Tag Archives: Book Links

Writing history with Jackie French

Jackie French 3 2018

The room was buzzing with anticipation. Jackie French, National Patron of Book Links, is always a passionate and inspiring speaker. Today she was talking to a small group of writers about Writing History, in particular for children.

Through reading historical fiction, children can experience life as every character in the story. Jackie feels this can only happen in books not TV. Through well written books you can experience the smell and taste of the era.

 

Jackie talked about children’s ability to self-sensor or gloss over challenging events. The sensitive author provides a way for children to hold anguish and terror at arm’s length. Children understand that bad things do happen and they must know how to deal with them. This understanding gives children hope that they can also overcome the struggles they are experiencing or that they feel might be ahead of them.

 

Jackie passionately believes that historical fiction matters because things change. One day things won’t be the same. Children can learn not to be frightened of change. The author can create a safe place for them to examine what happened in the past. They need to know what has happened because by understanding what has happened we learn how to stop the future ogre’s destroying people and civilisation.

 

As writers, Jackie told us the depth of knowledge required to write historical fiction is substantial. If you need to research for a book then you are not ready to write it because you don’t know what you need to know.

 

To overcome this, she suggested we

  • keep it small – set it over a day or like Jackie did in Hitler’s Daughter, at the end of the war when the concentration camps were no longer so strictly run so she didn’t need to know the exact routines.
  • just write about the bits you know
  • only include a few settings, characters, places, themes and time
  • include a new arrival who asks questions as a way to share information

 

Check your primary sources and make sure you have 3 substantiated reports that agree

  • firsthand accounts
  • maps
  • paintings
  • letters
  • newspapers
  • memories and diaries

 

Through reading historical fiction children learn that the past was not ea

Jackie donated her time to Book Links. Funds go to writing workshops for children.
Jackie donated her time to Book Links. Funds go to writing workshops for children. Jackie and Book Links President Yvonne Mes and the donation Bunyip.

sy. They may also feel the present is not easy and may be unsure about their future. This understanding gives children the courage to survive all the things to come, to face and take on the challenges in our imperfect world.

 

We passed up on the opportunity to ask questions just to get a few more minutes of listening to Jackie. I have to admit to shedding a few tears at the stories she told of the bravery and sacrifice of people that she had uncovered in her passionate uncovering of memoirs and secrets.

There is also a light-hearted side to Jackie as you will discover if you follow her on Instagram and enjoy her ‘witty ditties’ about the wombats that frequent her carrot filled garden.Lucy and Jackie FrenchStory by Lucy McGinley

Book Links presents: Romancing the Stars 2018

It won’t be long until you can mingle with the literary stars! Meet Queensland children’s authors and illustrators who will share their latest books, the stories behind their stories and feed you delicious bite-size insights into what it is like to create stories for children.

Now in its 7th year, come and join Book Links and Voices on the Coast, for two nights of entertainment, laughter, knowledge, reading, beverages and canapes, which of course, wouldn’t be complete with a book shop on site!

Whether you are a teacher and want to know what will appeal to the children in your class, or a librarian seeking out the latest and hottest books by local authors and illustrators, or perhaps you are a book creator yourself and want to see what everyone has been up to, or maybe you are a parent or lover of children’s literature and want a chance to find out more about the latest and greatest in children’s literature, whatever you are looking for, you are sure to find it at Romancing the Stars!

Professional Development Certificates are available on request.

There is a  choice of two fabulous locations!

Thursday March 1, 2018
Brisbane, Indooroopilly
Ambrose Treacy College, Twigg Street
A list of the stars, their books and their bios can be found here.

Friday February 23, 2018
Sunshine Coast, Buderim
Immanuel Lutheran College, Library
126-142 Wises Rd
A list of the stars, their books and their bios can be found here.

Cost: $25.00 for members and $35.00 for non-members.
Not a Book Links member yet? Head to our members page to sign up (membership $20.00 per person or $30.00 per family).

Big Lit Quiz for Grown-Ups

Modelled on the Kids’ Lit Quiz in which children around the world compete for first place as experts in children’s books, Book Links hosted its own quiz, the Big Lit Quiz (for Grown-Ups) it was an opportunity for organisations that contribute to children’s literature in and around Brisbane to celebrate the end of a fabulous literary year.

Members from the Children’s Book Council Australia (Queensland), Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (Queensland), The May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust, Write Links and Book Links came together to compete and were kept in control by author and quiz master extra-extraordinaire Brian Falkner.

 

Money raised went to the Australian Children’s Laureate Program.

After a delicious lunch buffet, the teams divided into groups of four and completed six rounds of questions. The winners of each round got to choose a book donated by wonderful Book Links members such as Dimity Powell and competed for various sweet during extra trivia questions rounds.

It was an afternoon to indulge, connect with old friends, make new ones and determine the real experts of all things kid lit!

A big thank you goes to Book Links’ Jenny Stubbs, who organised this events, the questions, AND lunch and dessert.

Book links QLD Big Lit Quiz End of Year Event Report

Book links QLD  Big Lit Quiz End of Year Event Report by Dimity Powell November 2016

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Apart from some scintillating company and a mouth-watering repass of cold meats, salads, pastries, and Pavlova, the recent Book Links End of Year event proved much more challenging than your average pre-Christmas shindig.

Over 35 lovers of Kids Lit from all corners of the industry including authors, illustrators, teacher librarians and technicians and custodians of such organisations as SCBWI, CBCA QLD and the May Gibbs Trust converged at Padua College in Brisbane’s northeast for a fantastic afternoon of quizzing embarrassment. Well for some of us perhaps, for others it was a chance to brandish their literary prowess whilst raising much needed funds for IBBY, the international organisation committed to bringing books and children together.

Quiz master and president of Book Links QLD, provided some curly questions covering an assortment of literary themes including: animals, food and drink, war, first lines and Aussie orientated work to eight teams of four players each.  It was interesting to note that no matter what our involvement in this industry and our accessibility to kids’ reading matter, poor retention rates resulted in some questionable scores. I blame age and excess of information (my brain is just far too small to fit in every tantalising trivial fact and literary quote) and I take my cap off to the dozens of upper primary and secondary school kids who play these quizzes for real each year.

Despite stiff competition, my team, The Series of Authors, came in a respectable fourth place!

Lucky door prizes, book donations, and raffles ensured everyone left with enough reading matter to boost their bookish knowledge in readiness for the next Big Kid’s Lit Quiz. I know I have some ground to read up.

All agreed, this was a wonderful amalgamation of many sectors of our industry and a fun way to draw people together not to mention expand their appreciation of great books for kids.

Well done Book Links for facilitating this event and Mia Macrossan for ably emceeing proceedings.

Dimity Powell

Children’s author & Book reviewer

www.dimitypowell.com

Marianne de Pierres’ Write Links Writing Workshop – August 6, 2016

Write Links Logo marianne-de-pierres

On Saturday 6th of August, Marianne de Pierres will be presenting the next in the Write Links Writing Workshop Series on World Building.  Bookings are now open, you can book HERE!

Marianne de Pierres is a multi-award winning Australian author of novels written in the science fiction, fantasy, crime, and young adult genres. Over the twenty years Marianne has been a professional writer, she’s acquired a wide skill base and knowledge about the craft and business of writing. Marianne is currently tutoring in writing at the University of Queensland and studying her PhD in Creative Writing?

Workshop:

World-building – create authentic fictional worlds without turning your novel into an indigestible travel diary. How much do you need to know before you begin? Learn what to put in and what to leave out. Marianne de Pierres workshops everything learned about world-building over seventeen genre novels.