The Ten Penners 2019

Last Saturday I joined my fellow members of The Ten Penners at Broadbeach Library to talk about writing. Me winning a competition with the result of a new anthology being produced with my story in it. Yay! 

We shared some stories and enjoyed seeing Jennifer’s illustrations. Unfortunately, Sharron left just before we took this picture and Michelle was home with a cold. However, this is proof that after many years of the group being eight or less it is now really ten! 

Always a joy to talk about writing stories for children. – Jill

Increasing literacy

I was so excited to get to Big W this morning to pick up the first free mini book that they are giving away. Sponsored with Scholastic this is so much more superior to plastic toy collections that get outgrown so quickly. Big W free books for kids  

I hadn’t read Hush Little Possum before but it is such a lovely early reader book that I highly recommend you pick up a copy very soon before they run out!


A new book will be coming out each week for 12 weeks. Lots of collecting to do!

View the full article and 12 weeks of book titles here .

Happy weekend reading – Marion

Evolving, the new members …

The Ten Penners are growing and evolving. We continue to write stories for children and now have input to our regular meetings by new members Michelle Calder and Jennifer Scicluna.

Jennifer joined us after we met at a Christmas dinner. She is an illustrator of children’s books. ‘Charlie the Cheeky Spider’ is written by Brian Dale and Charlie comes to life through Jennifer’s illustrations. She has joined us at our monthly meetings and attended Gold Coast Writers meetings with us also.

Michelle has been joining us at Gold Coast Writers meetings and contributing her editing skills. She writes middle grade stories and has been part of The Ten Penners contingent since last year.


A year ago we launched Mystery, Mayhem & Magic

A year ago the Mystery, Mayhem & Magic blog tour

Already a year since the blog tour pre-launch of The Ten Penners latest anthology! So reposting the interview Candice did with me!

Chatting with author Jill Smith about Mystery, Mayhem and Magic!

Posted: October 17, 2017 in What’s New

Today I’m very excited to be interviewing author Jill Smith, who has nine stories, repeat nine (now is that talent or what?) in the new anthology by The Ten Penners, ‘Mystery, Mayhem and Magic.’ I already love the short stories by the Gold Coast writers The Ten Penners, but being a total fan and author of mystery, mayhem and magic myself I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to chat with Jill about this exciting anthology for young readers. I hope you enjoy learning more about Jill as much as I have!

MMM cover

First, a little bit of info about the anthology:

Mystery, Mayhem & Magic is an anthology of amazing adventures for young readers!

“Take a path through the forest of imagination into mysterious journeys filled with mayhem and a kaleidoscope of magical creatures.

2lorraine b drawing king ted.jpg

From the authors of “Shock! Horror! Gasp!” and “Fan-Tas-Tic-Al Tales”, “Mystery, Mayhem & Magic” is the new anthology written by the Ten Penners … Come and explore!”

The Ten Penners Logo by Starla





jill bio pic 2017 (1)

What kind of children’s stories did you write for Mystery, Mayhem & Magic?

I have nine stories in ‘Mystery, Mayhem & Magic.’ Six of these are about a little girl called Trinny who is three in the first adventure and just on five in last adventure, all based on two beautiful illustrations created by our dear friend and now passed former member Lorraine Blomberg who created the covers of The Ten Penners two previous books‘Shock, Horror, Gasp’ and ‘Fan-tas-tic-al Tales.’ I have two further stand-alone short stories in ‘Red Beard’s Treasure Hunt’ which is a follow-on episode of a story in Fan-tas-tic-al Tales called ‘The Night Witch’. Horseplay is the other and I wrote this for my granddaughters as they love horses. Finally, I wrote a novella called ‘The Real Deal’ about a boy who can fly.

How long have you been writing children’s stories?

I joined The Ten Penners in 2008 as a sub-group of Gold Coast Writers, firstly because they were closer than another sub-group The Southern Short Story Writers that I had been attending, and, because I wanted to push my writing in a direction I hadn’t been before. I’d never written children’s stories before that. So, I was pleased to be able to contribute six stories in the last anthology Fan-tas-tic-al Tales.

ten penners 3 booksWhat other writings have you done?

I have written two Science Fiction booksDual Visions and Vashla’s World which I aim to release on Amazon shortly. Dual Visions has been developed from an e-book with a very inexperienced edit through to a self-published book with Publicious and through to the current re-release after a rework with my writing mentor. I’ve also written a young adults science fiction manuscript called Microworld which will be my next publication project.

What have you had published and in what mediums?

I’m glad to say that I’ve read and reviewed many wonderful books by Australian authors for many years and been rewarded with copies of signed books by authors such as Peter Watt, Simon Higgins, Kim Wilkins, Michael Pryor, George Ivanoff, Colleen McCulloch, Darryl Greer, Lian Tanner, Kim Kane, Andy McDermott, Julie Baythorpe, Robyn Lee Burrows and many more. I also have a blog I showcase my book reviews, short stories and interviews with interesting authors. Many of my reviews are also published in online magazines such as Gold Coast Writers eWriteabout, Jackie Hoskings’ magazine PIO (Pass It On), which is circulated in schools around Australia. On occasions, The Reading Stack and Writing Queensland, a paper print magazine for Queensland Writers Centre, have also have published my reviews.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?MMM book launch ten penners includ plinko lindy

Editing and getting the story right. Being one of The Ten Penners, allows me to have my stories honestly critiqued, which always enhances a story. I’m also fortunate enough to have a writing mentor in my friend and multi-published author Robyn Lee Burrows who gives her time willingly to have me read and rework my manuscripts.

Thanks for joining me on the blog Jill!


Jill Smith loves adventures and has nine stories in this book for youngsters and the young at heart. Now a grandmother to two beautiful girls creating stories for them gives her great joy. A long-term member of The Ten Penners, presenting our books in schools, writing book reviews and reading is a huge part of her busy life. For more about Jill, follow her on her blog: Jill Smith

Five week month…next meeting

As this is a five-week month The Ten Penners won’t be catching up this weekend but next on the 6th October. This gives us time to complete our homework and recover from the AFL Grandfinal that’s on this coming Saturday.

Plinko Heather cuddle

Luckily for Plinko, my granddaughters visited me this week and she was happy to cuddle our Mystery, Mayhem & Magic mascot.

We have more school visits in the pipeline.

So stay tuned!               _ Jill




Surfers Paradise State School visit

Crazy bookmarks workshopBook week still continues as today, Jill and I made a visit to Surfers Paradise State School, for a mini workshop with some of the kids. We had a fun and made crazy bookmarks but ran out of time to take photo’s of the kids creations. These are a couple of my example ones. You can make them into many different faces, animals of all sorts, or stick a moustache on for fathers day, maybe a Dracula or witch for Halloween. The sky is the limit. Give it a try!

Many thanks to the principal De Parker for having us and librarian aide Gayle Borodin, who presented us with a lovely certificate! Pictured here with Jill and I.

Surfers Paradise State School visit

Now we are looking forward to seeing what the kids come up with for the colouring in competition. One lucky, artistic child will win a copy of our book, Mystery, Mayhem & Magic!

Have a beautiful creative week – Marion 🙂


The Ten Penners out and about…

burleigh-heads-ss-MarionThe Ten Penners represented by Marion and Jill will be at Surfers Paradise State School on the 27th August.

We’re looking forward to again presenting our books and having a bookmark making exercise with an engaged audience of children.

Burleigh-heads-ss Jill

It should be another fun day!

We’ll be taking some friends with us to explain where we get ideas from for our characters.

Here’s Red Beard


Red Beard

Our get together in August.

Our meeting last Saturday was great. We had a new face join us. Michelle, who is very talented. And she seems keen to join us which is great. Also Vincent joined us for a second time and we are hoping he will stick around too. I love it when we have some new voices, it makes life even more fun!

August meeting 01
The Ten Penners – Aug 2018

We did a 10 minute creative on the Coles Collectables (are you collecting them?).  There were some fun angles in the stories which had us in fits of laughter!

Jill and I are making plans for our forthcoming Surfers Paradise State School mini workshop at the end of the month. We will be talking about our stories and we’re going to have a craft session making funny face bookmarks!

Have a creative weekend!




Plinko colouring comptetion Winner…

Plinko bedtimeOn the 2nd May, Marion and Jill went to Burleigh Heads Primary School and were delighted to be able to share our experience of being part of a group writing for children with such inquisitive minds. They asked great questions and were happy to see Plinko sitting in the corner of the room on the day.

Jenna 8 BHPS Plinko colouring comp winnerWe offered the students the opportunity to win a copy of our latest anthology through a colouring competition.

After Plinko took a look at all the entries, although she was flattered with all the very beautiful entries, this was her favourite.

Jenna aged 8 will be receiving a copy of Mystery, Mayhem & Magic from The Ten Penners.

Special thanks to Janina and all the wonderful support staff at Burleigh Heads Primary School for making the day a magical memory.   – Jill


PLINKO has arrived …

PLINKO 1May18Plinko has been preened and fixed up to look her beautiful best for The Ten Penners visit to Burleigh Heads Primary school tomorrow.

Marion and I will be talking to three different groups of children and we hope they’ll love PLINKO as much as we do.

Julie Baythorpe created PLINKO in two stories between the covers of The Ten Penners latest anthology Mystery, Mayhem & Magic. There will be a colouring competition and prizes for those children who answer our questions correctly. _ Jill

The Ten Penners next school visit…

PLINKO needing repairAs a member of The Ten Penners adults writing for children subgroup of Gold Coast Writers, we’ve been planning more school visits. We launched our children’s anthology called Mystery, Mayhem & Magic last year. Our next school visit is next Wednesday to Burleigh Heads Primary School.patched up PLINKO ears fixed

The day will be made more joyous with the presence of our mascot PLINKO. One of our members Julie created the PLINKO stories and her paper mache version of her little alien. She wore it to our book launch. I’m now resurrecting a slightly battered head and putting it on a stand with the clothes she wore, this mascot will stand at the front of the classroom when we do school visits. Above is broken PLINKO and right is patched PLINKO with straight ears.

I’ll be posting more about our school visit next week, and keeping you up to date on other schools we’ll be attending.   – Jill

The Ten Penners meet today…

ten penners school visit Oct17Onwards and upwards, today IS the first day of the rest of my life! There is life after 20 employment in one place. Watch out world, I’m on my way. The Ten Penners meet today and I’ve done my homework for March and April, taking a short story I wrote for a competition I entered recently. I’ve put together a pitch for my book that I’m working on for Camp NaNoWriMo this month. The sky’s the limit! Cheers all my friends.

_ Jill

More of The Ten Penners school visit 2017…

Hi friends and followers,

Just a heads up that this year The Ten Penners plan to do as many school visits as we can. The invitations have been sent and we have one already accepted, although the time and date is yet to be confirmed.

Here are a few more YouTube videos of our visit to St Joseph’s at Bracken Ridge, October 2017. Our book signing night and Jill’s talk.

I’ll post more during the week – Jill

Our February meeting …

We had a lovely meeting yesterday and to make it special we had someone new join us! Peter Boey popped in to take a look at what we do and said he would like to return to join us! We are very happy to have a boy join our all girl team. It will be nice to have a little balance. Originally, we had two men in our line up when there were ten of us. Another couple came and went, so we are hoping we don’t scare Peter away! He is already a published author and what he shared with us yesterday was wonderful.

So, this year is shaping up to be interesting. Our creative activities have been fun and stimulating. Keep watching this space as we share some of our happy times and special pieces.

Have a beautiful week.

Marion 🙂



The Ten Penners meet today – yay!

IMG_1670The Ten Penners have our monthly meeting this morning and I’m looking forward to a dose of inspiration from my friends. Lots of creative ideas will be sparked as we talk about writing, do some creative writing exercises and plan the year ahead. We hope to submit to many writing competitions this year and the first will be the Gold Coast Writers Short Story Competition.

After attending last months Gold Coast Writers meeting, I’m glad to say I was inspired by the buzz in the room and the way the new President Ocean Reeve has embraced technology to showcase audiobooks. The Gold Coast Writers facebook page in full of videos and inspirational messages. Featured authors each month and competition links. The website links to an equally motivational blog. Well done!

_ Jill

New Year plan…

anthologies by the ten penners picAfter a massive year in 2017 where we wrote, edited and compiled our latest anthology Mystery, Mayhem & Magic!

2018 is promising to be another great year.

With our regular monthly meetings returning to creative writing exercises and stimulation, we’ll be endeavouring to grow in our craft, along with working on presenting our books to the world.

We started the year on a sad note with Julie Baythorpe losing her husband. Our heartfelt condolences go to Julie at this sad time. Marion attended the funeral as did several representatives of Gold Coast Writers Association,  Gavin Fisher, Joan Songaila and Penny Ivory.

On a happier note, we are planning to visits several schools this year to promote our books. The Ten Penners are currently preparing to contact schools so that we can go out and show the world what a fun group of dedicated writers for children we are!