Posted in The School Magazine

The School Magazine October 2019

The School Magazine

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.”

This month’s post will highlight the poems and poets that appear in October’s issues of the magazine.

First up please welcome Carrie (CL) Clickard

Carrie’s poem, Bongo Bellies, appears in ORBIT, you can also hear it being read on YouTube here.


As a life long dragon fancier I’ve always got some dragonish idea rolling around in my head. Last year, Bongo Bellies came about after watching a wildlife documentary about the Amazon with a marvelous soundtrack of drums. I started thinking  if this is supposed to be about wildlife, who is playing those drums? Naturally for me, it had to be dragons. And ba-da-boom, Bongo Bellies was born.

Any news?

Most recently Carrie has published her fourth children’s picture book, Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. 


Born in the Midwest and transplanted to Florida Carrie Clickard has spent every free moment with a book in her hand or one in her head waiting to be written.  A band, drum corps and drama geek throughout high school, she graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in advertising and quirky roommates. Having worked as a colorguard instructor, copywriter, pressroom manager and marketing VP, she credits her writing success to a firm belief that dragons exist and that competitive baton twirling should be an Olympic sport. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Highlights, Cricket, Ladybug, Andromeda Spaceways, Spellbound, and Under the Juniper Tree. 

Dumpling Dreams, Simon and Schuster, Paula Wiseman
Magic for Sale  Holiday House
Victricia Malicia, Flashlight Press

Next up we have Kristin Martin

Kristin’s poem, On the Pond, appears in COUNTDOWN

This poem was first published in To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme? written by Kristin Martin and illustrated by Joanne Knott (Glimmer Press, 2019).

I wrote this poem after going for a walk in the Adelaide parklands and coming across a pond full of cloud reflections. I love clouds, but I’d rarely paid attention to their reflection in water. Now I notice them everywhere!

Any news?

Kristin will be speaking at the Marion WordFest in southern Adelaide in late October. She’d love to see you there! Her meet the author session is free, but bookings are essential.

Book Here


Kristin Martin is the author of two poetry collections, To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme? published by Glimmer Press in 2019, and Paint the Sky, published byGinninderra Press in 2016. Her poems and short stories are published in numerous anthologies, including Tadpoles in the Torrens and Wild, in magazines, including Page Seventeen, Orbit, Count Down, Blast Off and The Caterpillar, on websites and in art exhibitions. She lives in Adelaide near the sea, where she spends much of her time admiring the clouds.

Glimmer Press

A big hello to Claire Saxby


Claire’s poem, Pelican Landing, appears in ORBIT

Pelicans just look too big to be able to fly – just like planes. Yet both can lift off the ground, stay aloft and land gently as if were nothing (which of course is part of the skill – making it look effortless). Watching a pelican ease down is as mesmeric as watching a plane. All the muscles/motors, feathers/flaps, speed and direction just seem to happen. I like finding the similarities between disparate entities and painting a picture to inspire young readers to look more closely at this wonderful world in which we live. 

Any news?

Upcoming releases include: ‘Kookaburra’, illustrated by Tannya Harricks (Walker Books Australia); ‘Treasure’ illustrated by Tull Suwannakit (Scholastic) and Haywire (Scholastic). More details can be found at


I am a writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry for children. My work is published, and has been awarded, both here and internationally. ‘Anzac Billy’, a picture book illustrated by Mark Jackson and Heather Potter (Black Dog Books) was released in 2019. ‘Dingo’ a Nature Storybook picture book illustrated by Tannya Harricks and published by Walker Books Australia was co-winner of the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Award (Patricia Wrightson). It also won a Whitley Award and was shortlisted in the CBCA New Illustrator’s Award. 

Next up we have Neridah McMullin and facebook

Neridah’s poem, Washing Day, appears in BLAST OFF

I wrote this poem in January this year as part of my ‘Month of Poetry’. MOP is a FB group I’ve been a part of for the last five years. I do MOP every year in January and the idea is to write a poem a day and every Saturday there are set challenges to write poetry using different forms. It’s a great discipline and is great fun with a very supportive bunch of poets.

My poem ‘Washing Day’ is free verse and was inspired by two things. My youngest child had a teddy whom he loved (still loves) dearly and took everywhere with him. He always became stressed when teddy had to be washed. And trust me, he needed to be washed. My youngest would cry at the washing machine and wail at the clothesline until teddy was dry and back in his arms. I always told him teddy was having a great time in the washing machine and loved being in the sun on the clothesline. Anyway, the other thing that inspired my poem was that I also love to browse through pics on Pinterest (I always use an image to write a poem) and I found this pic (attached) which reminded me of my youngest and his teddy.

Any news?

I’ve got two new picture books coming out in 2021, one with Walker Books and the other with National Library of Australia.


Neridah McMullin has written seven books for children. Her recent picture book ‘Fabish: a horse that braved a Bushfire’ published by Allen & Unwin, was shortlisted in 2017 CBCA Book of the Year in the Eve Pownall Information Books category.

Neridah loves to write true stories, animal stories and Australian History stories. She also loves to write poetry and has been published in several magazines in Australia and overseas. Neridah was a recipient of a Maurice Saxby Mentorship in 2013 and was awarded a May Gibbs Creative Time Fellowship in 2017. Neridah loves reading in bed and walking her dog, she also enjoys meeting other people’s dogs.

Please welcome Kate Williams

Kate’s poem, Dragon in the Sky, appears in COUNTDOWN


I’m excited by glimpses, traces, hints of what we can’t quite make out – a distant horizon, a muffled sound, a strange scent… so why not signals of a passing dragon? I decided to keep back that word ‘dragon’ until the end of the poem, so readers could keep guessing and imagining with the observer. It was fascinating to write, but I never guessed it would be accompanied by such a thrilling picture. David Legge’s cloud-camouflaged creature sets the poem a-quiver.


Kate has about 200 published poems for children, many of them in The School Magazine, and others contributing to books, such as the recent Poems About... anthologies chosen by Brian Moses for Wayland publishers (details on her website).

Kate lives in drizzly Wales in the UK, but writes about Australian beaches, Amazon jungles and all sorts. She loves the fact that a poem can be about absolutely anything, and can be stretched, squeezed and twisted however you like – such fun!

Kate provides poetry workshops and child-friendly readings for schools in the UK. Details on her website.

And a very warm welcome to Jenny Erlanger

Jenny’s poem, One day…, appears in BLAST OFF.

A number of times in my writing I’ve enjoyed applying a bit of a twist to common or idiomatic expressions that lend themselves to misinterpretation.  Normally when we start a sentence with “One day…”, the activities which follow are not intended as events to be completed within a twenty-four hour period. 

Any news?

I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the German translation of One Minute till Bedtime.  I’m very curious, as I’m sure many other contributors are, to find out how the German translators managed to maintain a rhyming structure in the rhyming poems they were allocated.


I am an Australian poet specialising in rhyming children’s poetry.  My anthology, Giggles and Niggles was published by Haddington Press in 2007 and since then I have had poems published in twenty editions of The School Magazine, in several issues of the Caterpillar magazine and in six anthologies : Hopscotch (Jelli-Beanz Publishing, 2011), Our Home is Dirt by Sea (Walker Books, 2016), Short and Twisted (Celepene Press, 2016), One Minute till Bedtime (Little, Brown and Company), Play (Paper Dart Press, 2018) and Fire burn, Cauldron Bubble (Bloomsbury  Publishing, 2019).

My website is a work in progress at the moment, but I can be contacted via email (

Now please welcome Sally Murphy

Sally’s poem, Rain, appears in ORBIT

I wrote this poem in 2011, and it was first published in the School Magazine in 2014, so I must confess that my recollection of when and why I wrote the poem is a bit vague. However, rereading the poem I can see that I brought together two of my favourite topics – whales and clouds., and that in the poem I really tried to extend the metaphor of the clouds as whales, focussing on their colour, their migration and the way whales blow.  I love to play with metaphor and I think that comes across here.

Any news?

My latest book is My Australian Story: Bushfire (Scholastic Australia, 2019) , and coming in 2020 I have a new verse novel Worse Things, being published by Walker Books.


I am a children’s author, poet, and teacher. I love poetry so much I spent more than three years focussing on children’s poetry for my PhD, so I like to say I’m a Doctor of Poetry, but this suggests I know everything about poetry – and really, I feel like there is so much more to learn.  The best thing about poetry, though, is you don’t need to be an expert – and I am happiest when experimenting with putting words together to try to make someone else smile, or laugh or sigh with satisfaction.  When I’m not writing I work at a university teaching future teachers. And when I’m not doing that you can find me walking on the beach, or swimming, or reading.

And welcome back Sandi Leibowitz

Sandi’s poem, Beware of Dragons, appeared in TOUCHDOWN


A number of years ago I wrote a book of poems “by” dragons, which included an entire world in it. “Beware of Dragons” was the last poem in the collection. The book never got published and I decided to work that world and the poems into a novel. This poem no longer fit the novel version and I had to edit it out. I hope my story of how the dragons moved from our known world to a world touching but distinct from ours, and their subsequent adventures, will someday end up in readers’ hands. I can’t express how much I love the superb illustration Jenny Tan has created for this poem in the School Magazine, and how over the moon I am over Geoffrey McSkimming’s superb reading. He sounds exactly how I imagine the speaker of this poem to talk—in fact, I’m wondering if he isn’t actually a dragon in disguise. 

Any news?

I write poetry and fiction for children, as well as fantasy fiction and poetry, often based on myths and fairy tales, for adults. I’ve written two books of poems for adults, Eurydice Sings and the Elgin-nominated The Bone-Joiner. 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.  



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

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