story, science, technology and creativity


Writing workshop with Bukit View Primary School, Singapore

Hello Bukit View Primary!

Thanks so much for making me feel so welcome, and for all your terrific stories. I had such a lovely day and really enjoyed meeting you all. And I *love* your theatre arts room! Yee ha!

Keep up the great writing and I hope to see one of your theatre productions one day soon!

With loads of thanks to the lovely folks at the Singapore National Arts Council for organising such a terrific program (and for springing a TV camera on us with at the last minute…nothing like a heart attack to encourage spooky writing 🙂 🙂 xx)


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Things that go bump in the night…Words Go Round at UWCSEA, Singapore

Hello everyone from UWCSEA!

Are you cleaning your bathrooms? Are you taking care of your umbrella? Are you reading late at night, all alone under the covers, listening to your house creak and leaves rustle and creatures move…?

Are you writing some spooky stories to scare your friends (and me!)?

Thanks for a great day at your ENORMOUS school…I nearly got lost in the swimming pool!

Happy writing!


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“Writing with artefacts” workshop at CHIJ Kellock, Singapore

Hello to all the creative writers at CHIJ Kellock! Thanks so much for having me at your school, and for sharing your funny, imaginative and spooky stories (and I loved reading your poems out the front of the school too!).

Keep up the great writing!


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And more from the Singapore Writers Festival: Words Go Round!

Hi to the kids from Chatsworth East International School! Thanks for a great couple of days!!

One of the best things about being a children’s author is inspiring other children to write down their incredibly cool ideas. Each workshop, I’m always amazed by how many different ideas can come from the same few objects. And so many terrific stories…
Keep writing you guys! Write diaries, write poems, write me emails…and one day, I’ll be reading your books 🙂

Thanks to the National Arts Council of Singapore for creating such incredible opportunities for children and writers alike!

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Headshots from the Singapore Writers Festival

Hooray for the Singapore Writers Festival! I had *heaps* of fun and loved scaring people with the disembodied head, especially in food halls and escalators. Such fun!

Thanks to Vanessa for taking great care of me the entire week (and introducing me to matcha latte bubble tea), to Kiru for making me laugh (and letting me use her jokes), to Sarah for giving me a heart attack with the TV crew (but seriously, I loved it: nice work sister!), and to Paul, Amanda and the rest of the National Arts Council team for organising such a great festival. THANK YOU!!

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Book Week with Chatsworth East International School!

Hi everyone from Chatsworth East International School! Hope you had a great book week! I sure did 🙂

It was great to read all your stories and hear your ideas…Keep up the great writing!!



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Singapore Writers Festival: Words Go Round

Singapore Words Go Round logoYay! The programme for the Singapore Writers Festival Words Go Round school program is up. It’s happening in late February, early March 2013, and some awesome writers from all around the world will be there (including me :-))

Kate McCaffrey

Kate McCaffrey, looking anything but angsty. 🙂

Also attending from Australia is the fabulous YA mistress-of-angst Kate McCaffrey, who will also be giving the opening address at an incredible day-long public event: the WGR Literary Open House, a day dedicated to young writers and readers. If you’re in Singapore on March 2 2013, be there! It’s going to be huge.

I’m offering a couple of sessions for kids in Grades P4-6:

From vampires and zombies to bean-shakers and talking umbrellas, the world’s mythical creatures have inspired generations of authors. Join Cristy Burne, author of the Takeshita Demons series, in a lively discussion of Japan’s monsters, how to survive them, and what they can teach us about history, culture and the human condition.

Have you ever rung an old bell, then imagined who might have rung it before you? Or perhaps you’ve read an old postcard, then felt the ghost of its writer beside you? Some objects seem to carry their own history, and in this creative writing workshop, we open a window into their past. Students interact with ancient and peculiar artefacts, combining history with fantasy to write their own exciting stories.

Fergus helps me research some science…He also loves dinosaurs, dolphins and How Things Work by Richard Scarry 🙂

TWO BITES OF THE APPLE: Combining science and literacy in the classroom
There’s also a programme for teachers, in which I’ll be presenting a hands-on professional development workshop on combining science and literacy in the classroom.

I call it Two Bites of the Apple, since I’m hoping to explore ways in which we can tick science learning objectives along with English learning objectives in the same lesson.

And why not? Some of the world’s best scientists are also great communicators, and science is a language that unites us all.  A couple of quotes that get right to the heart of it:

“Science immerses children in content that is so interesting and important to them that they want to learn about it, which motivates them to read.” Dr John T. Guthrie, University of Maryland, Literacy Research Center.

“Not only is reading critical to the learning of science, science is critical to the learning of reading.” Dr Rowena Douglas, National Science Teachers Association, Canada.

What do you think? Sounds fun? I think so and I can’t wait 🙂 🙂