Posted in The School Magazine

The School Magazine September

The School Magazine is Australia’s most-loved and longest-running literary publication for children. The four magazines under The School Magazine imprint have been introducing young readers to a world of words for more than a century. The secret of its enduring success is the quality literature which engages and inspires young readers.

Here is the second post where I highlight the poems and the poets who wrote them in the September issues of The School Magazine.

Reposting as part of Poetry Friday

Hosted this week at Jama’s Alphabet Soup

Following Jama’s lead I too would like to share one of Father Goose’s poems that appeared in last month’s issue of our beloved The School Magazine.

First up is Charles Ghigna

Facebook: Charles Ghigna Facebook
Facebook: Father Goose Facebook
Blog: Father Goose Books Blog

Charles’s poem, Nervous Vegies appears in COUNTDOWN

Nervous Vegies! on the YouTube Channel

My granddaughter and I love puns and word play. I wrote this one for her while we were sitting at the kitchen table eating some of the vegetables that showed up in the poem.

Here’s a pic of my granddaughter, Charlotte Rose picking blackberries. 
She’s the one who inspired the veggies poem.

Any news?

Two new books. Dear Poet: Notes to a Young Writer and Stones: The Collected Short Poems of Charles Ghigna


Charles Ghigna – Father Goose® lives in a treehouse in the middle of Alabama. He is the author of more than 100 books from Disney, Hyperion, Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Time Inc. and other publishers. He has written more than 5,000 poems for children and adults that have appeared in anthologies, newspapers and magazines ranging from The New Yorker and Harper’s to Highlights and Cricket magazines. He served as poet-in-residence and chair of creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, instructor of creative writing at Samford University, poetry editor of English Journal for the National Council of Teachers of English, and as a nationally syndicated poetry feature writer for Tribune Media Services. He speaks at schools, conferences, libraries, and literary events throughout the U.S. and overseas, and has read his poems at The Library of Congress, The John F. Kennedy Center, American Library in Paris, American School in Paris, and the International Schools of South America. For more information, visit his website at

Charles’s Books


The Night the Forest Came to Town – 2019 Green Earth Book Award Nominee

Alabama: My Home Sweet Home – 2019 Reach Out and Read Book

Who Can? – 2018 CCBC Best Books for Kids Starred Selection

Tiny Tales: Four Book Series – 2018 Accelerated Readers

First Times – 2018 CCBC Best Books for Kids

A Carnival of Cats – 2017 Kirkus Starred Review

A Parade of Puppies – 2017 CCBC Best Books for Kids

Strange Unusual Gross & Cool Animals – 2017 NSTA Outstanding Science Book


Dear Poet: Notes to a Young Writer

Stones: The Collected Short Poems of Charles Ghigna


Books for Children

Books for Adults




Next say hello to Janeen Brian

Janeen’s poem, If I Stretched My Tongue, appears in BLAST OFF

I can’t remember the exact trigger, but I sense that it was simply a case of me playing around with an idea; ie. how far can you stretch your tongue? Of course, it was great fun, then, to keep on exaggerating until the tongue became incredibly and humorously long. And it gave me a chance to combine words to work with the rhyming pattern.

Any news?

I’ve just signed a contract with Walker Books for a mid-grade, magic realism novel called Eloise and the Bucket of Stars.

Within the next 18 months I will have four new books published.

Work is progressing for a statue to be made of the dinosaur character from Ann James’ and my award-winning and best-selling picture book, I’m a dirty dinosaur. In November 2019, it will be placed in the Storybook Walk in Thalassa Park, SA.


I am an award-winning, children’s author and poet with over 100 books published in both trade and educational publishing. I enjoy writing picture books, junior fiction, poetry, novels and non-fiction.

Many of my books have been translated and distributed worldwide while more than 200 stories, poems, plays and articles have been published in children’s magazines or anthologies.

I was the recipient of the 2012 Adelaide Festival of Literature Carclew Fellowship and in 2009 also received a May Gibbs’ Children’s Literature Trust Fellowship.

I am proud to be an Ambassador for Raising Literacy Australia (The Little Big Book Club.)

I love reading, creating mosaics, aqua-aerobics, Yoga, walking, gardening, travelling, craft work, singing, watching theatre and films and spending time with my family and friends. I live in the seaside city of Glenelg, in Adelaide, South Australia with my husband. I have two daughters and four grandchildren.

And here’s Beverley McWilliams

Beverley’s poem, Sock Monster, appears in BLAST OFF

Being a mother of four, I always end up with a plethora of odd socks. I keep a bag in the laundry which is forever blooming with socks awaiting the return of a long lost pair. I often tell my children that there’s a sock monster in our house…and from this, one odd sock morning, my poem was born. Writing poetry is a relatively new venture for me. The Sock Monster was the first poem I was brave enough to send out into the world so it was especially thrilling to have it accepted by The School Magazine and featured on their you tube channel.

Any news?

This year has proved to be a very exciting one. My debut picture book Born to Fly (illustrated by Timothy Ide) was published in August by MidnightSun Publishing.

Born to Fly is the story of pioneer South Australian aviator Captain Harry Butler and was written to coincide with the centenary of his historic mail flight.


Beverley McWilliams was born in North Yorkshire, England. She moved to Australia in 2008 and now lives in South Australia with her family and menagerie of pets who provide an endless source of inspiration. Beverley has worked in law, corporate tax and ran her own consultancy business, but she much prefers her life as a writer. Beverley particularly enjoys writing historical non-fiction. She has published a  picture book with MidnightSun Publishing and has written for a number of children’s magazines.

Mike Lucas is up next

Mike’s poem, The Exactly One Minute Poem, appears in COUNTDOWN

The story behind the poem – a few years ago, I was going to give up writing. I didn’t feel as if I was getting anywhere and I had writers’ block. I was sat on the toilet, looking at my phone, when I saw an email from Kenn Nesbitt. He had seen my poems on a website and wanted me to write some for his new anthology, One Minute Till Bedtime. KENN NESBITT!! Within a week I had written 19 poems, including this one, and sent them off. The one he chose wasn’t this one, but it got me back on the road and I put this poem, the others and more in my poetry books Big Silly and Little Sensible. The lesson in life is that a little positive reinforcement can do wonderful things. At schools I get the children to time me and I’m getting very good at getting it spot on! And the fact that I was sitting on the toilet – very apt for the humour in my poems.

Any news?

In 2020, I have two humorous books due for publication by Little Hare and Larrikin House.


Mike Lucas has written and published 5 books of nonsense poetry, had some work highly commended in Caterpillar magazine and contributed to Tadpoles in the Torrens, dedicated to Max Fatchen. He also had some work selected by US Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt, which appeared in One Minute Till Bedtime by Little Brown, published in the US in 2016. His first picture book, Olivia’s Voice was published by MidnightSun in March 2017 and was a CBCA Notable. Vanishing, a picture book about animal extinction was published a year later.  He owns and runs a bookshop, and often visits schools and libraries for readings. He is also a full time engineer and has very little spare time.

Please welcome Raven Howell

Facebook Author page:

Raven’s poem, At the Museum, appears in ORBIT

Being a full time author, I write every day. Many of my poems I “cook up” and then “let simmer” for months and even years. At the Museum was written about a year before its publishing. I already had the poem organized the way I wanted it when I found that it may be a good match for an upcoming theme in The School Magazine.

The inspiration for my poem was the double wonder factor! What does that mean? First, history, our planet’s past, holds thousands of mysteries, some explained, some still unknown. It’s a vast, unique land of wonder for children to discover from a museum visit and some fun researching. At the same time, poetry is beautiful and enticing, often conveying some sense of wonder for the reader as well. Poetry can be a lantern of light on an as yet undiscovered path, or provide an enchanting echo that stays in the heart, beating.

Any news?

I’m very excited to report my upcoming picture book, So You Want a Puppy? has been scheduled a November 26th release date!

This rhyming children’s book in verse tells the story of a family welcoming a new dog into their home. The family learns how to train, care for, and share love with new dog Murray as they explore daily life adventures. Getting a new puppy is exciting, but it’s also a lot of work, and plenty of fun times abound!

Here’s my publisher’s pre-order link:

Meanwhile, my fractured fairytale, Jack and the Lean Stalk, was just picked up for publication. It’s possible it will be the first in a series, and I’m thrilled to be working with British illustrator Sarah Gledhill to make the book come to life!


Raven Howell is the author and poet of nine children’s books including Glimmer/Sing of Sun, Greetings! and the Mom’s Choice Award release, My Community. She writes poetry for a variety of magazines such as Highlights for Children, Humpty Dumpty, Cricket, Spider, and Hello Highlights. Her work is included in anthologies and educational publications.

Raven has received awards for poetry from the SCBWI and Poetry Soup. Other book awards include NABE’s Best Children’s Poetry Book, and Excellence in Children’s Literature. She enjoys sharing workshops and book presentations with children in schools and libraries, and serves as Creative & Publishing Advisor with RedClover Reader.

Her family, long dawn hikes, being at the beach, and munching on warm butterscotch chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven are all sources of inspiration!

A big hello to Jill Carter-Hansen

Great Women Animators
SCBWI public profile

Jill’s poem, Song from Spring, appears in ORBIT

As a child brought up on a farm my love of Nature has never left me.  I often watch the birds in a nearby park and a few weeks ago noticed they were very noisy and competitive! The poem : Song from Spring emerged that evening  as I recalled their sounds…realising that Spring and fledglings would  soon be appearing. 

Any news?

I read a work of mine at the NSW Art Gallery last week…. part of the WoMAP program where I am Poet in Residence,   Hoping to attend the Don Banks writing evening this Wednesday…a reading – possibly including acapella- rendering of a couple of my own songs.   


Brief ART Biographical Details: 2019 Jill Carter-Hansen (aka Jill Stewart:)  Multidisciplinary Artist, Born in NZ Moved to Australia in 1987.MA hons –  University of Western Sydney  BFA – University of Auckland – Certificate in Animation – NSW TAFE

Jill is represented in both public and private collections in Australia & New Zealand . As a combined multi-mediums artist she has exhibited in many group exhibitions and solo shows and also reads/performs her written work at public venues.

Two off her three Artist’s films. were supported by the Australian Film Commission, NSW Film Office and CANON Australia,  These poetic experimental films  –  also screened in London, Germany, Italy & Belgium, have been awarded  Internationally. In addition to creating several Artist Books  (acquired by Rare Books Collections)   several of her children’s books (written and illustrated ) plus illustrations  for other authors – in image and word – for various publishing companies and news outlets  i.e. P/T  illustration work and photojournalism : Fairfax and other Publishers.

Jill – as a combined Mediums artist – has tutored and lectured part-time at major tertiary art Institutions in NZ and Australia, visited International collections (in Europe, Gt Britain and the USA, has held more than twenty solo shows and been represented in many group exhibitions. The subject-matter in her work often refers to JOURNEY – a metaphysical search to find a place of sanctuary.

Several of her children’s books have been published in Australia and her children’s poetry in both the NZ School Journal and currently the NSW School Magazine with other written pieces in anthologies. etc.  Jill also volunteers at two major health centres: assisting in programs: of Art as Therapy .ie POET IN RESIDENCE for RPAH in 2019.

And now please welcome Colin Varney


Colin’s poem, The Muttaburrasaurus Chorus, appears in ORBIT

Children have long been intrigued by the Jurassic antics of northern hemisphere giants like diplodocus, the gentle brontosaurus and the prehistoric delinquent, t-rex, but I felt our local Oz-saurs were being neglected. With a twinge of cultural cringe, I decided to become an ambassador for the humble muttaburrasaurus. Yet ultimately, this piece is less about dinosaurs and more about poetry itself. I’m not sure at which stage I decided to chime every line (except two) with “…saurus”, but I recognized this would enable me to indulge in my passion with wrought rhymes. In a way, it is anti-poetry: bludgeoning and unsubtle. I recall giggling as I scribbled it. Composed some time ago and graced with a witty illustration by Peter Sheehan, it has been reprinted twice in School Magazine.


Back in the mists of time, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I scripted for the children’s television series “Mulligrubs” and “Here’s Humphrey.” My picture book, “Jellylegs,” has been used to promote protective behaviours in children since 1996. It was reprinted in 2016.

I’ve had children’s stories and poems published in “Contagious” and “School Magazine” and adult fiction and articles in “Meanjin” [], “Kill Your Darlings” [], “The Lifted Brow” and elsewhere. I recently completed a Masters’ in creative writing at the University of Tasmania, under the aegis of the inspiring Danielle Wood (AKA Minnie Darke, author of “Star-crossed”). As a result, I wrote the adult novel, “Earworm,” a tragi-comedy narrated by a love song. It was published in 2018 by Margaret River Press.

And here’s Sandi Leibowitz


Sandi’s poem, Bridges, appears in TOUCHDOWN

I wrote the suite of poems “Bridges” because bridges play an important role in my life. I live in in Astoria, Queens (just named the eighth coolest neighborhood in the world!), part of New York City, which is situated on two rivers and made up mostly of islands, Manhattan being the most famous. The window of the room I write in looks out onto the 59th Street Bridge, which leads from Queens to Manhattan. At night it’s beautifully lit up with decorative lights called necklace lights. From my kitchen window, I can also see the Triboro Bridge, which I take to drive to work every day.  


I write poetry and fiction for children, as well as fantasy fiction and poetry, often based on myths and fairy tales, for adults. My adult fantasy poems have won second- and third-place Dwarf Star awards and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Rhysling and Best of the Net awards. I founded and edit Sycorax Journal, an online poetry magazine for adults, and Sycorax Press, a poetry micropress.   

I have pounded keys in a typing pool, proof-read for a medical magazine, planned galas behind the caribou diorama at NY’s Museum of Natural History, ghost-written grant proposals for a monsignor, and currently hook kids on books as an elementary-school librarian. 

Music is an important part of my life. I’ve performed with numerous choruses, created and directed an all women’s madrigal group, and co-founded an early music ensemble in which I sang and played recorders, psaltery, and other instruments. I love to travel, and have set foot on a glacier in Norway and a volcano in Greece, and ridden in a hot-air balloon over the Rio Grande, but I haven’t gotten to Australia yet.

And hello now to Renae Wilks

Renae’s poem, Her Story, appears in BLAST OFF

This poem was inspired by many of my dear old relatives, all of whom have sadly passed away.  I have always loved listening to stories told by older people and I have many beautiful memories of being curled up on the lounge next to my grandpa listening to his recollections of the ‘olden days’. The idea of focussing on the eyes as a repository of memories came about by thinking of my great aunty. She had the most beautiful blue eyes and, even though they faded and became a little watery as she grew older, there were times when they still danced with joy and mischief and youth.

I wrote this poem to highlight the precious nature of family history and the simple joy of listening to stories from the past. I also wanted to touch on the idea that, despite some of my older relatives suffering from dementia, they each had so much to offer. The poem was inspired by the theme of ‘History’ and I played with this word in order to come up with the title for my poem. Like many of my poems at the moment, this one was composed on the rocking chair in the wee hours!


As a little one, I always loved books, stories and poetry and I spent many hours in my own imaginary world. I published my first story on my mum’s old typewriter when I was four…I think it was two lines long! Now I have the privilege of helping children access the magical world of books through my work in education.  While I have always written as a hobby, I have only recently sent some of my work out into the big wide world. I am honoured to have many of my poems published by the wonderful School Magazine – a publication that I remember reading and collecting as a child. I currently live in a seaside city with my beautiful little family.


Just quickly - I'm a children's author and poet. I'm an editor of rhyme and meter and I'm the owner of PASS IT ON - the Australian children's book industry ezine since 2004