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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Sally Murphy, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 54
1. Lest we forget – ANZAC children’s book reviews

A couple of months ago I revisited an iconic song by Eric Bogle, finding new breath in Bruce Whatley’s picture book, And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. Bogle found the words and Whatley the images that profoundly capture all the raw emotion, loss and resilience that epitomises the Great War of 100 years ago. This […]

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2. Doodles and Drafts – Roses are Blue Blog Tour with Sally Murphy

Roses are BlueI promised myself I wouldn’t cry. Well, maybe a few tears towards the end might be acceptable, but of course, I was dealing with another verse novel by Sally Murphy, so dry eyes were definitely no guarantee.

Sally Murphy with gabriel evans croppedIt’s not just the subject matter of Roses are Blue that tugs at ones heartstrings. Murphy is simply master at massaging sensitive issues into refined, understated yet terrifically moving poetic verse. Her words whisper across the pages with the soft intensity of a mountain breeze. They are beautiful and arresting; a joy to read.

There are no chapters in this novel. The story ebbs and flows organically in a pleasing natural rhythm. Gabriel Evans’ tender ink and painted illustrations cushion the gravity of the story even more allowing the reader to connect with Amber and her world visually as well as emotionally. Youngsters cultivating their reading confidence will appreciate this generous visual reinforcement on nearly every page.

Amber Rose’s world is turned upside down when tragedy strikes her family leaving her mother devastatingly ‘different’. Overnight, everything is altered: there’s a new school, new friends, new home, new secrets and perhaps hardest of all, a new mum to get used to. Amber vacillates between wanting to fit in and appear normal, aching for how things ‘used to be’ and trying to reconnect with her damaged mum.

As Amber’s mother struggles to free herself from her new entrapment, so too does Amber fight to hang onto to their special shared love until, like springtime roses, hope eventually blooms. Roses are Blue addresses the complex issues of normality, family ties, friendships and maternal bonds with gentle emphasis on how all these relationships can span any ethnicity or physical situation.

To celebrate Amber’s story, Sally Murphy joins me at the draft table with a box of tissues and a few more fascinating insights on Roses are Blue. Welcome Sally!

Q. Who is Sally Murphy? Please describe your writerly self.

My writely self? I try hard to think of myself as writerly – but often fail miserably because I think of other writers as amazingly productive, clever , creative people, and myself as someone slightly manic who manages to snatch time to write and is always surprised when it’s good enough to get published.

But seriously, I suppose what I am is someone who writes because it’s my passion and I can’t not do it. I’ve been writing all my life, pretty much always for children, and my first book was published about 18 years ago. Since then I’ve written picture books, chapter books, reading books, educational resource books and, of course, poetry and verse novels.

Q. I find verse novels profoundly powerful. How different are they to write compared to writing in prose? Do you find them more or less difficult to develop?

I think they’re very powerful too. It was the power of the first ones I read (by Margaret Wild) that made me fall in love with the form. But it’s this very power that can make them hard to get right – you have to tap into core emotions and get them on the page whilst still developing a story arc, characters, setting, dialogue and so on.

Are they more or less difficult? I’m not sure. For me I’ve been more successful with verse novels than with prose novels, so maybe they’re easier for me. But it is difficult to write a verse novel that a publisher will publish – because they can be difficult to sell.

Q. How do you think verse novels enhance the appeal and impact of a story for younger readers?

I think they work wonderfully with young readers for a few reasons, which makes them a wonderful classroom tool. The fact that they are poetry gives them white space and also, room for illustration and even sometimes text adornments.

What this means is that for a struggling reader or even a reluctant reader, the verse novel can draw them in because it looks easier, and gives them cues as to where to pause when reading, where the emphasis might be and so on. They will also feel that a verse novel is less challenging because it is shorter – there are less words on the same number of pages because of that white space.

But the verse novel can also attract more advanced readers who recognise it as poetry and thus expect to be challenged, and who can also see the layers of meaning, the poetic techniques and so on. Of course, once they’ve started reading it, the reluctant and struggling reader will also see those things, meaning there is a wonderful opportunity for all the class to feel involved and connected when it’s a class novel, or for peers of different abilities to appreciate a book they share.

Sally & Pearl & TopplingQ. Judging by some of your previous verse titles, Pearl Verses the World and Toppling, you are not afraid to tackle the heftier and occasionally heartbreaking issues children encounter. What compels you to write about these topics and why do so in verse? Do you think a verse novel can convey emotion more convincingly than prose alone?

Afraid? Hah – I laugh in the face of danger! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself). But seriously no, I’m not afraid, because I think these are issues kids want to read about. All kids experience tough times – sometimes it’s the loss of a loved one, or illness, or a tragedy like Mum being sick/injured/absent. Other times it’s a beloved pet dying, or a best friend who suddenly doesn’t want to be friends. Either way, these tough times can feel like the end of the world. I think when children read about tough topics they connect with empathy or sympathy, and thus have the opportunity to experience vicariously something which they may not have. And if they have been through those really tragic tough times, or they do in the future, I hope they’re getting the message that life can be tough but you can get through it. Terrible things happen in the world – but good things do too. It’s really important to me that my stories have happy times too, and even laughs.

For me the verse novel form enables me to convey that emotion, but I don’t think it’s the only way it can be done. If you look at the Kingdom of Silk books by Glenda Millard, for example, you’ll see how brilliantly prose can be used to explore emotional situations.

Q. Many verse novels I have read are in first person. Is this a crucial element of ensuring stories in verse work well or is it something that you fall into naturally?

Off the top of my head I can’t think of any verse novels written solely in third person. There’s no rule that they have to be in first, but I do feel they work best that way for me, although I’m looking forward to experimenting with point of view in a verse novel I’m planning. I think first works so well because it creates an intimacy which the poetic form enhances.

Q. I particularly loved your reference to the Bobby Vinton 1962 hit, Roses are Red. What inspired you to use these lines in Amber’s story?

It’s actually a bit of a nod to Pearl, from Pearl Verses the World, who writes a roses are red poem about her nemesis Prue – but surprisingly no one has asked me about the connection before. I was looking for something for Mum to sing, and there it was. Of course the fact that Mum loves to garden, and their surname is rose means it all ties together nicely.

Gabriel EvansQ. Gabriel Evans’ illustrations are very endearing. How important do you think it is for illustrations to accompany verse stories?

For younger readers, some visual element is essential, and I am delighted with the way Gabriel has interpreted the story. Who couldn’t love his work? Again, the illustrations can help struggling readers connect with the story, but they are also important for all levels of reading ability. Some people are much more visual learners and thinkers than others, and seeing the story really enhances the experience. And gosh, they’re so gorgeous!

Q. What’s on the draft table for Sally Murphy?

A few things. I’m working on a historical novel (prose), several picture books and lots of poetry. I’m also in the early stages of a PhD project in Creative Writing and, as part of this, plan to produce three new works, all poetry of some form, as well as writing about why/how poetry is important.

Just for fun Question, (there is always one!): If you were named after a gem or colour like Amber and her friends, which would you choose and why?

I can choose a name for myself? That IS fun. I was nearly called Imelda when I was born, and (with apologies to the Imeldas of the world) have been forever grateful that my parents changed their minds. Sorry, that doesn’t answer your question. I think if I could name myself after a colour I’d be silly about it and say Aquamarine, because surely then no one else would ever have the same name as me. It’s also a lovely colour, so maybe some of that loveliness would rub off on me and make me lovely too.

Thanks so much for having me visit, Dimity. It’s been fun, and you’ve kept me on my toes!

An absolute pleasure Sally (aka Aquamarine!)

Be sure to discover the magic behind Roses are Blue, available  here now.

Walker Books Australia July 2014

Stick around for the rest of Sally’s beautiful blog tour. Here are some places you can visit.

Tuesday, July 22nd Karen Tyrrell
Wednesday, July 23 Alphabet Soup
Thursday, July 24 Kids’ Book Review
Friday, July 25 Write and read with Dale
Saturday, July 26 Diva Booknerd
Sunday, July 27 Children’s Books Daily
Monday, July 28 Boomerang Books Blog
Tuesday, July 29 Australian Children’s Poetry
Wednesday, July 30 Sally Murphy




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3. Gorge yourself on authors, illustrators, kids’ books industry ~ SCBWI Conference at The Hughenden

Frane Lessac, in the jaws of a crocodile SCBWIThe buzz is mega with some of Australia and New Zealand’s most loved authors and illustrators as delegates – Sarah Davis, Libby Hathon, Stephen Axelson, Corinne Fenton, Claire Saxby, Mark Greenwood, Dianne Wolfer, Sally Murphy, James Foley, Meredith Costain ….. and more ….

and then there’s Frane Lessac fighting off crocodiles to get from fremantle WA to Sydney!!!!!

Look out for the brilliant creators of  Looking for Alibrandi and Jellico Road;  Diary of a Wombat;Star Girl and Boy Versus Beast

Guess who they are?

Melina Marchetta

Bruce Whatley

Louise Park

Australian Publishers Association party Nov 2013 Sue whitingAnd there’s more – Australia’s best publishers and editors from most publishing houses

And there’s more – US Senior editor from Roaring Brook (Pan MacMillan) USA

And there’s more – some of the best of Australia and New Zealand’s illustrators in the Illustrator Showcase

And there’s more – launches, illustrator’s duel, Christmas Press limited edition prizes; and there more …. and then the SCBWI BAND – dinner party sing along with the fabulous Meredith Costain, James Foley on the guitar with Scott Chambers and Chris Cheng


The post Gorge yourself on authors, illustrators, kids’ books industry ~ SCBWI Conference at The Hughenden appeared first on Susanne Gervay's Blog.

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4. Come along to Wendy Blaxland, info SCBWI Conference 5 p.m. 2nd April at The Hughenden

SCWBI Western Australia authors and illustrators on tour, having fun as usual!If you’re not away or flying back from Bologna or at festivals and conference, the SCBWI Network is:-

5-7 p.m.

Monday 2nd April

at The Hughenden

14 Queen Street Woollahra (near Paddington, Sydney).

I have been on a conference and festival trail where I have met kids, librarians, teachers, adults, even politicians from Queensland to Picton to the beautiful Dixon Room in Sydney’s heritage Mitchell Library overlooking our Botanical Gardens towards the Opera House.

I’ll be keynote at the Glouceter Festival , touring the USA with my ‘Butterflies’, visiting Taree, Melbourne ….and more ….. and I am looking forward to speaking at the IBBY Congress in London.  It’s crazy but the wonderful life of a writer.

Authors Tristan Bancks, author Oliver Phommavanh at Somerset Celebration of Literature festivaltDeborah Abela, Serena Geddes, Lesley Vamos, Christopher Cheng … are just back from Bologna Book Fair; and

shared a fabulous time with heaps of brilliant authors and illustrators in Somerset on the Gold Coast like Jacqueline Harvey, Michael Wagner, Oliver Phommovanh, Ursula Dubosarsky, Tristan Bancks, Karen Brooks, Leigh Hobbs, Scott Westerfield, James Roy, Georgia Blain and the brilliant list goes on.

Frane Lessac, Mark Greenwood, Sally Murphy, Norm Jorgenson, A J Betts, Dianne Lawrenson, Samantha Hughes …

….and all those WA writers and illustrators are on the move throughout WA and NT at festivals and reaching remote indogenous communities.

Sarah Davis and Deborah Abela have flown to Alice Springs to join them. Love it.

Aleesah Darlison is back from Hong Hong; Jan Latta just back from China speaking at festivals; Jacqueline Harvey is doing her Alice-Miranda tour in the USA and UK.

Sue Whiting’s at All Saints in Perth which I loved when I spoke there last year

This is the coolest community ever!

If anyone is in Sydney on Monday 2nd April, there’s a great talk by Wendy Blaxland on non fiction writing; catch up with SCBWI Conference information on 29th June-2nd July and networking at The Hughenden.

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5. SCBWI Australia & New Zealand Conference Coming~ 29th June Sydney ~ partnering The National Year of Reading 2012

SCBWI International Conference 17-19 Sept 2010 at Hughenden, authors Chris Cheng, Susanne Gervay, Wendy Fitzgerald, Oliver Phommavaanh, Karen RobertsonWatch out for the announcement in the next few weeks.

Check out the SCBWI Australia and new Zealand facebook pagewebsite.

It’s a first come first served basis – so when it opens you need to book quickly as it’s a small intimate conference Australia wide and new Zealand.

Some tid bits:-

Jill Corcoran literary agent from the Herman Agency New Yorkmaximum of 100 delegates.

Major Australian publishers have come on board including Lisa Berryman HarperCollins, Laura Harris Penguin, Zoe Walton Random House, Sarah Foster Walker Books …..

jan Latta SCBWI Australia and new Zealand at The HughendenThere are wonderful authors and illustrators coming including Sally Murphy, France Lessac, Pamela Rushby, Meredith Costain, Hazel Edwards …. have a great time with the children’s writing community …. more news coming soon.

National Year of Reading 2012, Ambassadors  Frane Lessac, Susanne Gervay, Hazel Edwards, Chris Cheng, Deb Abela, Libby Hathornhe National Year of reading, wwwlove2read.org


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6. Congratulations: Awards to my brilliant writing friends-Bill Condon, Frane Lessac and Mark Greenwood, Dianne Wolfer and more

Bill Condon -Prime Minister’s Literary Award Australia – Confessions of a Liar, Thief and Failed Sex God by the talented, thoughtful Bill Condon with his dry humour.

Frane Lessac -The Muriel Barwell Award for Distinguished Services to Children’s Literature CBCA

Frane Lessac and Mark Greenwood - Simpson & His Donkey- wonderful picture book

Dianne Wolfer - Winner of the West Australian Young Readers’ Award for the beautiful lighthouse Girl publisher Fremantle Press

and there’s more, much more – look at the awards for  Sally Murphy, Pamela Rushby, Lisa Shannahan and Emma Quay, Libby Gleeson, Deborah Abela

Great friends, great people, great authors & illustrators!

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While some may have been indulging themselves with a nice Saturday morning sleep-in on 27 February this year, or contemplating what other aspects of the WA Writers Festival to enjoy, I was savouring a windswept breakfast at the Matilda Bay Tearooms with members of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).

Among those present was Western Australian children’s author, Sally Murphy. I chatted to her about her latest book: ‘Toppling’, released by Walker Books that week. ‘Toppling’ is Sally’s second verse novel and since I had been lucky enough to receive a review copy, I took it with me for Sally to sign.

Everybody needs a hobby, and in‘Toppling’ the main character, John, is intodomino toppling.He admits to it being a kind of a strange endeavour.

Some kids collect model cars
or aeroplanes
or stamps
1 Comments on ABOUT TOPPLING AND VERSE NOVELS, last added: 4/9/2010
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8. Sample Pages 10

This is the last in my series of links to sample pages from my books of blackline masters, published by ready Ed. Today's featured title is The Book Book, a book all about books, for use in primary school classrooms. Enjoy the sample pages.

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9. January Update

In spite of my still being largely on holidays, January has been a busy month for me. Just the way I like it, really. There's been lots happening with my forthcoming titles. Earlier in the month, Virginia, my editor at Walker Books sent me through a new, slightly revised cover for my verse novel, Pearl Verses the World. I loved the old cover but adore the new one, tweaked slightly to really

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10. Blog Visits

I'm having an author visit at the Enjoy the Journey blog this wek. If you want to learn more baot me, drop by and have a read. And next week, I'm off on a blog tour, visiting five blogs in five days to talk about The Big Blowie, so watch this space for further details.

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11. March Update

It's the last day of March, and so time for another of my monthly updates.Lots has happened in my writing life in March, with things moving along on three of my forthcoming books. I feel more and more like a 'real' author every day.At the start of the month I was featured in Susan Stephenson's column at Muselings, an ezine for writers. Susan is an Australian based reviewer of books and passionate

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12. Verse Off Week 4

Week Four of the Verse Off – and a special welcome to any who may be joining us for the first time! (Feel free to scroll below to past posts and see what we’ve been up to.) This is the final edition of the Verse Off, for now, so if you’ve been waiting to contribute, now’s your chance.If you’ve played before, you know the routine.. If this is your first time, here’s the drill…May is a dual

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13. Verse Off Week 4

There were some wonderful responses to yesterday's verse-off stimulus. Without further ado, here are the free verse responses. To view the rhymed responses, head over to Kathryn's blog. Felix Apel said... Whaling about,I’m feeling blue -Don’t ruffle my feathers,Life's a beach! J.R.Poulter/J.R.McRae said... I don’t know what to make of thisA whale away beached in the outback.Are they thinking of

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14. Look at my Nice Shiny Medal

Okay, it's not really a medal, but it is shiny and silver and it IS mine! I am still glowing with yesterday's announcement of Pearl Verses the World as Best Children's Book in the Indie Book Awards for 2009. I'm also delighted with the wonderful responses I've had from friends, family, industry colleagues and even people I don't know to the news of this award. I can truly feel the love.Reading

4 Comments on Look at my Nice Shiny Medal, last added: 8/19/2009
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15. Off on Tour

The virtual launch may be done and dusted, but the celebrations to mark the release of Snowy’s Christmas are still in full swing. Today marks the beginning of our eleven week blog tour. Each Sunday for the next eleven weeks we’ll be visiting a different blog to talk about Snowy, about the writing and illustrating life, about Christmas – in fact about whatever the blog owners ask us to talk about

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Snowy's Christmas
Written by Sally Murphy
Illustrated by David Murphy
Published by Random House (October, 2009)

Yes! Sally Murphy’s latest book, children’s picture book, ‘Snowy’s Christmas’ rolled into cyber space on Sunday at http://aussiechristmas.wordpress.com/
to introduce Snowy and friends.

Starting 4 October and each Sunday following until 13 December, 2009 they will bounce from blog to blog to brighten the road to Christmas.

Here’s the schedule
Week One: 4 October
Deescribe Writing Blog http://www.deescribewriting.wordpress.com/

Week Two: 11 October
Write and Read With Dale http://livejournal.com/users/orangedale/

Week three: 18 October

Week Four: 25 October

Week Five: 1 November
Sally Murphy's Writing for children Blog

Week Six: 8 November

Week Seven: 15 November

Week Eight: 22 November
Robyn Opie's Writing Children's Books Blog

Week Nine: 29 November

Week Ten: 6 December
The Aussie Christmas Blog http://aussiechristmas.wordpress.com/

Week Eleven: 13 December
Tales I Tell http://belka37.blogspot.com/ [Right here]

*   *   *   *   *

1 Comments on BLOG TOUR (9) HAS BEGUN. SEE BELOW TO JOIN THE FUN!, last added: 10/8/2009
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17. Writing Books - Why Purchase Hardcopies When There's so much Advice Online?

With all the wonderful writing advice available online, you could be forgive for thinking that hardcopy writing books have become redundant. After all, why pay money for a book when you have so much advice available online, for free? I’ve just taken delivery of an order of three hardcopy books which set me back about $40. Not a fortune, for three books packed full of good advice, but still $40

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18. Blog Tour Week Seven

It's Sunday, which means another stop on the Snowy's Christmas blog tour. Today I'm breakfasting with my friend, talented WA illustrator Samantha Hughes. Drop by for some bacon and eggs at this link.If you’ve missed the start of the tour, you can follow it at:Week One: 4 October Deescribe Writing Blog Week Two: 11 October Write and Read With DaleWeek three: 18 October Alphabet Soup Blog Week Four

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19. Blog Tour Week Nine

Time for another stop on the Snowy's Christmas blog tour. This week I am visiting with the lovely Sandy Fussell, at Stories are Light, talking about Christmas stories, and what makes them special. We'd love to see you there.If you’ve missed any of the other tour stops, you can find them at:Week One: 4 October Deescribe Writing Blog Week Two: 11 October Write and Read With DaleWeek three: 18

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20. My Letter to Santa

Dear Santa It’s Christmas Eve and this children’s author is reflecting on the year that was, and, of course, thinking about what she’d like to find in her writerly stocking tomorrow morning. I have had the best year of my writing life and for that I am really grateful. The release of Pearl Verses the World in May was the beginning of a wonderful merry go round of nice reviews, excellent

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21. Stage Fright?

Like most writers, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with my postie (actually, that’s not quite true – I really like the postie himself, he’s a nice guy and a friend of mine – really it’s the post I have issues with. Some days the mail in my letter box is just plain depressing, with rejections making me ponder whether this writing life is for me. Other days, there’s nothing writing-related

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22. Sample Pages 4

Today's sample pages come from my blackline master book Aussie Authors, aimed at classroom and library use. The sample pages include some sample activities and the index, where you can see the full list of authors included in the book. You can access the free sample here.

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23. Sample Pages 5

More sample pages from my blackline masters book. This time from Aussie Authors 2, which, as the title suggests, follows from the successful Aussie Authors. Aimed for classroom and library use, the book provides brief profiles, reading lists and activities aimed at encouraging kids to read more from some of Australia's best children's authors. Enjoy the sample.

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24. Sample Pages 6

Today's sample pages come from my very first published book, Speak Out. With the focus on speaking skills, this is a book I still use regularly int he classroom. Enjoy the sample pages.

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25. Sample Pages 9

Today's sample pages come from a spelling book called (not very originally) Spellbound. This is the book I wish I'd had when I was first teaching - teaching spelling rules to upper primary and lower secondary kids is both difficult and important. Enjoy the sample pages.

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