The Children’s Book Council of Australia has announced the winners of this year’s Book of the Year awards.
For the full list of both the winning books and the honour books click here.
Permit me a few moments of dreaming: I hope one day my name will be listed in these awards.
Okay – dream over – back to editing my novel so that someday I can be in the running.
Some writers do not understand the power of regularly writing in a personal journal.
Journal writing is an excellent way of honing many writing skills that are essential to the writing process. It doesn’t matter much whether you write fiction, non-fiction, articles or blogs, regular writing practice is essential. If possible, I’d encourage all writers, especially beginner writers, to write every day, even if in the first few months or years journal writing is all you do.
I’ve kept a personal journal since July 1990. That means the 20th anniversary is coming up very soon; I must remember to celebrate it here on this blog. I write about anything that comes to mind about events and people in my life. I filled several hand written volumes at first but in recent years I have tended to use my computer. One day I might get around to printing it all out and binding the pages into booklets.
More recently I have also been keeping a writing journal. In this I have recorded the processes I have gone through in writing my stories, especially my recent novels. The journals include details of my ideas, sources of inspiration, research findings and the decisions I had to make along the way. In part you can read how I went about ‘Writing a Novel’ here.
When I was a classroom teacher I used Journal Writing as an integral part of encouraging children to write. The skills developed in my programme had some amazing results, not just with writing. I wrote about it in this article: The Power of Journal Writing – a Story of Hope.
This article relates the experience I had with one of my former students. I bring it to your attention now – especially for my many new readers who may have missed it at the time.
One of the units I am studying at present is called Writing for children. Our lecturer is award winning author Rosanne Hawke. In our early lectures and workshops we looked closely at how to write picture book texts. Writing this kind of book is a passion for me; I love reading them and sharing them with children – and adults.
One of the things that Rosanne impressed upon us from the very beginning was the importance of reading picture books – as many as we can get our hands on. I’ve always read plenty of picture books, first when I was a teacher librarian, and then as a classroom teacher.
When I retired from teaching four years ago I drifted away from reading picture books as regularly as I used to do. Rosanne has given me the impetus and reason for getting back into this exciting and enjoyable area of books. So once again I’ve reactivated the use of my library card and I am borrowing ten or fifteen a week to read. And I’m thoroughly enjoying the activity.
There is another incentive: we need to keep a reading log of what we are reading, as well as write some short reviews of the books we read. This is a required, assessable component of the course. It is a very enjoyable part of the course I might add.