So what have you got circulating?

Many years ago someone wise said to me that you should always have a least 12 things in circulation.

Why? I asked, being quite new to the writing game.

Because, they said, not only does it increase you chance of success it also stops you going mad while you chew your fingers to the bone waiting, waiting, waiting…

The more there is in circulation the more you have to look forward to. One rejection isn’t the end of the world and as soon as that rejection comes in send it out again. It’s not going to get read in your bottom drawer is it?


So here’s what I have circulation at the moment…


6 poems at The School Magazine

6 poems with Rattle

4 poems with The Caterpillar

3 poems entered into The Caterpillar Poetry Prize

5 picture books with various publishers


I also intend to enter the two competitions listed below and I hope you’re considering entering them too.











So now my question to you is, what do you have circulating?


The Little Things in Life


Dear Jackie,

I am writing to invite you to join Jack Prelutsky, Jane Yolen, Lemony Snicket, Judith Viorst, Douglas Florian, Sharon Creech, and many others in an anthology of poems I am putting together for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

There was a bit more detail in the middle…………then

With kindest regards,

Kenn Nesbitt, Children’s Poet Laureate

Well, after I’d picked myself up off the floor, I, in typical Jackie fashion, began to cry – I know – it’s pathetic but I’m awfully good at it, so cry I did.

I mean for heaven’s sake, Kenn Nesbitt, the Children’s Poet Laureate had chased me down and made contact and I was, I think, understandably overjoyed.

After sending him about a million poems I am delighted to announce that my poem, Morning Star has made the cut. It’s a small poem, but it’s the little things in life that are often the best.

Now not wanting to wish my life away, roll on 2016 so that I can proudly hold an anthology that will not only be full of poems from those listed above but will also be be chock-a-block with poems from some of my favourite Ozzie poets, listed below…

Sherryl Clark

Meredith Costain

Mike Lucas

Sophie Masson

Sally Murphy

And if anyone knows of any other Ozzie poets that should be on this list please let me know and I’ll update it.

Congratulations to you all.


Work In Progress – sneak peek

Samurai Kids


When Sandy Fussell of the Samurai Kids series fame,tagged me in the latest meme I wasn’t sure I could take part because the requirement is for a writer to share 7 lines from page 7 or 77 of their current WiP.

Being a poet and picture book writer I don’t have many WiPs that venture past one page let alone 77.  Now of course I know that picture books are usually 32 pages long but when I write them I don’t tend to divide them into pages early on I just try to get the story down.

So what I thought I could do was share 7 lines from verse 7 of my current WiP and I hope that that will be ok.




Here goes…


Round and round and loopedy-loop the bloomers flailed and flew
Around the steeple, past the park, and through the petting zoo
And Betsy puffed and panted as she tried to keep in sight
Her flipping, flapping bloomers as they once again took flight

Up and up towards the clouds and then a mighty squall
Snatched the spotty bloomers as they left the city sprawl
Betsy stopped to catch her breath then off she dashed once more…


And there you have it 🙂


And Now I would like to tag…


Michael Gerard Bauer    Tania McCartney   Sue LawsonKatrina Germein

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Feeling useful and a bit of trumpet blowing

You know, there is nothing more rewarding than feeling useful and today I got to feel very useful indeed thanks to a writer’s response to a manuscript edit that I did for them. Here’s what they said…

Wow!! What an awesome job you’ve done.  Your changes are so obvious but I would never see them in a million years.

I will purchase the ebook and I’ll have a go at my story again.  I’ll send it back to you soon after another polish.  Thank you so much.

trumpetFeeling a bit chuffed with myself I thought I might scroll back through some recent edit responses and share them with you here. I know I’m blowing my own trumpet but being a self-employed editor kind of requires me to do so. I hope you’ll bear with me.

Thank you for your help – your book especially has helped me to understand what I need to do.


Thanks soooooo much Jackie. You’re a gem!
Hey Jackie! Thanks so much! So good to have you go over this for me.
And another
Thanks for your comments which I had a good look at today – it really helped in rewriting the poem.
One more

Many thanks for all this. I have only had a chance to check briefly but it looks great. Some of the changes were so obvious but I couldn’t pick it. I am really delighted with your work. Thank you!

Last one

Thanks Jackie,  I would love you to continue as you have for the whole poem and invoice me for the lot. Very helpful suggestions!


Okay – I’ll stop now but if you have a children’s rhyming poem or story in verse that won’t behave itself why not take the plunge and send it over to me – we’ll soon get it sorted 🙂



Writing Processes Blog Tour



Thanks to Aleesah Darlison for tagging me in the Writing Processes Blog Tour. To read Aleesah’s answers to the blog tour questions please click here

Aleesah is a prolific author with an amazing number of books under her belt. She writes picture books, series and is actively involved in the children’s book writing community.

Aleesah is available for a wide range of Author Talks, Storytime Sessions and Workshops for both children and adults. She is available for pre-school, school and library visits and for writers’ festivals and conferences.

Click here for more information.


And here are some of her most recently published books…


Ok – so now it’s my turn.


What am I working on?Grass Tree

Well I’m always working on a poem or two. At the moment I have a couple rattling around in my head. One is about the clues that bush creatures leave and the other is about nicknames. Both of these came to me as I was doing one of my many walks through the beautiful Australian Bush. I also have a few picture book texts that will soon be hunting for a home, these get pulled out periodically for another spit and polish.


How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Most of my work is written in Rhyme and Meter. I’m a  big fan. It’s a tricky yet truly satisfying way to write. I try not to rhyme but I don’t know why because inevitably I find that I enjoy the rhyming process so much that to actively avoid it is a little bit silly.


Why do I write what I do?

Because I LOVE it!

Also because I like to write short and sweet, poetry suits this desire quite well as does writing picture book texts. While I cannot tell you how much I admire writers of the novel, I just don’t think my brain is designed this way. I see the world in snippets, flashes, snapshots, I’d probably have made a very good camera.


How does my writing process work?

In snippets, flashes and snapshots 🙂

But seriously, I’m not sure to be honest. I think with a first line, that’s usually the way it happens, and that, if I’m writing a poem, will determine the meter. For the two poems that I mentioned above – here’s what happened…

I was walking in the bush, nothing unusual there, and I kept coming upon piles of horse manure but there was no horse in sight and a little thought emerged…

I’ve yet to see the horse

Although the clues are strong

And while one wouldn’t normally think of a horse as a bush creature, it’s the idea that I like.

For the one on nicknames I remember, again while walking in the bush, looking at Rex (my dog pictured here) feeling slightly amused that we call him everything but Rex.  Roo, That Roo, Rooster or Rexy Roo and this popped out…REX


His name is Rex but we call him Roo

It’s such a family thing to do

Jemmima is my sister’s name

But we say Mima just the same

These few lines have been scribbled down and will stay scribbled until I have a moment where I cannot leave them any more. I will transfer them into a word doc and see what I can do, see if I care enough to keep going. As yet they are still just a few scribbles on a page.


Alright that’s enough about me – on with the tour. Debra will be posting her answers to the above 4 questions on Monday 14th April.

If you would like to be part of this tour – I still have room to tag 2 more authors. You will need to contact me before Sunday 13th April.

Thanks for reading.


Introducing Debra Tidball

When I see grandmaDebra is a parent, social worker and children’s author from Sydney. Her first picture book When I see Grandma has been recently released. It is a celebration of life and love drawn from her experience of having a parent with dementia, and reflecting the experience of many young families with ageing grandparents.

Her author royalties are donated to dementia research and care.

Visit her website to find out more. Her blog will be here: 


The Croc and the Platypus – an update

scbwiSo lots has happened since I blogged last and I’m very pleased to be able to inform you that not only is my book featuring at the SCBWI conference in Sydney this July but it also comes along with its very own plush Croc! Honestly I think I’m still spinning – a plush Croc for heaven’s sake and isn’t he gorgeous?BOP

If you read the excerpt above, that is taken from the SCBWI blog, you’ll see that 3 lucky attendees will win a copy of the book along with a super cute and cuddly Croc thanks to Walker Books Australia who must also be congratulated for recently winning the Bologna Prize for Best Children’s Publisher of the Year (Oceania Region).

I must say that I really do feel extremely privileged to be part of the Walker team and I can’t wait to meet everyone who has been involved in the creation of…

The Croc and the Platypus.


The Sydney SCBWI conference – July 2014

SCBWI logo



Oh my goodness how excited am I?




That’s how excited I am and I’m going to tell you why.


Conf-logoNext July at the Sydney SCBWI conference I will be appearing on a panel along with the Managing Director, Publisher, Marketing and Publicity Manager of Walker Books Australia . AlsoWalker Logo on the panel with be the illustrator, Marjorie Crosby-Fairall of our book The Croc and the Platypus. We will be discussing the journey from submission to publication – a process, that I have to say, has been one of the most enjoyable times of my life.

When I first discovered that people quite liked what I could do with rhyme and meter back in 2004 my dream was to be able to write a picture book that rhymed – 10 years and many poems later my dream will be realised.

I was warned that picture books were the most difficult to write and rhyming picture books were the most difficult of all. Unfortunately my brain appears to be hard wired thanks to the likes of Milne, Seuss, Dahl, Lear, Dennis and Carroll so rhyme is what I do. And of course like any skill, the harder you work at it, the better you get and eventually that dream that is hovering way, way off in the future becomes a reality.

It’s all about persistence, stickability and joy. I write the way I do because it makes me smile. I’ve always been a bit of a joker, I love making the people around me laugh – whoever said “Laughter is the best medicine” was certainly on to something there.

In the last decade I’ve attended two of the Sydney SCBWI conferences and I would recommend it everyone, especially the freshlings. The networking alone will open so many doors and the friendships made will last a lifetime. Where else can you spend so much time with people who understand exactly what you are experiencing?

Christmas is coming, why not design some gift vouchers of different monetary amounts and give them to whoever will be buying you gifts this year and ask for a donation to your SCBWI conference fund. They might look something like this…

Gift CertI think that’s a brilliant idea – don’t you?

So now there’s no excuse. I’ll look forward to seeing you all up in Sydney next July at the conference and or at


The Book Launch


Where: bookshop 6 Hannah Street, Beecroft NSW.




When: Friday 18th July at 9.45am





What’s the difference between a rhyming poem and a story written in rhyming verse?

As you might know, periodically I run a competition for people who love to write in rhyme.

My New Spring Competition is underway as we speak (the deadline is midnight Wednesday 30th October).

Some people have asked the question – what is the difference between a rhyming poem and a story written in rhyming verse? And I thought the easiest way to answer this question was to show you two examples of my own.


A poem

The School Magazine – Countdown – Sept 2007 [VOL.92 NO.8]

The School Magazine – Countdown – Sept 2007 [VOL.92 NO.8]

A Story written in rhyming verse

Leo and Millie p1Leo and Millie p2Leo and Millie p3Leo and Millie p4


Simply put then – a poem captures a moment, a feeling, an emotion and a story tells a story with a beginning, a middle and and an end.

Children’s Week 18th – 26th October

As part of Children’s Week I have been invited along with fellow writers/authors Karen Collum, Nadine Cranenburgh and Ben Sanders to take part in a ‘Letters and Words’ reading event on the morning of Thurs 24th Oct in Ballarat at M.A.D.E.


Written by Karen Collum and Illustrated by Serena Geddes

Written by Karen Collum and Illustrated by Serena Geddes

Written and illustrated by Ben Sanders

Written and illustrated by Ben Sanders












I’m not sure what I’m going to read yet so that will have to be a surprise on the day. We can all be sure of one thing though, it will definitely rhyme 🙂

So what is Children’s Week?


This is what it says on the official website…

Children’s Week is an annual event celebrated in Australia during the fourth week in October. In 1996 it was decided to adopt a permanent theme: “A Caring World Shares” as a reflection of Children’s Week aims while at the same time acknowledging the designated year on national posters and other printed materials.

A diverse range of events and activities are organised at National, State and Local levels. These focus the attention of the wider community on children, their needs and achievements.

Children’s Week celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood. It is also a time for children to demonstrate their talents, skills and abilities.

Thousands of children and their families around the country are involved in activities and events during “The Week” through the participation of schools, playgroups, childcare, kindergartens, cultural groups, libraries, departments and community groups.

Designated by the nations of the world, Universal Children’s Day calls society to a greater response to the plight of many millions of children around the world who are denied the basic necessities of a happy childhood and the education to develop their capacities. It also calls us in Australia to consider those conditions in society which affect the lives and future of our own children.

The mission of the Children’s Week Council of Australia is to encourage, support, guide co-ordinate and monitor the widest possible participation of all States and Territories in Children’s Week, ensuring that programs and activities are open to all children regardless of race, colour, sex, ability, religion, nationality or social origin.


Are you doing anything for Children’s Week? If you are I would love to hear about it.