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From the desk...

With only ten weeks until Christmas, we have an incredible moment to look back at the last month, understand why we all feel a little out of breath, and celebrate what we have achieved. With gigs as guest podcaster, author, speaker and workshop presenter, Emma is getting out there and keeping audiences of children and adults alike inspired and enthused about the practice of writing and creating picture books. Our youngest authors, the children who are creating magic, are inspiring in their determination to share their voice and to show their peers it is possible to add to the conversation about the world that affects them too!
 
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Be Well! Discussing creativity with podcaster Jess Ferriday
  Don’t you love it when you are asked to sit with someone and talk about topics that fascinate you! I have a penchant for creativity and empathy and generosity at the moment and I was so pleased to be invited to join Jess for two podcasts, the first of which is available after 25th October. We are following up with an Imagine it Workshop for adults, focussing on techniques and tools they can use to promote wellbeing via creativity. Happy days!  
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News From Past Winners

Celebrating the success after releasing your own picture book should continue for more than a day, more than a week, actually – more than a year! The books that are created by our annual competition winners seem to be the ‘gift that keeps giving’ and it is fabulous to be able to share this image – of both of the McCullough girls, Kate and Stacey, gifting their books to locations where children are in crisis – in this case, to the Townsville McDonald House. When children have to spend an eternity away from home, sometimes the rest of their family and often their friends because of illness, any distraction is welcome, especially if the ‘distraction’ is motivating and is created by their peers. ‘The Lost Calf’ was created with Charlotte De Laine after the girls won the National Child Writes Competition in 2013. Well done and thank you for sharing x

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Melanie & Me
 

An exciting project commissioned by the Melanoma Awareness Foundation came to fruition at Art Gallery Park in Toowoomba on October 15. It was for a children’s picture book and the production was supervised by Toowoomba’s Emma Mactaggart, who is principal of Boogie Books and an award-winning author. The release of ‘Melanie & Me’ is timely with summer approaching. Tragically Australians suffer more from melanoma than the populations of any other country in the world. As a result, it is a subject that cannot be taken lightly.

 
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International Read to Me! Day March 19
This gorgeous image says everything about International Read to Me! Day March 19 – it simply works because children LOVE to be read to and whilst they understand if we are too busy, we are encouraging them to remind us we should NEVER BE TOO BUSY to read to a child! We would love to talk to you about your school or business being involved (express your interest via email: em@boogiebooks.com.au) plus we have a fabulous information kit available online.

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Lily Fabourama Glamourama
Lily Fabourama Glamourama is a glorious tale about a little girl who is trying to find one single silly shoe. Lily herself is representative of the iconic idylic childhood of those growing up in the Australian Bush, and she takes you on a delightful romp through her home, with all the characters who share her world. This book was first published in 2004 with drawings by Emma and it was endorsed by NAPCAN, The National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect because of its strong and positive parenting message. Now, with the illustrations reimagined by Ester De Boer, this is the second title from this award winning duo. The book is expected in-store in February next year!

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In the News
  We LOVE being in the news! Every time we see a camera, we throw ourselves in front of it, simply because the more exposure, the more books we sell, which in turn means we can work with more and more children! Easy peasy! Other than hanging out with children at workshops (see the previous article relating to Glen Innes) the team have also had a ball releasing ‘Melanie & Me’ for the Melanoma Awareness Foundation (more about that later in the newsletter!)  
In the News
 
 
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Helping! ‘Remember When’ Story Slam
  As ‘author in situ’ I am helping Eylece Blaikie with a story slam! Themed 'Remember When’ it is an opportunity for adults to finesse their stories in written form, before they present their story verbally. Story tellers submit a pitch and if successful, work with me to develop a 5 minute spoken story. The stories are to be told live on the MainStage of The Studio at the Empire Theatre next year. This is an opportunity to have a story developed and shared to a wider audience, with the aim of leading to greater tolerance and acceptance of all. The ideas are limitless, but could involve: stories about liberation – letting go, break ups, bust outs… stories about a musical interlude in your life – your personal anthem, mood music that did the trick… a story of chaos – when the mighty have fallen, tanking in a job interview, your biggest faux pas, tangled situations… what makes a family - stories of love and loss… stories of a journey to discovery, wanting to believe or embracing the uncertainty, superstitions, hesitations, second guessing. If you need more motivation or insights, check out the successful podcast ‘The Moth’.  
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Mama Creatives East Coast Tour
Creative souls will always flock together and as Emma spoke at the Toowoomba Event of Mama Creatives East Coast Tour, everyone was reenergised and looking forward to the ‘dash to the finish line’ with projects that may have been languishing in the bottom drawer! When it comes to Mama Creatives, think of it as T.E.D for mothers – understanding the challenges and the inspirations of women who are enlivened by the duality of both motherhood and creativity.

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Pittsworth Early Years Workshops
The Pittsworth Early Years Network is a gathering of six like minded schools in the area, sharing a passion for literacy and education. The network asked me to spend two days with them ahead of their annual ‘Reading’ festival (this year it is based around ‘Weird and Wacky’ characters) and we did a series of ‘Character Building’ workshops with all the children, aged between 3 and 6. It was a huge leap of faith for the organisers as I had, by my own confession, only delivered this workshops to ‘big kids’ and wasn’t sure how it would work! Suffice it to say – we now have the workshop well and truly road tested and it is bullet proof! The children created their own character and then were inspired to record their version of that character using drawing. For those children who could write proficiently, they added labels and descriptive words, even names and locations for their characters. Awesome really!

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Emma Mactaggart On Tour! Glen Innes
  It is simply exhilarating to go your childhood home. Even more incredible if you get to share what you have learnt along the way to adulthood with the children who attended the same school… I was a guest for two days of workshops with the children from St Josephs and worked with every year level. The Year Five children, as a gift, worked through their own version of ‘Imagine’ and created some spectacular images and words which would make for an incredible ‘Version 2’ of the book! It was also incredible to see the youngest children approach the same ‘Imagine it’ workshops with the same gusto and enthusiasm.  
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Boogie Books - Four Hot Chips
You can’t see me (publisher extraordinaire!) but I am there in the studio with author Jo-ann Capp as she is interviewed with Belinda Sanders for ABC Southern Queensland Radio. The feedback from what is Boogie Books first novella for adults (we have had lots of practice with the Child Writes text book, as well as other memoirs and a cookbook!) is still astounding, with readers agreeing the story is so readable. Jo is incredibly honest about how trauma affected the relationships with all those around her and for me personally, it gave me an insight into what it is to experience empathy for those around you, given everyone responds to crisis in different ways. For those of you who would like to have a signed copy for Christmas (go on – spoil yourself!) we are waiving the postage fee for those who order before October 31.

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Nobby State School with guests!
Two things were on my mind that day – will Michael Phelps win another gold medal (he did!) and will I survive a school visit with children from five different schools (I did!) The hosts, the children from Nobby State School (Nobby being the home of Steele Rudd, author of ‘On our Selection’) were exceptional, happily gathered their peers and made me feel very welcome. We experimented with the workshop ‘Character Building’ and fine-tuned it as we went. The premise behind the workshops was inspired by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird “You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” For us, it was a matter of migrating the student to the character, enabling them to experience a heightened sense of empathy and therefore, write more wholly from the characters perspective.

School Visits
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Imagine... In the Classroom
  The most blissful way to boost your imagination is to dip into an ‘ideas toolbox’. For two hours, be lead through exercises that promote and invigorate creative thinking. With breathing exercises and drawing to warm-up, through to doodle drawing and Frankenstein exercises for creating characters, to the use of sound, and music and visual prompts, it is a comprehensive look at all the possible motivators promising to yield an ‘idea’
$400 per session / 2 hours
 
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National Child Writes Competition Winners
Trust me when I say congratulations to you ALL especially as it is mind-blowingly scary to share your work, to have it judged and to be included or not included in the winners circle. It is daunting and this makes you the writers and creators of the future. Our whole team was incredibly impressed by the calibre of entries again this year, from Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

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