Tag Archives: Author

Practical PD for teachers leads to instructional change: Sue, her writing, her story, her future!

Professional development comes in many forms. Some of the best PD is practical and that’s what I’ve been doing this week. I’ve been teaching my friend Sue, just like I was taught by Jenny Luca the following: 516aatihrgl-_sx348_bo1204203200_

  • How to start a blog
  • How to manage your dashboard
  • How to create and use a Twitter account
  • How to create and manage an Instagram page
  • Start a new Facebook page
  • Linking your blog to these ‘social’ pages
  • How to own your site

Sue is an outstanding teacher and passionate writer and everything she is learning is transferable to the classroom. Her blog is now receiving actual reviews from readers and Bendy and Tash can be googled!!!

Ali, a teacher colleague responded: I’m loving it!! These are great!! I always said to Sue she should write a book!!


As a gift, I gave Sue her own copy of Be a Better Writer by Steve Peha. Sue, equally has been using Steve’s work for many years and now has his book. And yes, she has been referring to it while writing her spoof crime fiction. sue-steve-pehaFor example, we discussed capitalization and had a few things we weren’t totally sure about, so we opened Steve’s book Be a Better Writer and read up on capitalization.

‘Chapter 8. Better Punctuation.

The Importance of capitalization. Capitalization has a confusing history. So let’s agree not to confuse ourselves as we look at the one capitalization rule upon which all others are based and take a practical approach to common problems.’ Steve Peha

Steve’s book is written for teachers… and writer’s aged 10 to 16 years but we think it should say any age.

Bendy and Tash: Best Friends, Problem Solvers & Crime Fighters is now bendyandtash.com


Sue is not really a ‘newbie’ writer because she has been teaching writing for years and writing herself. However, now she is a published writer! As I said in my last post, sometimes you have to get to a certain age or level of confidence to share your writing with others. The more you write the better writer you become.

If you need a laugh in your day read some of Bendy and Tash’s adventures. There is a co-author who contributes too. Sally from Tassie, Australia!

NB: My son, a 22 year old uni journalist student read Bendy and Tash too. His passing remarks to Sue were, ‘Well, I know your target audience’. But, let it be said, he was laughing while he was reading! 🙂

Cheers Nina

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Introducing Rowena Wiseman: Author & JD Class Parent

This year I discovered that one of my student’s parents is a published author. As any writer knows getting published isn’t easy but  the love of writing comes first. This is what we  want to inspire in young writers.
This post introduces Rowena Wiseman and I’m excited to share our conversations here.
 Rowena Wiseman:-  I’ve been writing pretty seriously for 10 years now, so I’m so excited to have had these 6 books picked up, as well as a novel coming out later in the year ‘Exit Stage Left’ by Merge Publishing in the US, as well as my novelette ‘Bequest’ that’s just come out with Tenebris Books. I’m proud to have been able to show my kids not to give up – to keep trying at things and eventually it may pay off! My daughter said to me last year that she wanted to become a publisher, so that she could publish my books! How sweet is that?!
 Rowena explains:-
Aunty Arty is a series of chapter books for junior readers. Frieda’s Aunty Arty has a sheet of magical round red stickers that can transport them into a famous work of art. Their adventures take them to Italy, where they meet live statues with strange heads, China, where they laugh along with seven smiling men all named Yue and to a dance studio, where they encounter a troupe of old, angry women who never want to give up dancing. Along the way, Frieda’s siblings learn about jealousy, bravery and not wanting to grow up too fast.
Astro Circus Kids is a series for early readers that traces the exciting world of four kids growing up in the circus. Estrella performs on the aerial hoop, twins Buster and Lexi have an act with twelve dancing dogs and Mia is just starting out as a performer in the Astro Circus Show. Will they be able to save the circus when all the props disappear one day? Sausage the Clown is feeling miserable and doesn’t want to perform, will they be able to cheer him up? And will Mia be able to find the right circus act for her?
Jet Black Publishing is a new children’s ebook publisher based in Melbourne. Their mission is to publish inspirational and creative stories for children and young adults and they are donating 20% of the sales to children’s literacy charities, such as the Australian Children’s Literacy & Numeracy Foundation.
Book pictures
(Above) Draft Illustrations: Ray Eckermann
Rowena concludes:-
I work at an art gallery as an editor, so a lot of my inspiration comes from working there – especially for the Aunty Arty series. I’m absolutely loving working with the two illustrators on these books – as it merges my two great loves, art and literature!! Narelda Joy is illustrating Aunty Arty and Ray Eckermann is illustrating the Astro Circus Kids.
A final word from me…
Teaching writing is my passion! My students see themselves as writers and know the importance of reading. They love to read too! Having a published writer as a parent is wonderful and something I’ll be sharing with my students.
Cheers Nina


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