Speech Pathology Book of the Year Award Winners

Congratulations to all the Winners!

The winners in the five categories are:

  • Indigenous children: The Pearl-shell Diver by Kay Crabbe
  • Birth to 3 years: Once I Heard a Little Wombat by Renée Treml
  • Three to 5 years: Something Wonderful by Raweyn Caisley (Illustrated by Karen Blair)
  • Five to 8 years: Funky Chicken: Chooks in Space by Chris Collin (Illustrations by Megan Kitchin)
  • Eight to 10 years: New Boy by Nick Earls.

In addition, well-known Australian children’s author, Alison Lester, was awarded the Association’s Children’s Language and Literature Award and inducted into the Speech Pathology Australia’s Book of the Year Hall of Fame. A very worthy winner.

Decorating Disaster Short Listed for Speech Pathology 2016 Book of the Year Award

Pickle & Bree’s Guide to Good Deeds – The Decorating Disaster has been shortlisted for the 2016 Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards in the 5-8 age group category. I am absolutely thrilled!

Congratulations to everybody who has been shortlisted.

P&B Decorating Disaster.

The next two books in the Pickle & Bree’s Guide to Good Deeds series are to be released in February 2017 by The Five Mile Press.

The Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards aim to promote children’s books as literacy tools, as well as raising awareness of the role of speech pathologists play in helping children develop language and literacy skills. The awards promote quality Australian children’s literature;enhance awareness of the role speech pathologists play in language and literacy development; and encourage a love of reading.


Pickle and Bree’s Guide to Good Deeds WINNERS

The fabulous Rebecca from  Avenue Bookstore Albert Park judged the colouring competition.

looking photo

First Rebecca looked carefully at every entry. There were over 50! It was an extremely hard decision.


chosen winner photo

Then she chose the winners! James P, Max and Olivia.


Next The Ranting Man read all the rants. He enjoyed this thoroughly as he loves a good rant.

He nodded his head most vigorously when he read the rants of Jenni Ivins and Anne Gracie.

Congratulations!!! All winners will receive a set of the first two books in the Pickle and Bree’s Guide to Good Deeds series. The next two are being released in August!

Thank you everybody for taking part.

Thank you The Five Mile Press for supplying the prizes.

Copies of The Decorating Disaster and The Birthday Party Cake are available at Avenue Bookstore Albert Park

and here at The Five Mile Press.


Last day to enter the Get Your Rant On or Colouring Competition (You’ll have to scan your entry).

AND now is the time for YOU to buy yourself a present! Are you a writer or illustrator for children and young adults?

Have you ever had that feeling that one day you want to write a book or illustrate one. Is there one imprisoned in your computer just waiting to be released? Dee White and I decided that Melbourne should have a conference for writers and illustrators of kids and young adult books and it’s happening!

Why not join in the fun of KidLitVic2016 Meet the Publishers? This one day conference is for beginners through to established writers and illustrators. You will get the opportunity to hear from Australia’s leading kids and young adult  publishers and literary agents. One-on-one consultations for 15 minutes (for extra cost) are also available.

So far Black Dog Books/Walker, Hachette, Hardie Grant, Harper Collins, Penguin, Scholastic, Scribble/Scribe, The Five Mile Press,  and a leading literary agent are attending.  May 7 2016. Any questions, let me know!


kidlitvic image



Get your rant on!

To celebrate the release of the first two books in the Pickle and Bree’s Guide to Good Deeds series, this is a competition for adults to win a set of The Decorating Disaster and The Birthday Party Cake!

The series has a subtle theme of social etiquette. This is your chance to have a manners rant! Send along your rant in the comments section, and two winning rants will be chosen. (But people that don’t win have to promise not to rant about that!

Mine is people who don’t cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. It’s not hard. I was at the theatre the other night with the person behind me coughing into the back of my head throughout the performance. Without using a hand. Her little germs would have crawled around my neck and in my hair. My neck itched at the thought, and I couldn’t scratch it because Continue reading

Di Bates Blog Tour

It’s a thrill to welcome the super talented author Di Bates who was awarded The Lady Cutler Prize for distinguished services to children’s Literature in 2008. She has published more than 100 books in many different genres, including picture books, chapter books and young adult. Here is the inspirational story of how her latest two non fiction books, AWESOME CATS and AWESOME DOGS were published. Continue reading

Author visits


In August I was lucky enough to visit the Portland Library and some schools in the area. This cold, little corner of south-west Victoria is bubbling with talent. I was reminded yet again how wonderful it is to meet your readers and it really does unjade one. Not sure if unjade is a word, actually fairly positive it isn’t, but it describes exactly how I felt. I left inspired and exhilarated.

The children were amazing – the stories that they came up with were unbelieveable.

One small girl asked me if anybody else in my family was a writer. When I replied that I was the first, she beamed. I really felt as if suddenly her horizons had broadened. We don’t have to be like the rest of our family and follow their paths.

Another girl asked me if I was famous. Before I could draw breath, a boy jumped in and said, “Don’t be so rude. Of course Alison’s famous.” Love kids! No reply necessary from me.

I also worked with an adult group, and if any of you are reading this, PLEASE finish your stories. There were so many wonderful picture books in the group. I found it inspiring to be amid such talent.

Thank you South Portland Primary School, All Saints Parish School and the Portland Library for having me!





Queenscliffe Literary Festival

Met so many wonderful children, teachers and other writers and illustrators at the schools’ day of the Queenscliffe Literary Festival. One of many favourite moments. I like to try to guess what pets people have. I ended up totally stumped and had to give up. The pets I didn’t guess? A dingo. A stick insect. An alpaca. A yabby. I should have remembered that I was in the country. This was such a special event to be part of and I found meeting the children really reminded me why I write. Thank you for having me!queeenscliff