Cristy Burne

Author, editor, science writer

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How to build a time machine

To celebrate the launch of The Cosmic Adventures of Alice and Bob, I recently worked with the amazing book club kids at the Amherst Village Library to design and build some incredible time machines.


Of course, constructing time machines is a top secret process, so I’ve only included the ‘before’ shots. And a couple of biographies of the creators (all encrypted, of course). And some blueprints I managed to smuggle out.

We had a load of fun, with huge thanks to Shannon for the incredible musical entertainment!

And a warning: do try this at home! Or at a creative workshop near you… You’re bound to create something amazing.

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Act-Belong-Commit: Come see the heARTlines exhibition

View the festival programThe 2017 heARTlines festival is go!

We had an amazing launch on Friday night, with a dynamic speech from Meg McKinlay and brilliant entertainment from WAAPA musicians performing the musical soundtrack to The Butterfly’s Ball, and the Grasshopper’s Feast, an 1802 poem by William Roscoe.

So what are you waiting for?

Come on down to the Midland Junction Arts Centre to see incredible original work from WA’s amazing creators of children’s books, including Moira Court, Frané Lessac, Matt Ottley, Kyle Hughes-Odgers, Kylie Howarth, Terry Denton, Aska, James Foley, Gabriel Evans, Briony Stewart, Frances Maber and Brian Simmonds.


And of course, our great open day on Sat 17 June. You can book a spot now for you and/or your kids in a creative hands-on workshop, or simply rock up on the day to participate in free, no-bookings-required activities, buy artwork and books, admire the exhibition, and be part of a great day.

See you there!

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101% Thank you! AMAZING!!

We did it! We saved Crinkling News!!!

It has been quite a rollercoaster fortnight, I’ve bitten off all my nails, cried some tears and lost a fair bit of sleep.

But I feel we have snatched hope and inspiration from the jaws of the machine.

More than 1500 people donated or subscribed to keep this children’s newspaper printing: we’ve even had kids sending in their pocket money, or running cake stalls and school fundraisers. AMAZING!!!

Crinkling News is about empowering children. It’s about giving kids the opportunity to be informed about what’s going on in the world. It’s about letting kids know that their efforts and ideas can make a difference, and help make the world a better place.

And this morning, I feel the world is a better place. THANK YOU AGAIN for your contributions, for helping to spread the word, for believing in the need to give kids a great newspaper to read, create and learn from.

You can still contribute or subscribe here:

Subscriptions arrive in your letterbox (or your kids’ letterbox :-)) once a week, in full colour and bursting with optimism and real news.

Happy reading!



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Can you help save Crinkling News? Creativity, inspiration, and a newspaper just for kids


Crinkling News is the best! It’s also closing down…

…unless we save it.

I’ve been writing for Australia’s national newspaper for children for many months now. I’m SO SO proud of it.

Editor Saffron Howden is trying to raise $200,000 to keep the paper going. There’s $150,000 left to raise, and just over a week to do it.

This is why we should Save Crinkling News:

  • Kids deserve to have their own newspaper. One with all the news explained so kids feel empowered, not frightened.
  • Kids deserve to feel as if the world is a good place, filled with inspiring people who are working to make it better.
  • Kids deserve to believe that they can be one of those inspiring people, making a difference with what they do each day, and the way they choose to live their lives.

Here’s why you should donate to help Save Crinkling News:CrinklingJnrEditor.jpg

  • Your donation is only collected if the total is raised and the paper continues to print.
  • Your donation can come with a subscription–for your school, for your children, for adults who prefer a newspaper that leaves them warm and buzzing–and all subscriptions or partial subscriptions will be refunded if the paper doesn’t continue.
  • You can be one of those inspiring people who makes a difference.
  • You can donate your spare change, or splash out with $3000 to get a framed front cover 🙂
  • Crinkling News is just what we need….all of us, not just our kids.

Below is a letter from Saffron, asking for our help to keep the paper going…
I really hope we can.

Thanks for your help, shares and support! xx Cristy

Crinkling News

Letter from Saffron Howden, editor of Crinkling News:

To our loyal subscribers and supporters,

For the past year we have worked incredibly hard to bring the only national newspaper for kids to your homes and schools around the country.

Pursuing a vision for something greater than yourself is not easy and our small team has invested everything we have. Now we need your support.

We have come a long way in 12 months and more children are reading Crinkling News every day.

But the biggest and most successful organisations need time to build before they become sustainable – even Facebook took five years to turn a profit.

While we have sought funding and investment throughout the life of the paper, we have focussed our energy on producing the paper that so many now love – but so many others are only just finding out about.

So now we need your help to secure the future of Crinkling News.

Donate to help Save Crinkling News

We have launched a crowd-funding campaign. Crowd-funding is about communities coming together to support something they believe in.

I am asking you to believe in Crinkling News.

Within the next four days, we are asking for $200,000 to invest in business development and expertise or the last issue of this newspaper will be published this week.

400 people have already kicked in over $52,000. But if we don’t raise the full amount by Thursday, we get nothing and the donations will not be taken.

Please note that should the campaign be unsuccessful, all subscribers will be refunded the balance of their subscriptions.

Donate to help Save Crinkling News

Why you should help

  • Crinkling News is a newspaper and a vision. It’s a vision for engaging our kids in the world around them, for inspiring them to read and learn and think critically, and it’s a vision to give them a voice in the national conversation.
  • So many kids love Crinkling News. They’ve started newspaper clubs, dabbled in journalism, and been given the courage to share their views with the world – all because of this newspaper.

What to do

Thank you so much to those of you who have donated already. And thank you to all who have supported the paper in so many different ways over the past year.

Most importantly, thank to our wonderful readers who have shared the journey with us so far.


Saffron Howden

PS. One of our passionate readers, Maeve from NSW, sent in this inspiring video when she heard Crinkling News needed help to keep going. Watch, then donate and share at:

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heARTlines 2017: Act, belong, commit

I’m once again lucky enough to be involved with curating the heARTlines festival of children’s literature and illustration. This year we’ve moved to a bigger, better venue at the revamped Midland Junction Arts Centre, and we’ve set up a spectacular program of events.

Many are free events! Choose from writing workshops for children, art workshops for adults, events for beginners, events for schools, talks, and of course our inspiring free exhibition of original artwork from much-loved WA books…
Check out the program here, and get booking!


And don’t forget our amazing free Open Day on Saturday June 17: you can book for workshops and talks, or just rock up on the day for entertainment and a look at the amazing exhibition of original artwork from so many of WA’s best children’s book illustrators.

10:00am 3:00pm
Midland Junction Arts Centre.

View the festival program.jpg



Signing celebration…and timeline of a book deal

signing with XOUMRegular readers may remember that last year, I was lucky enough to sign with the Jacinta Di Mase agency, with Danielle Binks as my agent.

Today, I feel even luckier to be signing my first book contract through Danielle, with the amazing Xoum Publishing. (YAY!)

Xoum publish such science greats as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Adam Spencer (insert another dozen awed YAYS! here). And I’ll be joining them!! You can imagine my excitement 🙂 🙂

Which leads me to my next question…

Do you need a literary agent?

I sure did!

There’s a lot of discussion about how to get a literary agent and whether having an agent is a necessary thing for an author, especially in Australia.

Well, in my case, I can officially say YES. I think it’s a fabulous thing. And having Danielle on my team certainly helped this book find the right publisher.

Here’s how it went down:

August 2016
I emailed Danielle for the first time. We’d never met, but I’d heard her name and liked her style. I sent her an intro-to-me email and a book idea I’d been brewing for a while. It was a non-fiction kids’ book. I thought it was pretty cool (I still do :-)).

September 2016
Danielle responded with an “I’m intrigued.” She asked for a more detailed pitch, which I provided. She emailed back the next day (!!) to set up a phone conversation. I loved her enthusiasm, passion and humour. And I loved that she only laughed a little bit when I was rendered mostly-speechless after she offered to represent me over the phone.

Cristy BurneOctober 2016
Contracts done and dusted. I became a fully signed member of the Jacinta Di Mase agency, with Danielle as my agent.

November 2016
After lots of lovely discussion and throwing-around-of-ideas, I got stuck into preparing sample pages for what Danielle and I hoped would become our first book project. Exciting times!

February 2017
And even more exciting! Danielle started talks with the lovely people at Xoum, who are just as thrilled with the book idea as we are. Xoum make gorgeous books and have an innovative in-house designer who makes sure they’re fun to read and visually stimulating. All perfect for this project!

March 2017…
I have a new home! Today! All systems are go. I’ve chatted over the phone with Alice, my new editor, and I’ve started beavering away at more pages and more ideas and more research…

…and beyond!
I’m going to sign these contracts, pop them into the post, and get to work! We’re hoping to have everything ready (=a fantabulous, fun book for you to read and gift and read again) some time next year… Hip, Hip, Hooray!!

Let’s go team!!

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The cosmic adventures have begun!

Super news about two new books!

publishing-celebrationTo The Lighthouse 

Advance copies of To The Lighthouse are here! Woo hoo! I am so excited.

It has been many years since I have opened an envelope to discover a new book with my name on it. I have tried and failed and despaired and been re-inspired to try again. I’ve been supported by so many people from so many walks of life, and I’m so grateful, and so satisfied with the result.

Copies of To The Lighthouse are flying out to lucky advance readers, ready for launch in June 2017. YAY!

I just love how this story has turned out…It has been years in the writing and re-writing, and I was never really sure I could pull off the mood and relationship and excitement I was aiming for.

If you’re lucky enough to have an advance copy, I really hope you enjoy it! And I hope it makes you want to grab your bikes and go have an adventure  🙂


This picture (c) Aska, the incredible illustrator of Alice & Bob

The Cosmic Adventures of Alice and Bob

Copies are flying out in FREE class sets to classrooms around Australia.

Order your free copies thanks to the CAASTRO: The ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics.

This book has been so amazing to work on. It’s designed to inspire innovation, creativity and dedication.

It’s also designed to inspire a passion for science and discovery.

Which is why we’ve hidden so many things in the pictures and text…There’ll soon be free teaching notes to go with the books, but as a taster….

Did you know? 
Alice and Bob are the names physicists use instead of A and B when explaining quantum cryptography, which is one of many applications of quantum physics.

3, 2, 1…blast-off

Alice and Bob will be launched at this year’s Astrofest, a free and phenomenal astronomy event held on Saturday 18 March. The comics are not for sale, but designed as a super-fun and super-inspiring educational tool. Copies will be available on the night for a gold coin donation.

Hope to see you there!