Cristy Burne

Author, editor, science writer


My New Year’s Resolutions…and goodbye Crinkling News

Happy 2018 everyone! I’m rested and rip-roaring to get my teeth into new projects.

Writing every day!
Inspired by children’s writer H. M Waugh’s JanNoWriMo, I’m writing every day. I’m working on a project I started a year ago and just haven’t been able to forget. It’s very close to my heart, and it’s going well. Perhaps that’s because I’m taking more risks.

  • I’m starting from setting. Now, will those of you who know me, please get up from off the floor. Yes. Setting. Enjoying setting is a relatively new thing for me, perhaps inspired by To The Lighthouse, where Rottnest Island is such a huge part of the story. So: yay, me! My relationship with setting is developing. My writing is developing.
  • I’m leaving story errors in the manuscript. (What!? You’re not making everything perfect!?!?)(Nope. Poo to perfect.) I figure I can fix the gaping errors, rubbish cliches and sketchy details later, when I have a better grasp of what the story actually is.
  • I’m not fleshing out minor characters. (See above.) I can breathe life into them later, when I know more about their B-plots.
  • I’m not chained to writing the story in order. Instead I’m writing in chunks, like building with Lego. I can move chunks around once I know the basic structure of my house, to give it that bit of architectural va-voom.
  • I’m writing what I love, what I want to think about, what I want kids to think about.
  • I’m writing every day. I know, I know. You’re supposed to write every day, all the writing coaches say this. Well, the tough truth is, they’re correct. Or at least, they are when it comes to being me. I write better, and I’m happier, when I write every day.


New Year’s Resolutions
My New Year’s Resolution last year was to Be More Selfish. (You’ll note I didn’t share this with you last year. Selfish, hey :-)) So yeah. Be More Selfish. If you’re a serial pleaser, like me, you should give it a try. 2017 was the first time in eight years since I’d had five days a week for myself. It rocked! I tried to spend more time doing what was important to me. I tried to spend less time bending over backwards on the off chance of keeping everyone happy. Resolution Rating: 5 stars.

In 2018, my New Year’s Resolution is to Think Less. Yep, you also read that one right. I over-think things. Important things and unimportant things. I spend hours and hours working out the pros and cons of A over B, or C over A, and large chunks of my life are spent deciding instead of doing. But, as my lovely mum always says: if it’s really hard to choose between two things, they’re probably both good. (Aren’t mums great!) So this year, I’m channeling Ben Lee: Just do it, whatever it is, whatever it is. Just do it. So, yep. Think Less. Resolution Rating: Watch this space.


Crinkling News
On a sadder note, I found out today that Crinkling News, the incredible children’s newspaper I’ve been regularly contributing to, is folding. It’s a shock, especially following the success of their crowd-funding campaign mid-2017 (thanks to everyone who helped keep it alive). I’m disappointed that it didn’t live for longer. But I’m proud to reflect on all the work Crinkling did to celebrate good news, educate kids about current affairs, and inspire our next generation to be involved, media-savvy citizens.

Thanks to everyone who subscribed or donated or contributed to Crinkling. I’m shocked and saddened to see it go :-/

A list of some of my stories is below. I’ve loved chatting to all my interviewees, learning so many new things, and inspiring kids with the possibilities of science and technology. Here’s hoping the ripples from reading Crinkling News spread far and wide.

And here’s hoping we have a fabulous 2018. Just do it, whatever it is.

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An amazing school visit – Art, science, English and more

I was recently lucky enough to spend some time at Rostrata Primary, where the Year 3s have been studying To the Lighthouse in class. Their amazing teachers, Edward Wilkinson and Charu Sharma, have used To the Lighthouse to teach art, science, English and more…

I was so humbled and impressed by the students’ efforts. There were book reviews, lighthouse mosaics, To The Lighthouse comics, gorgeous peacock paintings, fabulous lighthouse wall displays, and an incredible working lighthouse activity. LOVE IT! Thank you so much!

And, as a special treat, I was able to meet Richard Johnson, Rostrata’s incredible science specialist teacher. He’s a passionate teacher, and a finalist in the Global Teacher Prize for the work he has done in bringing science to life in primary schools (announced by Stephen Hawking here).

In the school lab I saw spiny stick insects, giant pterosaurs, 3D printers, gorgeous fish, and more silkworm moths than I’ve ever seen in my life!!!!! I also saw how science can be brought to life for children. I didn’t enjoy science at primary school because I didn’t ever realise how fabulous it was.

Now, thanks to teachers like Mr Johnson, kids around Australia can have this chance. Amazing!


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Some fun snaps from the last few weeks

I’m feeling really lucky right now to have had such an amazing year and to have met so many terrific people.

I also feel lucky not to have been made into snail milkshakes by a demented frog with the world’s least popular hair. Because in this writing business, anything can happen. Especially when you let kids begin with a Mr Squiggle and then James Foley starts to draw…AMAZING!

Thanks to Suzette Teixeira for these photos from a great session with James at the City of Melville’s Merge Festival. Here we are ‘on the couch’ with Jane Fraser, the CEO of Fremantle Press. It was so much fun – thank you for laughing at our jokes. As you can see, I thought they were pretty funny 🙂

Merge on the couch.jpg

SIDE.jpgAnd thanks also to the fabulous team at the School of Isolated and Distance Education!

We had a terrific day chatting to kids from all over Australia and the world!! I had a blast 🙂

I especially loved the chance to teach with a text box active on the screen, because students were firing jokes and questions and it was fast-paced and funny. Perfect! Thank you everyone!!


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Backyard Book Fair: fast, funny and free at the State Library

SCBWI Book Fair SMLGrab your tickets to the Backyard Book Fair, held this December 2nd in the State Library of WA Theatre.

It’s a morning of fast, funny and free fun with some of WA’s most exciting children’s book authors and illustrators.

We only have 10 minutes each, so it’s like speed dating with your favourite book creators! Draw, write, invent, explode rockets…we’ve got it all!

Even better, while your kids are entertained in the theatre, you can buy some locally grown books in the foyer… You can even have your books signed! Christmas? Sorted!

Suitable for ages 10 and below, but everyone is welcome and morning tea is supplied.

Tickets are free but going fast.

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Merge with me!

This Saturday is Merge Festival at the City of Melville!

There’ll be pop up venues, non-stop entertainment (including me!?), food trucks galore, boutique market stalls, amazing authors (including children’s authors James Foley, Deb Fitzpatrick, Gabriel Evans, Chris Nixon and Brendan Ritchie!!!), fantastic activities for all ages, free dance lessons and so much more!

Visit for all the details.



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Thank you Ubud!

I’m back from Ubud! It was AMAZING! I feel so lucky to have been part of this year’s Ubud Readers and Writers Festival

I have met so many fabulous and talented people, been so inspired, challenged and stimulated, and been so well looked after.

Thank you to the gorgeous team at KanoSari Ubud for putting me up in the most fabulous surrounds, to WritingWA for getting me over there, to my fellow presenters and moderators for inspiring me and teaching me, to the readers for coming along (and inventing a people-phobic-peacock), and to the entire festival team for creating such a beautiful thing.

Now to get to work: I have a long, long list of Things I Want To Do 🙂

PS: I also met my November 1 manuscript deadline, which I’ve been working towards since signing with XOUM in March. Yeeee ha!


Want a fun family day this weekend? Head to the South Beach Community Garage Sale

This Saturday grab the family and head to Barrow Park for a day of sun, fun, sand and treasure-hunting. Held by the awesome South Beach Community Group, the Garage Sale will be MASSIVE, with coffee, food vans, free face painting and entertainment (that’s me!), plus the City of Cockburn’s Sustainability Trailer with plenty of info about reusing, reducing and recycling.

Join the Garage Sale Trail

This year’s sale is on Saturday 21 October, from 9am to 2pm.

Join us at Barrow Park and:

  • Part with the old and unwanted items in your house
  • Clear out your storage and garage and make room for life (and your cars)
  • Encourage reuse and make some pocket money

Sell your goodies, bric-a-brac and oddities by registering your stall for free (no commercial vendors please).

Not enough stuff to warrant a stall? The South Beach Community Group stall are accepting donations for their stall.

Hope to catch you there!
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