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Uncovering the publishing process with Sally Rippin

How long does it take to create a book? And what happens during the publishing process? Watch as Sally Rippin explains what's involved in publishing her books. She also explains the role of her editor and the importance of sharing stories with peers. Do you have a writing group? Get some fellow writers together and start ...

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Exploring internal drama with David Malouf

Listen as David Malouf describes the kind of drama he is fascinated by. What is the difference between the 'internal' and 'external' drama he refers to? Try writing a story that explores an internal drama. What kind of discovery will your character make about themselves?

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Othello: Is Iago the vilest villain?

Some characters we just love to hate! Iago, the villain in Shakespeare's 'Othello', is a perfect example: scheming, manipulative but oh-so-clever. James Evans and actor Damien Ryan both of Bell Shakespeare, discuss the complex role of Iago. Evans explains just how skilfully Shakespeare employs language to fashion the dark ...

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What is spec fic? Rebecca Lim explains

Have you heard of the term 'spec fic'? What is speculative fiction? If you're interested in reading some, why not find out more about the books that Rebecca Lim refers to.

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Tom Keneally and 1960s Australia

Have you heard of the 1967 Referendum, Vincent Lingiari or the Freedom Ride? The late 1960s was a period of great social upheaval with many young Australians unhappy with the treatement of Indigenous Australians and with Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War. How effective is Thomas Keneally's parallel between the ...

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Andy Griffiths on writing songs and stories

What's the difference between writing song lyrics and writing a story? Andy Griffiths thinks they are quite similar. Why does he think this? How important is rhythm in Andy's stories? Next time you write a story, try reading it out loud and listen for the rhythm of the words. Can you make your story's rhythm sound even better?

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To plan or not to plan

Different writers approach writing in different ways. Some just dive in with nothing but an idea, while others like Morris Gleitzman like to spend some time planning their story before writing. What's your writing style like? Discuss the pros and cons of both styles.

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Can We Help?: New meanings: the processes of language change

Have you ever engaged in a bit of argle-bargle? It's the original form of a colloquialism you might be more familiar with: argy-bargy. But where does this phrase come from? Etymology is the study of the history and evolution of words. In this clip Professor Kate Burridge explains the origins of this curious phrase and other words.

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Narrative structure with Gary Crew

Listen as Gary Crew talks about the narrative structure of his book, Strange Objects. What are the reasons he gives for incorporating so many different sorts of texts (from newspaper articles to diaries and archeological reports) into his narrative?

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Can We Help?: Why do we say the words the way we do?

What kinds of things might influence the way we pronounce words in English? Professor Kate Burridge explains why knowing when 'kilometre' came into English helps us to understand why it is pronounced differently from similar words such as 'kilogram' and 'centimetre'. She also explains what it means to 'barrack' for a team.

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Hannie Rayson on the Australian voice in theatre

How important do you think it is to hear Australian stories told on stage? Listen as Hannie Rayson explains her early beliefs about where great drama comes from. After watching this clip, try writing a dramatic scene that takes place at a family barbeque.

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Researching with Gary Crew

When authors write stories involving historical events, they often spend time doing research. Why do you think they might do this? What are some of the primary source documents Gary Crew used to inform his book, Strange Objects?

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Come to a poetry slam!

Do you love words and the way they sound out loud? Have you ever been to a poetry slam? The Bankstown poetry slam is a monthly spoken word competition that celebrates the cultural diversity of south west Sydney. Slam poets perform original poems on any subject in front of a live audience. Recently the first Poetry Slam ...

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BTN: Meet a young author

Do you love writing stories? Learn how Hannah Chandler got a book published at the age of 12! Why don't you make your own book? Once you're happy with your story, find yourself an illustrator (a friend, family member or even yourself!) and start designing your pages. Once they're ready attach them all together. Don't forget ...

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Can We Help?: From possessive apostrophes to discombobulation!

People often worry about the use of apostrophes. See how Professor Kate Burridge answers a question about how to use the apostrophes after certain names, telling us how the rule has changed over time. She also explains the origins of the word 'discombobulate' and why the plural of house is not 'hice'.

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Can We Help?: Word histories: how extraordinary!

Words can change over time and so can their meanings. The word 'extra' broke away from other words to become a word on its own. Professor Kate Burridge explains how this impacts on words like 'extraordinary'. She also explains the origins and meanings of the words 'hearse' and 'rehearse''.

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Sally Rippin on authors and illustrators

Watch this clip to find out about the relationship between authors and illustrators. What role does the publisher play in this relationship? What does Sally Rippin say about the role of illustrations in books for young children?

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Thinking about story themes

Noa and Francis are two young writers who've had their stories published. Listen as they talk about the main ideas they chose to explore in their stories. Find and watch the clips of Noa and Francis reading their pieces at the Melbourne Writers Festival (also found on Splash). How did they build their stories around the ...

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What's With Poetry?, Ch 1: What is poetry?

It is easy to dismiss poetry as too difficult, but really all you have to do with poetry is read it and then think about how it makes you feel. Yes, there are rules to poetry, but there are rules to most things we enjoy. Watch this video as Matt from the Sydney Story Factory explains how writing poetry is just another way ...

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What's With Poetry?, Ch 4: Sounds count!

In poetry every word, syllable and sound counts! Poetry is usually much shorter than stories so it is important for a poet to convey as much as possible using as little as possible. Sounds can be a very powerful tool in expressing mood and emotion when used correctly. Watch as Matt from the Sydney Story Factory gives examples ...