Best Children’s Books I read in 2018: from Dimity Powell

It’s virtually impossible to remember the plethora of inspiring and inspirational children’s books I’ve read this year. But Mia Macrossan​ from StoryLinks Children’s Books Reviewed​ set a challenge I couldn’t ignore. Here are a smattering of some of my favourites this year.

Visit the StoryLinks site for more best reads by various kids’ lit peeps. #kidslit #childrensbooks Jenny Stubbs​ #picturebook #LoveOzYA #middlegradefiction #versenovels #graphicnovels #juniorfiction #hardtochoos

Dimity Powell is a children’s author who recently published At the End of Holyrood Lane.
This is super hard btw but here are my attempts at narrowing things down – not something that I’m naturally good at! (You’ll note, I’ve blatantly ignored the rule of  three concept, apologies)
  1. Non-Fiction: Real Food Kids Will Love by Annabel Karmel – there’s been a flood of Great Women, Great Guy type NF books this year and the Little People series is a fave, insects featured a lot too,  but this one takes the cake, as it were.
  2. YA: Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren ties Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee
  3. Middle Grade Fiction: The Endsister by Penni Russon 
  4. Junior Fiction older readers: Natural Born Leader Loser by Oliver Phommavanh
  5. Picture Books early childhood: Want…

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Interview with Dimity Powell author of At the End of Holyrood Lane – Readilearn

Spend a moment or two with children’s author, Dimity Powell as Norah Colvin from Readilearn uncovers more of the story behind the story of At The End of Holyrood Lane, Dimity’s latest picture book.

via Interview with Dimity Powell author of At the End of Holyrood Lane – Readilearn

Small Moments Make Your Story Big

Valuable advice and summation of what it takes to ‘keep it simple’ yet relevant and powerful in the art of storytelling. Something I sometimes struggle with but endeavour to achieve in picture book writing.

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

“A big story is about a small moment.” ~Matthew Dicks

Think about that for a moment (not a small one).

Every book you have ever read is about a small moment—an epiphany when a character realizes an emotional truth with complete clarity.

Let me provide examples:

THE MONSTORE is not just about a store that sells monsters. It’s about a brother and sister who learn to appreciate one another and cooperate.

7 ATE 9 is about number 9 realizing his worth.

LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD is about not judging someone before you get to know them.

Before I read Matthew Dicks’ STORYWORTHY, I used to phrase this “small moment” concept differently. I would explain that a story, especially a picture book, required an emotional core. Now I realize that is an amorphous blob of a statement.

In other words, not very helpful.

Likewise, if I told you my manuscript…

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SCBWI Queensland member, Yvonne Mes talks about the support that beginning/emergent writers value … a specific writers’ group for those who want to write for young people (besides our fabulous organisation, SCBWI)

I recently joined SCWBI and am relatively new to writing for children. I realised quickly that having your stories critiqued can be a very valuable process to improve your writing, your stories and yes, dare I hope…one day getting published.

I am part of two critiquing groups online,  though they don’t solely focus on writing for children (you should check it out, I find it quite addictive) and a small offshoot of Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 forum . If you haven’t heard of that, you should check it out as well, though they are closed for registration by now.

The online critiques have been valuable but it would be great to see local writers come together to critique each other’s works as well as provide moral support in getting published in the Australian market. Maybe you know of an active Brisbane based critique group looking for new members? If so, please let me know.

A mix of new and more experienced writers would be great, and if you are an experienced or published writer, you can add ‘mentor’ to your resume as well as being reinvigorated by newbie enthusiasm.

I’m based in Brisbane and would welcome anyone to join me in finding a suitable place and time to meet and brainstorm some ideas for a successful critique group. Hopefully, someone with actual experience with critique groups would like to put their hand up as well.

If not, I am happy to give it a go. Or alternatively, if you live a little further afield, we could start an Australian SCWBI online critique group.

Yvonne Mes

 NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!



 SCBWI (Qld) has joined forces with BOOK LINKS (Qld) on their initiative to help set up a writing group for beginning/developing writers. As you know, there hasn’t been a local writing group (other than SCBWI Qld) catering for children’s writers in many years – so this is a great leap forward.

The first meeting will be on Saturday, the 6th April at 2pm – this get-together will be at the Queensland Writers Centre on Level 2 at the State Library. Subsequent meeting could be in a cafe chosen by writers. Let us know if you’re interested.