In Short

May 8, 2010

Categories: Age review, Cameron Woodhead, reviews, short and scary

Okay, going to break my rule of never responding to book reviews.

After a nice review for Short and Scary in The Sunday Age, Young Lit section several weeks ago, I was surprised to see a review in today’s Sat Age.

The readership for the anthology was years 8 – 14. There is no mention of this in the review which is flanked by adult titles such as The Woman Who Shot Mussolini and 35 Arguments for the Existence of God.

The idea for the short series was a mentoring program, matching established authors and illustrators with emerging talent, both young and old. There is no mention of this in the critique either. (Although there was mention of one contributor’s poem as mediocre will probably have the 16 year old author running for cover.)

Feedback from teachers and readers about the short series has been positive. It is a smorgasbord of stories and poetry that young readers can dip into. That’s what makes it work for young readers. Perhaps the reviewer is better suited to reviewing adult books…?


Is this your little one?

April 21, 2010

Categories: illustration, short and scary, Tegan Bell

Someone thrust a copy of The Sunday Age magazine at me the other day and said, ‘Is this yours?’
I felt like a proud parent — there was Short and Scary, a nice big cover, and a lovely review from Frances Atkinson.
No, not mine, but a proud parent nevertheless.
The illustration here is from Tegan Bell, a student who is interested in pursuing art as a career. Congrats to Tegan and the other students who made the final cut.


short, scary and unemployed…

April 6, 2010

Categories: black dog books, Carole Wilkinson, short and scary, sugar sugar, Williamstown Literary Festival 2010

As I printed out my Williamstown Literary Festival 2010 (WLF 2010) welcoming letter, I noted near the end that if I had a website or blog or facebook I should be touting the WLT 2010 wherever possible.

I do have a website and a blog and a Facebook account.

I am a failure at all of these cyberspace tools.

I’ve admitted it before. I was talking to another writer about it recently and came to the conclusion that I am an extremely private person. I guard my privacy . I wonder why? It’s not like I’m afraid the paparazzi are going to hang around my front gate or go through my rubbish.

Anyway, I did want to note that I have left black dog books as Managing Editor and have taken a chance to draw breath. The decision to leave was a hard one to make. What a fantastic job! What great scope there was for artistic input. In the end, though, I felt there wasn’t much left over for my own personal artistic output. Before I left, however, I was blessed to work on two great publications. Sugar Sugar (Carole Wilkinson’s latest offering and first YA book, which I will discuss in another post) and short and scary, an anthology of short stories, poetry and illustrations. I would personally like to thank the wonderful Australian authors and illustrators who submitted stories to the anthology and congratulate the new authors and illustrators who were included in the book. This book will raise funds for kid’s literacy and is a great showcase for new talent.

And the WLF 2010?
It is a festival for readers and writers, and runs from 27-30 April nightly and on the weekend of 1 and 2 May, Williamstown Hall, Ferguson Street, Williamstown. There is a great program of events, and you can check it out at
I am holding a session called ‘Writing for Children’, so if you feel like stretching your imagination, I’d love to see you with a notebook and pen (yes, I will be making people write, what?, no?, actually writing in a workshop?…).

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