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Rebecca

Book review: How to Write Stories by Celia Warren

Do you want to write your own stories but you need a bit of help to get How to Write Stories coverstarted? Or perhaps you want some tips to make your stories even better. How to Write Stories is a very helpful guide for any story writer!

Make sure your story has an attention-grabbing beginning, an entertaining middle and a satisfying ending (so your readers want to read right to the end). There’s also information about what sort of story to write (the ‘genre’), how to gather ideas for your stories, and tips about the setting and characters.

Have you ever had writer’s block? I really liked the use of a ‘never-never’ list to start your creative ideas flowing again – like ‘Never go through the green gate’ and ‘Never touch the red button.’ You decide what happens if someone does what they should never never do, and you’re sure to be off and writing again!

At the back of the book you’ll find a glossary where you can look up any ‘writer’s’ words you might not know.

How to Write Stories is one book in a set of ‘How to … ‘ writing-themed books. Other books in the series include How to Write Letters & Emails, How to Write Reports and How to Write Poems.

We found How to Write Stories at our local library – ask for it at your closest library or school library. Then get writing, and enter our current competition, or send your story to us and it might be published in Alphabet Soup magazine!

How to Write Stories by Celia Warren, QED Publishing, London, ISBN 978 1 84538 740 2

This book was selected for review from the Editor’s own collection.
Posted in competitions, Events, info

Winter 2009 issue OUT NOW!

Winter issue 2009

Doesn’t a serve of delicious alphabet soup sound like just the thing for this cooler winter weather? The winter 2009 issue of Alphabet Soup is out now!

Inside Alphabet Soup magazine this issue:

  • Q&A with Jo Oliver (author-illustrator of Pilgrim)
  • interview with an Air Traffic Controller
  • Stories, poems and good books
  • Kids writing (poems, stories and book reviews)
  • winners of our autumn writing competition
  • details of our winter writing competition
  • details of our design-a-cover competition
  • and more!

Where can you buy a copy? If you live in Western Australia, you can buy copies at Westbooks children’s bookstore (396 Mill Point Rd, Victoria Park) and   Zero to Ten (330 South Tce, South Fremantle).

You can also order single copies (or subscribe!) from our website www.alphabetsoup.net.au, where you can order online with a credit card, or print off an order form to post in to us with a cheque or money order.

Get reading (and writing)!

Posted in authors, illustrator

Author website: Hazel Edwards

book cover
book cover

There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake Answering Questions!

There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake (by Hazel Edwards and illustrated by Deborah Niland) celebrates its 30th birthday this year. Do you have a question you’d like to ask the hippo? You can ask away on Hazel’s website! (You can also find out the answers to to questions from other kids, like: What kind of cake is it? and Do you talk?)

The site also has news about Hazel’s latest picture book Flight of the Bumblebee, which comes with a CD of Antonia Kidman reading the story, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s famous music Flight of the Bumblebee.

Posted in authors, competitions, Events

Write-a-book-in-a-day

Write-a-Book-in-a-Day is a fundraiser by the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre and Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.

Sponsored teams write a children’s book in a day, raising funds 40% for KSPWC and 60% for Children’s Hospitals in each Australian State. Additionally a copy of each finished book will be donated to the hospital library. Teams may compete from school, home, office, library, telecentre or elsewhere.

Write-a-Book-in-a-Day runs from April to the end of August and the teams of writers nominate their day to write a children’s book. (Teams will be given some details about the subject of the book they are to write.)

Teams of 5-10 people will obtain sponsorship (a minimum of $300 per team to enter) and will compete for awards in the following sections-

* Primary School – Minimum 2000 words

* Under 18 – minimum 4000 words

* 18 and over – minimum 8000 words

In addition there will be an award for the highest sponsorship.

A booklet containing rules, hints and judging criteria can be found at  http://kspf.iinet.net.au/bookinaday/

Posted in book reviews, info

Wanted: book reviews by children

Have you read a really cool book that you think other kids would love too?

We are currently considering book reviews by children under 12, for publication in the winter issue of Alphabet Soup, which will be out in May 2009.

If you’d like to send us a book review, you can find guidelines for submitting work on the ‘Writers Wanted‘ page of the the Alphabet Soup website.

We love hearing about your favourite books, so get writing!