News

2 months ago

Lisa Shanahan

So thrilled to share my review of ‘Iceberg,’ one of the most astounding picture books I have read in recent years over @louiseowens_readme.

Posted @withregram • @louiseowens_readme BEST RECENT READ 📖: Lovely Lisa says. ‘I have just read one of the most astonishing picture books that I have encountered in recent years. ‘Iceberg’ written by Claire Saxby and illustrated by Jess Racklyeft, follows an iceberg as it shears from a glacier in a ‘haze of sparkle-frost’ and travels through the seasons, from one spring to the next. It’s stunningly illustrated by Jess Racklyeft, who does miraculous things with a deliberately restrained palette of primarily blue, green and white. But it’s the text by Claire Saxby that really sings. It’s such a daring, poetic, prophetic piece of writing; a delicious tour de force. Saxby never condescends to her readers, either young or old. She has gifted us with a text so finely wrought and so intensely beautiful, that you cannot help but come away from reading it, electrified by a fierce and holy ache to look, see and love the world, with every fibre of your being.’
@allenandunwin @clairesaxbyauthor @jessesmess
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2 months ago

Lisa Shanahan

So my chat with @cuppawithheather is up/out today (Goodness, what is the proper lingo for this 🤪!)

It was so lovely to catch up with Heather. We roamed far and wide in our conversation about my life as a writer. I so appreciated Heather’s warmth and generosity as an interviewer. She has such an open-hearted, questing-to-learn approach to life, which is always an inspiration.
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3 months ago

Lisa Shanahan

Here is a fantastic giveaway from The Literature Centre. I have such wonderful memories of my time in Fremantle at the Celebrate Reading National Conference in 2019. So thrilled that the conference is back on track!🌟🌟EXCITING BOOK PACK GIVEAWAY 🌟🌟

To celebrate the school holidays, we're giving away this amazing prize pack of 4 Australian picture books!!

Feeling lucky? This is your chance to win 📕Midnight by Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac, 📘Ned Kelly and the Green Sash also by Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac, 📗Bear and Chook by the Sea by Lisa Shanahan and Emma Quay AND 📙Who’s Afraid of the Quite Nice Wolf? By Kitty Black and Laura Wood.

HOW TO ENTER:
1. Like our page
2. Like this post
3. Tag one or more friends or family who love books! (in one comment below)

🔥 Competition ends Tuesday 13 April at 12pm (WST). One comment/entry per person. The winner will be chosen at random. This prize pack will be sent free to the winner, anywhere in Australia. GOOD LUCK!!

Frané Lessac - Books and Art
Emma Quay Books
Kitty Black
Laura Wood Illustration
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3 months ago

Lisa Shanahan

Lisa Shanahan ...

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3 months ago

Lisa Shanahan

Here is our little sunshine girl, getting ready to welcome the world! So thrilled to share this cover. I can’t wait to share the whole book, so stunningly illustrated by the brilliant @leilarudge_illustration. She is a genius! Hugely thankful to @chren_kali and Kate Burnitt and the whole team @harperkidsau, including our wonderful designer @roman_italic, for such a beautiful editorial experience. And how lovely to be sharing this so close to #worldpoetryday2021 ...

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4 months ago

Lisa Shanahan

So thrilled to see this sneak peek @leilarudge_illustration. I love this adorable girl so much! Not to mention that very cute fat cat. Can’t wait till August!
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Posted @withregram • @leilarudge_illustration Just received some scatter proofs from the new book Hello World @lisashanahan_ and golly gosh they look better than the originals! 🙊 Out this year - around August I think? I’ll share some more sneak peeks soon.
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6 months ago

Lisa Shanahan

I’ve been a little quiet of late, in recovery from the epic job of moving house again, for the third time in five years. But I’ve been meaning to post for the longest time about my absolute joy in receiving one of the earliest copies of ‘Rudie Nudie Christmas’ from my dear friend @emmaquaybooks.

Gosh, I adore this book! There are just so many beautifully observed, poignant details to pore over on every page, alongside so many laugh-out-loud moments. From the opening scene with those cute peekaboo faces peering out through the shower steam, to the bubble snow beard on the little boy, to the sweet mistletoe kiss on the second last page. And who will ever forget the hilarious sight of the gingerbread making a mad nudie rudie dash, with their white-frosted bare bottoms?

What I especially appreciate about this Christmas book is how true-to-life it is. It captures the chaos of bath and bedtime, the witching hour for most parents, with all hands on deck to make it through, whilst simultaneously capturing the exquisite intensity of Christmas Eve for children, their exuberant joy, their wild sense of hope and anticipation, which we all know in truth is one of the best parts of Christmas.

One of the many things the acclaimed writer Margaret Wild once said to me when she accepted my first manuscript for ABC Books was that I shouldn’t contemplate writing a sequel ever, unless the idea for the second book was significantly better than the first. I really think Emma has outdone herself in this regard, because ‘Rudie Nudie Christmas’ feels like another absolute classic in the making.

Lastly, I think it’s rare to see picture books that celebrate the unashamed, radical goodness of our physical bodies. In some senses, both of Emma’s Rudie Nudie books feel like small hymns of praise to the beauty of human embodiment. What a joy for younger readers to soak up the quiet truth that their bodies are ingenious and glorious and delightful. And what an antidote to the other more shadowy kinds of messages they may receive on their way to adulthood! In this way, ‘Rudie Nudie Christmas’ is a gift that will keep on giving, long after the last present has been opened on Christmas Day.
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8 months ago

Lisa Shanahan

Such a thrill to be hanging out with these two gorgeous teachers from @taraanglicanschoolforgirls, dressed up today as my goody two shoe characters, Siena and Vienna from ‘Hark, It’s Me, Ruby Lee!’ Three cheers to teachers everywhere for making Book Week come alive through sheer enthusiasm and the power of a hot glue gun!!

#harkitsmerubylee #binnyillustration #hachetteaus #bookweek2020 #sienaandvienna #bookweek2020 #bookweekdressup #bookstagram #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #teacherlife #worldteachersday
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8 months ago

Lisa Shanahan

I was thrilled to visit with Ravenswood School for Girls today, to celebrate Book Week with them, alongside their wonderful library staff. What a gorgeous library/learning centre, jutting out over the whole school like the glassy prow of a ship. We had a great deal of fun exploring where ideas come from and how books are made and I was so impressed by the perceptive questions coming from students of all ages. It was such a brilliant day! ...

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8 months ago

Lisa Shanahan

I had the great fun of celebrating the launch of Book Week at Toongabbie Christian School today. I walked into the library in the early morning, only to be met by a delightful bunch of impish wild things, including Max, all hot and red-cheeked from parading seven times around the playground in the school Book Week Parade. Seven times in those costumes, I kid you not!!!

Now, take a closer look at those costumes too...they were hand-made, from top to bottom, slaved over for days and days, outside of school time!

It’s an astonishingly beautiful thing to witness the heartfelt devotion of teacher-librarians and library staff (here’s looking at you Kerry Pope!) All the lengths they will go to day to day, to instil a passionate love for books in every child. It’s hard not to be completely undone by the quiet, unrelenting goodness of that kind of work! 🐾🐾🐾🐾
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1 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

This was a gift made a long time ago by a very dedicated class teacher Mrs Rourke and her kindy class, and presented to me after a school visit. 🦍 Each child in KJ chose a swatch of fabric that they would have given Gordon as a replacement for his torn snookie and then each swatch was sewn into this quilted wall hanging. Then they each wrote their names in the middle. 🦍I’ve pondered those names for years, praying and hoping good things for them; Sevanna, Ridma, Llanoi, Justin, Bronte, Cooper, Amol, Laura, Aldiha, Brayden, Chloe, the two Lachlan’s, Alysha, Nicholas, Kayla, Ainsley, Nathan, Owen, Aaron and Susie. They are the class of 2020 now.❤️I’m continuing to hope and pray good things for them, even in this toughest of years. 🦍❤️ I’m so thankful for their outstanding teacher Mrs Rourke and for all teachers and teacher-librarians like her. 🦍 Mrs Rourke, who poured her whole heart out for KJ, hoping they’d catch the magic of reading, and in the process teaching a small community of readers to embody the radical kindness they had read about in a book. 🦍❤️🦍❤️🦍❤️🦍 #gordonsgotasnookie #wayneharris ...

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1 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Lisa Shanahan's cover photo ...

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1 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

In what has been such a heartrending year for so many, and particularly so for young people, it's a small bright blast of joy to know that visiting schools; swapping stories, sharing laughter and the wonder of books, in person, is once again on the agenda.

Time and time again, over the years, when my own heart has felt stretched beyond capacity, I have turned to stories. I've pushed my way through the mink coats of an old wardrobe and discovered the crunch of snow beneath my feet and the bright light of a lamp in the woods. I have felt reality, as the writer Marilynne Robinson once so magnificently described it, ‘on a set of nerves somehow not quite my own.’ And so often I have come back from these worlds, spending time in the company of those characters, strangely consoled and encouraged. Sometimes I have come back overjoyed and undone. Sometimes I have come back hugely convicted, but mostly I have come back restored.

Telling stories, sharing stories, reading stories...it's always a fundamental part of reorientation, of learning how to give voice to what is often subterranean, to find some way of bring coherence out of the chaos. In the midst of any school visit, no matter how hilariously riotous and fun, I think this is what is being implicitly demonstrated and communicated, in ways that are always beautifully understated.It’s been a tough year for all but things are moving forward. We have noticed that schools are starting to book up-coming author and illustrator visits, whether virtual or in person. Need an author or illustrator to visit your school or library? Contact Beth at staff@thechildrensbookshop.com.au or have a look at our website #thechildrensbookshopspeakersagency . Thanks for your support! Looking forward to brilliant Terms 3 and 4! #paulsbooktrail2020 @bethanymacdonaldartist @thefictive @suewhiting4 @timharrisbooks @lisashanahan_ @matt.cosgrove @oliverwinfree @watts.frances @freyablackwood @katejoltemple @erinoko @gusgordonbooks @stephenmichaelking @ursuladubosarsky @deborah_abela_ @andrewdaddo @auraparker @morris_gleitzman
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1 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

‘What if no one asked anything important?’ Henry Hoobler sensing the weight and virtue of a simple question! ...

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1 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Looking forward to the adventures ahead in this new term, to sharing the wonders of reading and writing books in schools, in fresh new ways, alongside this brilliant bunch of writers and illustrators. So thrilled to be represented by The Children’s Bookshop Speakers’ Agency!On-line Author and Illustrator Visits to your School or Library?
In Term 2 and beyond, authors and illustrators such as Lisa Shanahan, Belinda Murrell, Aura Parker, Liz Anelli, Kate and Jol Temple, Zanni Louise, Phillip Gwynne, Christopher Nielsen and many others from The Children’s Bookshop Speakers’ Agency are keen to visit your school as Virtual or ‘In Real Life’ Visitors. Let’s provide passionate creative role models for kids! Contact Beth at staff@thechildrensbookshop.com.au to discuss bookings.
@lisashanahan_ @belinda_murrell @zannilouise #paulsbooktrail2020 @bethanymacdonaldartist @phillipgwynne @lizanelli @auraparker @katejoltemple @christophernielsen #thechildrensbookshopspeakersagency
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1 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

It’s taken me plenty of years to work out what true bravery looks like. Thinking today of all those feeling both a little and a lot worried and scared the whole time and who are doing brave things anyway. 💙💚💙 ...

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1 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I’m home-schooling two of my boys and even though they are mostly independent learners, I’ve found myself collapsing in a heap at the end of the day! Cue flomp—flomp—thud—snore! Hats off to teachers everywhere for all that you do!

Given all of that, I’m thrilled to be able to share a link to a series of videos in which Emma Quay and I read BEAR AND CHOOK BY THE SEA, to a group of primary-school aged children, then answer their very astute questions about the text, the illustrations, our working process and inspirations. This educational resource was filmed by the Department of Education, under the genius guidance of two astonishing teacher-librarians, Jenny Scheffers and Ian McLean.

There are some wonderful lesson notes from the NSW Department of Education to accompany each video, and there’s plenty of room to improvise with some additional learning. Younger children could make the puppets after watching the reading, and then be encouraged to act out the story with their characters. Older children might be invited to write and then perform a sound poem of their own trip to the sea, from the moment they first wake up, to the minute they arrive home.

I do hope a little trip to the sea with Bear and Chook might bring a little joy and delight to children everywhere, as well as a little surreptitious learning on the side. And in the meantime, as we continue to stay at home to keep each other safe, may we lift a slice of warm honey toast to each other in solidarity, just the way Bear and Chook like it best.

Learning resource © State of New South Wales (Department of Education) 2017. Video recordings produced with kind permission of Hachette Australia. @hachetteaus @hachettekids
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1 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Teachers are never far from my thoughts just now. I can’t even begin to imagine the intense load they are carrying. Ever year is full to the brim in ordinary time. But to be in class right now, juggling the worry for the well-being of their students, the legitimate worry for their own families, alongside the need to maintain a safe space for learning, both now and into the future, whatever that might look like, which one of us could seriously take it!? Send cards, flowers, gifts, love! Let teachers know that you know and are so deeply thankful for their immense grace under duress! .
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(Illustration of best teacher Mrs Dalton by the fantabulous @gusgordonbooks)
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1 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

So looking forward to working with Paul and Beth McDonald and to joining The Children's Bookshop Speaker's Agency, alongside so many other fabulous writers and illustrators. It's always a privilege to be invited to speak at a school, or a conference, or a festival, to have this unique and lovely window to share about the joys of reading, the pleasures and the pain of writing, the sometimes funny places that ideas poke up from, the singular power of an ordinary moment. I've spoken to thousands and thousands of kids across the years and the thing that makes me happiest is when one sidles up at the end of a session and whispers that they are off to get a journal of their own that very afternoon. Because as much as I might want to inspire the children I meet to love to read, I'm always hoping that some of them will also come away with an awakened sense of wonder, all those tiny, startling ideas for stories, hiding in plain sight, right in the middle of their own astonishing lives. ...

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1 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

There’s still time! The #authorforfireys auction ends at 11pm tonight! 💜🌸If you dream of filling the pages of a picture book (and a child's heart) with your stories and images, you might be interested in the Picture Book Mentorship Lisa Shanahan and I are offering for auction. It is our contribution to the #authorsforfiries initiative, in response to the Australian bushfire crisis.
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It would be our pleasure to help you bring your picture book project to a publishable standard, as well as developing your writing and illustrative skills. We are both experienced picture book creators with over twenty years in the industry, have received awards for our picture book collaborations as well as individually... and are close friends, too! We would love to spend some time with you, and share our enthusiasm and knowledge. If you hop over to my last post, you'll see the details, and how to bid...
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THANK YOU TO ALL, THE AUCTION IS NOW CLOSED TO BIDS. 💚
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#AuthorsForFireys #authorsforfiries #illustratorsforfiries #emmaquaysketchbook
P.S. Not sponsored by Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
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1 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Hi there friends, here is a small way that Emma Quay and I are hoping to help Australian firefighters. Feel free to share and to bid in the auction over at Emma’s page! So grateful to the firefighters of Australia and to the arts community for coming up with such a unique way to offer our support. #authorsforfireysHello, my friends,
We would love to help you, and in doing so join the #AuthorsForFireys community in donating the proceeds to Australian bushfire relief.
Emma

🌱 THANK YOU TO ALL, THE AUCTION IS NOW CLOSED TO BIDS. 🌱

An opportunity from award-winning picture book creators, Lisa Shanahan and Emma Quay:

We have been haunted by the terrible suffering of so many people and animals affected by the bushfires here in Australia. Inspired by the #AuthorsForFireys appeal, set up by Emily Gale and Nova Weetman, we’ve decided to make a joint contribution to the bushfire recovery fundraiser.

So... together we’re offering—for the #authorsforfiries auction—

1 X PICTURE BOOK MENTORSHIP, for an emerging or early career picture book creator, including 3 x 1 hour sessions via Skype, with the option of meeting in person if the winning bidder is based near Sydney.

Feel free to bid for this unique opportunity to be mentored by two bestselling and award-winning picture book creators and collaborators. Together, we’ll guide you through manuscript development and the illustration process, to develop your skills and confidence and help bring your picture book project to a publishable standard.

Neither of us are big Twitter users, so feel free to bid in the comments below in $AUD. The auction ends at 11pm AEST on the 11 January 2020, with the winning bid to provide proof of donation to an Australian Rural Fire Service. With heartfelt thanks for digging deep and collaborating with us in bringing hope to so many wonderful communities in dire need.

Thank you for reading and sharing - please place your bid in the comments on the original post at Emma Quay Books.

#AuthorsForFireys #authorsforfiries #illustratorsforfiries #illustratorsofinstagram #authorsofinstagram #writers #writersofinstagram #writersofig #loveozkidlit #loveozpicturebooks #loveozkidbooks #bookcommunity #writingcoach #writingproject #writinghelp #writingislife #picturebooks #awardwinning #cbca #bearandchook #bearandbookbythesea #australianbushfires #ruralfireservice #donate #help #hope

P.S. Not sponsored by Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I’m overjoyed that ‘The Grand, Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler’ is available now as an audio book, thanks to the brilliant team @bolindaaudio 🚵🏼‍♂️ It’s so lovely to listen to the exuberant tones of @paddyharve at last! And just in time to keep the whole family entertained on those long, long car trips to exciting holiday destinations. 🚘⛺️🍦🐚🦑🐠🦈 ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

This was such a magic conference. Such a beautiful gift to be there. I’ll be pondering the insights and the wisdom of my fellow writers and illustrators for years to come. There’s always just so much more to learn in this profession. So grateful for the generosity and warmth of Lesley, Sacha, and the whole team at The Literature Centre, including all the volunteers, not to forget the fantastic kindness of all the delegates!We love this photo! ❤️ What an amazing line-up of presenters we had this year at our Celebrate Reading National Conference, pictured with Lesley and Sacha. We’ve been overwhelmed reading the wonderful feedback from Conference attendees. Delegates, if you haven't already done so, please let us know about your Conference experience through the survey link sent to you via email. 😃#CelebrateReading2019

As mentioned during the Conference, we thank our event partners and supporters, in particular the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, South West. We are very proud of the success and reputation of this West Australian event, focusing on the very best of Australia's literature for children and young adults.

📷 Photo credit Shaan Coutinho, Watermark Designs
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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

It’s World Kindness Day today. And if you’re an introverted dragon in a very noisy classroom, you are going to need a very good friend to whisper a story to calm your nerves. Kindness is not the flashiest of the virtues but it certainly makes life worth living. If someone has done something immensely kind for you today, feel free to share! 🌻💜🌻..
#bigpetday #gusgordon #worldkindnessday #kindness #kind
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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

There’s a powerful collision of the real and the imagined in ‘Big Pet Day,’ which Gus Gordon captures so artfully in the illustrations, often delicately underscoring this theme with his gorgeous use of collage. The funny little critter dashing out from behind the tree is a capybara, one of the largest living rodents on earth. This enigmatic character makes many appearances throughout ‘Big Pet Day,’ even though I make no mention of it in the text at all. It’s one of the brilliant, joyful surprises of collaborating with such an inventive artist. Now, even though I am not a fan of rodents generally, bordering on being completely phobic if I’m honest, I am deeply fond of this cute little one. And guess what? Now you can see real capybaras because they have just arrived at Taronga Zoo! That Gus Gordon! He is almost scarily prescient! 😁👨🏻‍🎨 ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

So incredibly lovely to meet Frané at the StoryArts Festival a few weeks ago and then Dianne at the Celebrate Reading Conference at The Literature Centre this past week. They are both fantastic creators of astonishingly beautiful children’s books but also such immensely gracious, hilariously funny, down-to-earth and generous people. The kind of people that make you feel glad to be alive!These two at The Literature Centre! Great Day 1 - Celebrate Reading Conference Dianne Wolfer - Author Lisa Shanahan ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Such a joy to present at The Literature Centre today and in the company of so many brilliant writers and illustrators. I feel like I will be pondering the goodness of all I have learnt over these two short days for months and months, not to mention the immense generosity of The Literature Centre team, the unstinting kindness of the volunteers and the immense dedication of all the educators, librarians, parents and carers helping kids to discover the world of books. ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

This was so much fun! A highlight of my time at the StoryArts Festival, among so many brilliant moments. ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I spent a wonderful day at Bethany Lutheran College today. What a fantastic school and what a beautiful place to finish up my time at the StoryArts Festival. So grateful to Michelle Crump for her fantastic hospitality and her superb organisation. And how lovely to spend the day with the always brilliant Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

All the starry lights for this lovely book on writing for young people by Rosanne Hawke. It contains all the accumulated wealth of Rosanne’s many, many years of experience as a wonderful writer and her wisdom as a beloved teacher of writing too! It’s a remarkably generous book, as Rosanne anticipates all the questions and queries about the craft of writing for children and the best way to sustain a healthy career over the long haul. Rosanne has also collected some beautiful reflections on the nature of faith and writing from a number of fantastic writers, including a gorgeous meditation on words and music from the brilliant writer @claire_zorn. ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

It was such a privilege to be teaching writing, alongside the always brilliant Susanne Gervay and Oliver Phommavanh and Simon French. Huge thanks to Steven Body and Brewongle Environmental Education Centre for your fantastic hospitality and to all the kids, for making the day so magic! ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

So much fun to spend time with these fantastic writers at the Brewongle Environmental Education Centre, exploring the importance of being a collector as a writer; a collector of words, memories, feelings, tiny moments, startling imagery. Such a delight to listen to their poetry, so funny and poignant and astute. And all of this in the wonderfully historic one room public school established in 1878! ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

So lovely to be at Writers Unleashed Festival today with a whole host of fabulous writers and illustrators, including the wonderful Susanne Gervay. So good to celebrate the work of this festival, these ten fantastic years strengthening and encouraging local writers. What an amazing gift to the arts community! ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Huge congrats to all the authors, illustrators and publishers of these wonderful award-winning books! What an exciting day!And here it is! The full list of CBCA 2019 Book of the Year Winner and Honour Books. Congratulations once again to all the authors, illustrators and publishers.
Head to our website for the details: www.cbca.org.au/winners-2019
#cbca2019
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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

One week to go!! What a privilege to be presenting at this wonderful festival. I'm looking forward to meeting my fellow picture book fanatics and exploring what it really takes to write a picture book, from first seed to final story!How lucky are we that Lisa Shanahan will be part of this year’s Writers’ Unleashed.

As an award-winning writer of picture books and fiction for young people, Lisa’s talk on The Seed to Story of Picture Books is sure to be entertaining and full of valuable information for both new and more experienced writers.

For more info and to get your tickets check out our website
shirewritersfestival.weebly.com/presenters.html
#writingcommunity @authortalks #books
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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

'Fierce, Funny, True: Writing for Children' begins at Writing NSW on Tuesday 20 August at 6.30pm. If you've been pondering whether this course might be something for you, here is the course outline offering a little more detail on what we will cover over the next six weeks. If it sounds like your cup of tea, feel free to head on over to Writing NSW to sign up. I think there are still a few places left and I'd certainly love for you to join us!

Week One: On Finding Inspiration
Discover the four common doorways to fiction. Learn how to develop a regular writing practice and how to gather inspiration, through exercises designed to help participants write with humour and heart. Explore the importance of play and experimentation, how to keep the critical voice at bay. Discover how getting to know your characters deeply (their loves, hopes and disappointments) can help stories grow organically, in picture books and novels.

Week Two: From Seed to Story
How can something so short, be so darned tricky to write? Examine two different types of picture books, including a case study of the way a picture book is written from start to finish. Discover the way story arrives seamlessly through a creative marriage between text and image. Learn the importance of picking your words like a poet and how structure can be your friend.

Week Three: Crack! Snap! Fizz!
What does it take to write for emerging or reluctant readers? Crackling plots? Snappy dialogue? Fizzing imagery? Explore some of the special literary and literacy requirements of writing for younger readers and the breadth and depth of stories for this age group.

Week Four: Fierce, Funny and True
Many people have childhood memories of an illuminating encounter with a never-to-be-forgotten novel! Often this kind of novel was an outstanding example of middle-grade fiction. Australian publishing is in the middle of a renaissance in middle-grade fiction. Explore some of the diversity and variety in style and content for novels for this age group and participate in writing exercises designed to help build voice, believability and emotional resonance.

Week Five: Class Workshop Session
It’s time to brave the waters and test out that picture book text or the opening pages of your novel. Explore how to give and receive constructive, sensitive feedback about both the strengths and the growth areas of your work.

Week Six: Polishing and Publishing
Where to next? Review the importance of editing and redrafting, when and where to deploy a critical eye, and how to process feedback constructively. Explore issues regarding submission, layout of manuscripts, finding publishers and agents, all the practical daily business of being a writer.
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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I'm looking forward to speaking at Writers Unleashed and chatting all things picture books, in just under two short weeks! I'll be exploring how a picture book is grown from the smallest seed to the final story. And also what really makes them work! I'm excited to be presenting alongside some fabulous authors and illustrators and I hope to see you there 😄🎉 ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Timeline PhotosIT'S STILL ON!! 😃 Two book packs now to win due to amazing demand! One drawn today. 2nd winner drawn TUE 6 AUG, 9AM (WST) All entries here are still in it.

📚WIN THIS BOOK PACK! 📚 Our Conference programme and exhibitions are being finalised and excitement is building. Just imagine meeting and listening to the creators of these four wonderful books by Shaun Tan, Glenda Millard, Stephen Michael King, Lisa Shanahan and Dianne Wolfer, all of whom are presenting at our Conference along with Felice Arena, Leila Rudge and Ronojoy Ghosh. - Lesley

👉 Competition Details: To enter simply LIKE this post, TAG 1 or more friends in comments and SHARE this post. One entry per person. Winner chosen at random. Comp deadline 9am (WST) Tuesday 6 August, 2019. This pack of 4 books sent free to the winner, anywhere in Australia.

👉 Find out more about our Celebrate Reading National Conference, 1-2 November 2019 in Fremantle. Book now on Eventbrite. www.thelitcentre.org.au/media/1472/2019-celebrate-reading-conference-flyer-1-2-nov-final-version.pdf
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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

This is going to be such a wonderful conference! I'm sure there will be plenty of delicious stories, much laughter, a few tears and a whole heap of inspiration. I have to admit I am not the bravest person when it comes to flying. I think there may well have been some shrieks on the bumpy plane ride to Canberra for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards in December last year, much to the amusement of my fellow passengers and to the horror of my husband. But see, I'm facing down my flying fears like good old Henry Hoobler because I know it will all be worth it. There are no concurrent sessions at this conference, which means that there will be no missing out on any session, alongside a really lovely sense of community. I hope to see you there in November. I won't be offended if you choose not to sit next to me on the plane!Don’t miss this! Join us 1-2 November in Fremantle, WA for our ‘Celebrate Reading National Conference’ - The Inside Story on Quality Australian Literature for Children. Enjoy two inspiring, insightful and rewarding days at our unique Centre. It’s unlike any other Conference you’ve experienced! Meet and hear from these 8 amazing presenters:

📕 Shaun Tan (Keynote)
📗 Stephen Michael King
📙 Glenda Millard
📘 Lisa Shanahan
📕 Felice Arena
📗 Ronojoy Ghosh
📙 Leïla Rudge
📘 Dianne Wolfer

BOOK NOW via Eventbrite. Follow the link for details: www.thelitcentre.org.au/news/2019-celebrate-reading-national-conference-join-us-in-fremantle-1-2-...

@shauncytan @stephenmichaelking #glendamillard @lisashanahan @Felicearena @ronojoyghosh. @leilarudge_illustration #diannewolfer
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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

My husband retrained as a teacher a few years ago and although he is working in a different area in education now, I got a revelatory glimpse into what life is like as a new grad primary school teacher; the dedication, the passion, the joy, the heartaches, the remarkably loooong hours. I'm just SO happy that the Celebrate Reading National Conference recognises the importance of encouraging teachers in their first five years and that they are offering TWO scholarships for the conference on November 1-2, in Fremantle, West Australia!!

Feel free to tag as many teacher friends that would qualify for this scholarship as possible, especially those that love books and good food and wonderful conversation, not to mention the thrill of being able to visit Western Australia!If you’ve had ‘Enter to win a Scholarship’ on your To Do list for ages 📝 and still haven’t done it - now is the time! Primary Teachers in their first 5 years of teaching can apply to come to our Celebrate Reading National Conference, 1-2 November, for free!
It’s so worth entering... for this amazing presenter line-up, the programme, the food, the bookshops and book signings, the prizes and heaps more!
If you aren’t able to enter, TAG your teacher friends - they’ll love you for it 😇

Find all the details on our flyer 👉 www.thelitcentre.org.au/media/1526/2019_scholarship_conference_flyer_final.pdf
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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I never would have remembered how much Club Med hovered over my whole childhood like a delicious, unattainable promise land, except for the fact I’ve been writing a story about ‘wonder and wilderness’ for @storiessongsandsoulfood. How could our annual trip up to Coolangatta when I was a kid, in our dusty Ford Fairmont, ever hope to cut it with my best friend’s tales of wild adventure at the Club Med Kids Club, with it’s all-you-can-eat buffet? How could feeding the lorikeets at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary ever hope to compete? 🦜🦜🦜🦜 Ahh, writing...it’s a beautiful thing. All the ways you get to excavate your deepest, unrequited longings for the sake of the whole world. I’ll be telling a funny story on Saturday night about a recent camping trip. But I will happily confess to my still lingering regret that I never got to enter in to the much fabled promise land of my childhood. I’m hoping at least some of you out there did!? ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Stories, Songs and Soul Food is back! This was one of my favourite nights in 2017. I’m looking forward to the joy of laughing, eating, listening and telling stories, with a whole company of fantastic storytellers, singers and artists!
Posted @withrepost • @storiessongsandsoulfood We are "growing by stories every day... we tell stories, we do not wrap them around our fingers controlled and ordered, we are wrapped and rolled by them....✨for inside your mind are a million sleeping thoughts and a billion masterpieces and a trillion tiny moments they creep into our souls whether we are willing or not they pry us open, open our mouths. we tell stories....ask the scribble script, ask the wet paint, where once was simply the form of wood, now with the carving patience of the artist emerges contours of art body and elegant face, where the musician is found to take sound and fashion out of her a symphony, we drench the world a new colour, call forth what is deeper, pull wide the curtain of separation, show beauty for what she is, we tell stories......" ✨📝🎤🎶Love a good story? Join us this coming Saturday for stories, songs and soul food @charlielovett_peakhurst featuring brilliant storytellers including award winning author @lisashanahan_ 🎶🎤✨🎨📝quoted above- extract of 'we tell stories' by @joelmckerrowpoet
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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Only one week to go! Finishing off some prep today for my course ‘Down the Rabbit-Hole: Writing for Children’ at Writing NSW on Saturday 18 May from 10-4pm. I believe there may be one or two spots left. If you’re still keen to come, head on over to writingnsw.org.au and clink on the link ☺️. This is one of my all-time favourite days of the year because there is nothing better than sharing a mutual love of children’s books with other passionate devotees (except perhaps sharing a mutual love of honey toast 😂.) #bearandchookbythesea #emmaquay #hachetteaustralia #writingnsw #writingforchildren #loveozkidlit #loveozpicturebooks #loveozmg #aspiringwriter #emergingwriter #writersofoz ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

‘Leonard Doesn’t Dance’ by Frances Watts and Judy Watson is a glorious picture book, from start to finish. Leonard is a large, clumsy, adorable enthusiast of a bird, and although eventually reluctant to dance himself, he understands what it takes to be a true friend. The story traverses a huge emotional landscape; from Leonard’s initial hope to disappointment, to despair and sorrow, right back to ecstatic joy. The text is extremely witty and playful and it reads deliciously out loud. I must say it’s so good to read a text that at no stage condescends to the reader. And the illustrations are a revelation! Such gorgeous line work from Judy Watson, with a breathtaking colour palette that is exuberant and jewel-like and immensely generous, which speaks so subtly to the fundamental themes of the book. The endpapers are to die for (swooon) and the book feels and smells good. I will confess that some friends discovered me smelling the book in a cafe and I invited them to do the same! This is such a big-hearted and beautiful book about friendship, love, sacrifice, perseverance, serendipity and the joy of finding your own unique rhythm. I hope Leonard finds a home in the hearts of many young readers! ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

It’s so close now! I’m looking forward to teaching ‘Down the Rabbit-Hole: Writing for Children’ at Writing NSW on Saturday May 18, especially exploring inspiration, the crazy way original ideas are often hiding in plain sight! I still feel the deepest gratitude to Libby Gleeson, who lead a writing for children workshop when I was just starting out and who encouraged me to take my own writing hopes seriously, even when it looked like ridiculous folly to everyone else. It took three years from that workshop to publication but the desire to persevere was sown in that course, the sense that writing for children was a good and grand adventure. If you’d like to come along, especially if you’re a beginning or an emerging writer, feel free to head on over to writingnsw.org.au #sleeptightmyhoney #wayneharris #hachetteaustralia ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I had a lovely time speaking with Lisa Pellegrino, in the studio, on ABC Radio this morning, about all things picture books! It was entirely nerve-wracking but wonderful too 🤪😂. Hats off to broadcasters that do this every day. 🎩🎓. #picturebooks #abcradio #lisapellegrino #holidays #reading #writersofinstagram ...

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2 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Happy International Women’s Day, from one little girl with a BIG imagination, finding her voice and way in the world!
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#harkitsmerubylee #binny #hachette #hachetteaustralia #picturebook #kidsbooks #internationalwomensday #women #womenempowerment #girlpower #brave #fearless #adventure #emergencyofficer
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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Merry Christmas and huge thanks for all the joy, kindness and encouragement I’ve received from so many of you throughout the year. It means so much! I’ve popped a collection of eight of my books, wrapped up in gold Christmas paper, into the street library out the front of the Lugarno Uniting Church, on Forest Road, Lugarno. I hope they find their way into the hands of some small avid readers. Warmest thanks again for all your support this year! Here’s to a festive and bookish Christmas! ⭐️🎄⭐️ ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

So thrilled and honoured to be with Binny in Canberra today for the announcement of the winners of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards. Huge congrats to Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King on their win for their stunning picture book, 'Peapod Lullaby.' Such a beautiful book and so well-deserved! 🎉⭐️🎉It's been wonderful to see how far our special emergency officer Ruby Lee has travelled and it's been fantastic to share this day with the very brilliant Binny. Here's to the goodness of books and reading, the joy of telling stories! 📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚#Repost @binnyillustration with @get_repost
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Prime Ministers Literary Awards at Parliament House. Honoured to be shortlisted with the talented @lisashanahan_ for our book Hark! It’s me Ruby Lee. Hosted by James Valentine and presented by the PM ❤️ #awards #childrensbooks #publishing
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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

So my last school visit for the year is done, with lovely Lucy from 'Lucy's Book' by @nataliejaneprior and @cherylorsini peeking over my shoulder and keeping me company the whole day.

I'm so grateful to the schools and libraries that have hosted me across the year. I've travelled near and far, from the Whitsundays and out to the Riverina and back again and I've witnessed at every turn, the daily, invisible, behind-the-scenes hard work of teachers and librarians, so passionate to introduce every student they know to the magic of reading. It's an epic and beautiful undertaking.

One of my favourite moments yesterday was when a small Year One boy came up to me, after I had finished speaking and said to me, 'Now if someone tells you that they hate your work, just ignore it and keep on writing.' He said it with such prophetic intensity, as if he already knew that any creative and good endeavour was going to be rollercoastery in nature. And so I pass it on to you, the wisdom of one small boy. To the writers and illustrators and the librarians and teacher-librarians and classroom teachers, to parents and grandparents, sharing your love of books and stories, keep on keeping on.
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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

So delighted to be in Melbourne today, for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards. I was super thrilled to receive the Speech Pathology Book of the Year Award for 8-10 year-olds for Henry Hoobler. One of the things I pondered when I wrote Henry was the epic nature of small, ordinary moments. Just how much can hinge on them. I'm so grateful to Speech Pathologists all over Australia, for all the ways they help kids find the right sort of courage, for every small, ordinary moment, for the epic nature of their work. That Henry Hoobler might be a companion with them in this, is too grand, genius for words! ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

For aspiring writers! This will be a wonderful evening, celebrating the winner of the CBCA Aspiring Mentorship Program at @harpercollinsaustralia 🎉🎉🎉 I entered this competition when I first began writing for children and discovering that my manuscript had been highly commended was like manna from heaven. It was just the encouragement I needed to keep on going! I know it will be an awesome night, hearing about the mentoring program, what HarperCollins is looking for in a manuscript, and from mentors and those that have won. All this and champagne too! ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Now here’s a selection for your book club! Celebrate great Australian books from the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2018 shortlist. Check out all the shortlists here: www.arts.gov.au/departmental-news/2018-shortlists-announced #PMLitAwards ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

So stunned and overjoyed to hear this news about Ruby Lee and the PLA shortlist. And congrats galore to all the other shortlisted authors and illustrators. Such a privilege to be in your company! Big thanks to Binny and @suzannstagram and @hachetteaus Ruby Lee has had the best adventures because of you! 🐦🐦🐦🐦🐦🐦🐦
#Repost @binnyillustration with @get_repost
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So excited! A lovely way to brighten my rainy Wednesday. My book with Lisa Shanahan, Hark! It’s me Ruby Lee is short listed for the Prime Ministers literary award 😃❤️❤️❤️ #award #literature #literaryaward #childrensliterature #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #lisashanahan #binny #binnytalib #books #characters ❤️🤗
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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I was so completely thrilled to receive an advance copy of 'My Sunbeam Baby' last week, from my good friend Emma Quay. It was the best birthday present ever. I've been carrying it around with me ever since! 🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞There is so much to love about this book. The text, which is so delicious and playful. The kicker ending, which left one of my close friends weeping in a wine bar. Not to mention the illustrations. Oh my gosh, so many gorgeous babies! It's such an astonishing illustrative feat. But the thing I love most and what I think might be Emma's secret super power is her unique capacity to capture delight. She is a true master! The whole book glows with it, from beginning to end. And it's a beautiful thing to know that every child will come away from reading this with their special someone, soaking up the warm goodness of that delight. The world needs a whole lot more of that. 💛
PS: Don't even get me started on the endpapers! Be still my beating heart. 😍
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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

The outline for my six week course on 'Wizards, Dragons, Bears and Chooks: The Joy of Writing for Children' is up online at Writing NSW now. It's been wonderful to ponder the writing process, to think deeply about inspiration and what really makes a book work, the sometimes strange, magical alchemy. What I do know for certain is that writing is always a risk and especially so at the beginning, where to people on the outside, it can look like an insanity. I can still hear my mum say, 'You're going to do what?!' There is nothing more leavening than meeting other people that have been similarly hijacked by a passion to write for young people! If this sounds like you, I do hope you'll join me on Tuesday nights from 23 October-27 November, from 6.30-9.30pm. I will certainly be hoping that every participant comes away with much bread for the journey and some glorious A-ha moments too! ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I'm looking forward to facilitating a six-week course at Writing NSW, called 'Wizards, Dragons, Bears and Chooks: The Joy of Writing for Children' on Tuesday evenings, from 23 October to 27 November. I still have the fondest memories of the first specialist writing for children course I ever did with author Libby Gleeson, many many years ago now. That course felt both like a revelation and a homecoming. I remember workshopping a story called 'Dad and Daisy Bell' that I actually wrote on my honeymoon, a few months earlier. Although that story never did go onto be published, the things I learnt in that course and the joyful camaraderie of being with other people yearning to write for children was absolutely instrumental in helping me to hang in there for the long haul. If you're keen to write for children and you're uncertain where to begin, feel free to sign up at New South Wales Writers' Centre I'd love to see you there! ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I love this CBCA Book Week display so much! It's so immensely hilarious and clever. But I don't think it's scary sea creatures from the deep that Ruby Lee and Rodney need to be worried about... ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Such a wonderful day meeting with the students at Hillston! And then onto Goolgowi Public School in the arvo to catch up with the fantastic 38 students at that school. And look at these wonderful displays decorating the walls of the W G Parker Library. So grateful to Helen Underwood and Lynne from the library, for all their dedication and hard work and to the brilliant students and teachers for their amazing art work. #swoon ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

One of my favourite things about writing books is the chance to dedicate them and usually my picture books feature a whole posse of people. In the case of 'Hark, It's Me, Ruby Lee,' there's only one, my six-year old nephew Bailey. It seemed fitting that this book should be just for him because he's the last-born cousin in my family and one of the funniest, quirky kids I know. Then just this year, on the weekend before he was about to start school, he was diagnosed with leukaemia. I'm happy to say he's responding very well to treatment but it's been a terribly gruelling year for him and for his whole family. It's an enormous privilege to be his Aunty. I don't think I've ever met a kid quite so intrepid, valiant and ingenious. So more than ever and in every way, I dedicate Ruby Lee and the Honour award for this book to him! ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

What a thrill to be up in sunny Brisbane today with Binny and Suzanne O'Sullivan, our fantastic publisher and editor. So grateful to Binny for her extraordinary illustrations and to Suzanne for her eagle eye. Huge thanks to the whole team at @hcboz 💐💐Deepest thanks to the CBCA Early Childhood judges too. Gosh, what a huge job! So lovely to listen to the speeches and to celebrate the richness and diversity of Australian literature. And so super happy for our special emergency officer!
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#Repost @hcboz with @get_repost
・・・
CONGRATULATIONS @lisashanahan_ @binnyillustration

HARK IT'S ME, RUBY LEE - The story of an irrepressible little girl and her very big imagination - is a CBCA Early Childhood Honour Book! ✨🎉🏆 #passionshared
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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I was really delighted to speak with Tracey Grice on her podcast Writers Read by LiTracey. It was lovely to read a little section of 'The Grand, Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler' and to chat with her about my own reading journey. I'm more aware every day of the collaborative nature of the work to foster a deep and abiding love of reading in young people. I'm so grateful to Tracey for her creativity, passion and immense thoughtfulness. How lucky are her students! Although I find it nerve-wracking to be interviewed myself, I have to say that I loved hearing Tracey interview Martine Murray and Bren MacDibble, all great writing heroes of mine. It was so good to hear their stories, share in their funny moments and beautiful wisdom.Find your treasure with the CBCA Younger Readers short listed books! This mini episode forms part of short series of podcasts featuring a read aloud by each of the authors nominated for the 2018 Yo... ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I had an absolutely wonderful time at the Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival. I'm still pondering my time up there, even a week later. I'm so incredibly grateful to the organisers Tonia and Tracey, for their warmth, hospitality and magnificent attention to detail. I'm still thinking a lot about my student helpers too, those young people that kept me on track, in the right location and even in my right mind, with so much good humour and grace! I continue to be astounded by the routine loveliness of the Australian children's and YA writing community. What a supportive, rejoicing bunch. It was such a privilege to be in their company. And the young people from all over the Whitsunday region, what an honour it was to hang out with them too!! So much joy, laughter and deep, curious questions. One of my favourite moments was signing a copy of 'Big Pet Day' for an eight-year old girl, who is in the middle of building a big collection of books for when she becomes a teacher. I wrote a little message and addressed her by her surname as instructed, as would be appropriate for a teacher's book. That little moment made my heart sing! I can't help but feel that the future is in good hands. ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

This is a little bit special!! And what beautiful art work and design by the amazing author/illustrator Anna Walker!Our 2018 Short List poster is an essential CBCA Book Week quick-reference guide. Get yours here... store.cbca.org.au/ #CBCA2018 ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Look who turned up in the mail today? My very favourite special emergency officer!
#harkitsmerubylee #binny #hcboz #hachette #cbca2018
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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Here are these two, hanging out at #dymocksgeorgestreet in very good company. Although perhaps they're feeling a little bit nervous about their big-eyed, yellow companion below. He does still look a little hungry. I've had the good fun of writing about Henry and Ruby Lee this past week. I've had to ponder the history of these two stories. I've looked over old drafts (hilarious at times!) and pored over old emails. And it's been so lovely to hang out with them again and so good to be reminded how much I've been helped along the way. ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Emma Quay has a lovely new website. So gorgeous and fresh!! And with some fantastic resources for teachers too! ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

I was astounded to discover that 'Hark, It's Me, Ruby Lee!' and 'The Grand, Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler' were both short-listed in the Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards yesterday. I'm very grateful and quite undone. Even though writing is so solitary at times, I'm aware that writing a book is always done in community, that every book is in conversation in some way with other books, both past, present and future. It's a beautiful thing to be part of the children's book community in Australia. It's hard to articulate the debt I owe. I know for certain that all the good things I've ever learnt and am still learning about writing (because the apprenticeship never ends) have always come from the grand, genius goodness of sitting at the feet of the many brilliant writers and illustrators from this community. ...

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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

So thrilled to see 'The Grand, Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler' and 'Hark, It's Me, Ruby Lee!' on the CBCA Notable Book List for 2018 and in such excellently fine company too. There are so many beautiful books on this list! Huge congrats to all the other fantastic authors, illustrators and publishers. And special thanks to Allen & Unwin Books, Hachette Australia Children's Books, Binny Hobbs Judy Watson Art and Debra Billson.Here it is ... the list of Notables for 2018!
Congratulations to the authors, illustrators and publishers selected and thank you to our judges for their many months of reading and assessing. #cbca2018

cbca.org.au/notables-2018
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3 years ago

Lisa Shanahan

Lisa Shanahan's cover photo ...

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