In August this year, I started working with a group of very enthusiastic Year 6 to 8 Victorian students, all keen to hone their writing skills.

We talked setting, we talked story ideas – we talked about everything writerly. We used butcher’s paper to build a story from scratch – brainstormed ideas then arranged them into a logical sequence. We talked about how character inspires plot, and we explored the plot arc – reached for the high point in the story where all the action culminates in something gripping for the reader.

What a wonderful experience it was for me to work with such inspiring young writers. Each and every student had their own writing style – each had an obvious talent for writing.

At the end of the seven 1 1/2 hour sessions, we had produced an anthology, Our World & Beyond, which all the students could be proud of. Stories ranged from around 3,000 to 5,000 words and students spent a great deal of time writing and editing between our sessions.

Of course the odd vampire made its way into the book – and yes there was romance – and plenty of action. But every story featured well developed characters, original story lines and great writing.

It was so much fun for me to work on this project and witness such persistence, and the dedication of young writers to their craft.

Clearly, there is plenty of young Australian writing talent just waiting for the opportunity to emerge.


Tips for young writers can be found at my blog


  1. Elaine,

    I have a couple of pages of writing tips on my blog There is a series of books that were published by Scholastic in 2001 called ‘A Writer’s Notebook’. They are, “How to Write Scary Stories” by Kimberly Weinberger, “How to Write Funny Stories” by Rachel E Lisberg and “How to Write Poetry by Kimberly Weinberger.

    Another book – which is aimed at teens I think and is also published by Scholastic (2004) is by David L Harrison and it’s called “Writing Stories – fantastic fiction from start to finish”.

    Elaine, I hope these books are still available. If you can’t find them, there’s a place called BookFound who may be able to source them. They are Australian and I have they have a freecall number 1800 132 100 or you can visit their website

    Good luck with sourcing the books, and wishing your granddaughter lots of fun and success with her writing.


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