Inspiration for writing Somerset Celebration of Literature 2017!

Somerset Celebration of Literature 2017

I have managed to get one precious day to indulge in inspirational doses of new authors and books to talk about.

Lately, I’ve been writing quite a bit for The Ten Penners new Adventure anthology. I get huge doses of inspiration from the ladies in this group and from reading children’s stories and YA’s books. It’s always great to be able to see different writers I wouldn’t normally get to meet and hear about their journey into writing.

March is fast approaching and I’ve booked myself one full day of sessions, this is who I’ll be seeing on Wednesday 15th March.

newton-robert-bio-picRobert Newton works as a full-time firefighter with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. His first novel, My Name is Will Thompson, was published in 2001. Since then he has written six other novels for young people, including Runner, The Black Dog Gang and When We Were Two, which won the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction.

His latest novel is Mr Romanov’s Garden in the Sky, published February 2017. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and three daughters.

The role of Professor Francesca Falconette, Harry Potter Enthusiast, is played by award-sunde-nadia-bio-picwinning children’s entertainer Nadia Sunde. Nadia Sunde is one of Australia’s most celebrated and highly acclaimed children’s theatre writers and performers.

An internationally and nationally awarded singer/songwriter she is also the author of two children’s books, an experienced music educator, actress, comedienne and ABC radio presenter. Nadia has written four children’s theatre shows and also works as a freelance creative consultant / producer / director / performer on adult and children’s theatre. Nadia uses her skills as a professional performer to engage children in a vibrant and interactive presentation, using drama and comedy to activate children’s imagination and creative curiosity.

kane-kim-bio-picKim Kane was born in London and went on to practise law. Her picture book, Family Forest, was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Awards, and The Vegetable Arkand Esther’s Rainbow were both CBCA Notable Books.

Her junior fiction novel, Pip: The Story of Olive, won the Barbara Ramsden Award and was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) and Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards. Kim lives with her family in Melbourne. She writes whenever and wherever she can.

Rachael Craw is the award-winning author of the YA speculative fiction trilogy Spark, Stray and Shield, with book one being recently optioned for the big screen by Miss Conception craw-rachael-bio-picFilms. Her early years studying drama developed her passion for snappy dialogue and vivid characterisation.

This, combined with her love of classical heroes, teen angst and popular culture, informs much of her creative process. Rachael writes, teaches and enjoys small town life at the sunny top of New Zealand’s South Island.

nicholas-soraya-bio-picAs a horse-crazy girl, Soraya Nicholas dreamt of owning her own pony and riding every day. There were plenty of adventures on horseback throughout her childhood, and lots of stories scribbled in notebooks, which eventually became inspiration for Soraya’s very own pony series, Starlight Stables.

Soraya lives with her husband and children on a small farm in New Zealand, surrounded by four-legged friends and still vividly recalling what it felt like to be 10 years old and head over heels in love with horses. The Starlight Stables series includes Pony Detectives, Gymkhana Hijinks, Bush Bolts and Saving Starlight.

I’m looking forward to writing a blog post about the day!

The Ten Penners meeting today!

ten-penners-feb-17-full-picWe had a very inspirational meeting today!

I loved the new stories, poems and series ideas. Now we just need to get our thinking caps on to come up with a perfect title for our new anthology.

The suggestions so far are:

Adventures, Hazards & Perils! (to follow on from the Shock, Horror, Gasp and Fan-tas-tic-al Tales – three-word play)

Magic Tales, Epic Stories, & Awesome Adventures    Or        Awesome Adventures

What do you think? We’d appreciate suggestions!



The Ten Penners inspiration…

shock-horror-gasp-coverLast Saturday The Ten Penners had a wonderful and busy meeting.

James Blomberg the son of our Lorraine Blomberg who created the covers of both ‘Shock, Horror, Gasp’ and ‘Fan-tas-tic-al Tales’. She contributed stories including ‘The Big Squeeze’, a novella, and the memorable ‘Tree of Trolls’ a rhyming story with illustrations to mafan-tas-tic-al-tales-covertch.

James brought in a large art folder of works she created during her lifetime. Several ready to be put into production as children’s picture books. We suggested ways James might be able to get her work published and that we would certainly hold her memory dear.

We intend to dedicate our next anthology to Lorraine.

Here is one of the intricate and memorable illustrations she created. I have a story idea that might go with this and be added to our next book.

lorraine b drawing king ted.jpg

2017 bring on the adventures…

The Ten Penners 240704Just confirming that The Ten Penners will be meeting in meeting room A, 10am to noon at Broadbeach library every month for the first half of 2017.
I am looking forward to hearing lots of wonderful adventures on our first day back on the 7th January 2017.
Happy New writing!

The evolution continues from the original group who created ‘Shock, HorFantastical book signing 140509ror, Gasp’ to the eight ladies who joined forces to create ‘Fan-tas-tic-al Tales’.



2017 sees the birth of a new anthology of Adventure stories for children from 8 to 14 to read and enjoy.

Happy New Year to all our readers, fellow bloggers and writers! The Ten Penners

Joyful Christmas wishes

christmas-elf-2016-copyThis little Christmas Elf wants to wish all those who’ve helped me on my writing journey through 2016 to have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year Season.

I’ve read and reviewed lots of great books. Discovered that writing groups are fun to be part of but not necessarily if you are on the committee.

The Ten Penners are a very big part of this journey. Writing stories for children has been a delight, and our new anthology is coming together nicely for 2017 publication. smiths-christmas-tree-2016

I sold another copy of Fan-tas-tic-al Tales to a work mate who is giving it to her much-loved grand- daughter.


christmas-decos-2016I love Christmas with the lights and goodwill messages and hope that the next year will bring joy and delight to all those I know and love.

The world has become a more frightening place in many ways, but, I truly believe the humanity of the world will overcome the evil and hostility that exists.

So to all readers of this blog and followers of The Ten Penner’s we all wish you heartfelt joy for Christmas and the New Year. May you enjoy your family and appreciate and love them always.   – Jill.


We write for children and enjoy the delight they share in every little thing they see. Being able to purchase books like this and read them to our grandchildren is inspiration for writing stories that we hope will be equally loved. The Ten Penners are on a mission to create a new and exciting set of short stories, poems and novellas to be delivered in 2017. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to our readers and don’t forget if you haven’t already purchased your copy of Fan-tas-tic-al Tales, we have copies in paperback and available on-line through Amazon.

Title: One Christmas Evone-christmas-eve-covere

Author: Corinne Fenton

Illustrator: Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

This is a truly delightful book and one I will be giving my granddaughters this Christmas.

Award winning Corinne Fenton has skillfully written a charming story about a girl going to Luna Park with her Grandfather. The illustrations are magnificent and the thought that Bella had been given one silver coin for the ride she chooses is a bit magical. I simply love the joyful feeling the book evokes.corinne-fenton-and-marjorie-cf-with-one-christmas-eve

Corinne has again been awarded the accolade of having Myers Melbourne and Brisbane put her book in their window as their Christmas window display.

Corinne describes the book on her blog:

The story is of a 7-year-old girl called Bella who visits Luna Park with her Grandpa on Christmas Eve 1968. Grandpa gives her a silver coin to spend on whatever ride she chooses – then Bella sees the beautiful carousel – ‘Would it be enough for just one ride?’

myer-windows-2016The back story is that Bella is of Italian descent and while her parents are in Italy visiting relatives, Bella is staying with her grandparents who live near Luna Park.

The book celebrates Christmas, family, caring for one another and people settling in Australia and of course, the magic of Christmas.

– Jill.

Kids grow up and have adventures..

The Ten Penners Christmas meeting will be at Marion’s pool side common area on the 3rd December. We are looking forward to sharing our joy of creating stories then along with delicious treats.

marion-and-jason-with-starla-and-partner-formal-nightMarion has just seen her beautiful daughter Starla go to her school formal. She is now free to explore a graphic design course next year. And it seemed like yesterday she was in our little Fan-tas-tic-al Tales launch play at Gold Coast Writers meeting in 2009.

Reflecting that the children in our lives are growing up fast. My heather-in-the-tree-great-shot-oct16grand daughters are now six and seven and exploring the world in ways we could never have imagined in our childhood.

They have never known a world without colour tv’s, computers or iphones.

When Maria did a school assignment she asked me about my life growing up and one question was – did you have a horse and cart? I’m not quite that old, I replied. But my grandmother did.


So far our next anthology has a variety of stories from aliens visiting Earth and finding us too hostile. Some picture poetry, a follow up to a story in Fan-tas-tic-al Tales called Red Beard the Pirate, another about a shrinking boy, a novella about a flying boy, a little girl who has a best friend in her talking teddy bear who manages to get her into trouble and then saves her – twice. It’s all coming together and we hope to be on track to publish in the first half of next year.  – Jill.

The Ten Penners gathering stories …

the-ten-penners-nov-16The Ten Penners are gathering new stories for the next anthology. It’s exciting and with Christmas not far away, the ideas are gathering momentum. I wrote another little story yesterday as a second adventure for Trinny. It’s all coming together!

Now that Fan-tas-tic-al Tales is available on Amazon, it would be a great Christmas stocking filler for the little ones in your life, or for the young at heart. – Jill.


Halloween Hangover…

kate-r-halloween-oct16This is Kate channeling her inner Kylie Cooper for Halloween.

If you don’t know who Kylie Cooper is you need to buy a copy of Fan-tas-tic-al Tales for the youngster or young at heart in your life. It would be a great Christmas present and its only $3.99 on Amazon


The Ten Penners will be having our next monthly meeting at Broadbeach Library Community Room on Saturday 5th November from 10 am to 12 noon. We are working on our next anthology with cover ideas, new adventure stories being written. It’s all exciting.

The new anthology project…

It’s a five week month. So, we have to wait a bit longer for our face to face catch up. But, there’s been a lot happening in the Anthology Project page. Stories, titles, and cover ideas. It’s all happening! Our new members Julie Baythorpe, Elli Housden and Louisa Wright will add a new texture to our stories. Perhaps we could persuade Jill Ford (yes the other Jill) to return to add her wit and quirky stories to the mix? – Jill.

Our new book title and cover idea

ten-penners-cover-ideaWe are getting a lot of good stories coming together for our next anthology. We’ve got – Trinny’s First Adventure, Red Beards Treasure Hunt, The Real Deal (a novella), Don’t Eat that Kai Russell!, Hood (a story about Robin Hood) and many more in the pipeline.

Here is an idea for a title ‘Exploits, Hazards and Perils’ and cover page. Very much in the idea stage. I’m certainly not an artist so it’s the concept only at this time.

What do you think?  – Jill.

Lorraine Blomberg artist …

lorraine-blomberg-artistI had been trying for some time to catch up with a former member of Ten Penners in Lorraine Blomberg. I took this picture of her when I presented her with a copy of my little story I wrote to accompany her drawing. It was an entry in the Gold Coast Writers Paint and Prose competition in 2012. She was ill at the time and I had hoped her health would improve.

collie-dog-trinny-and-ted-bear-esquire-drawing-by-lorraine-b I put a post on my blog on the 2nd November 2012.

Just days ago I managed to contact her father in law who informed me she succumbed to cancer two years ago.

I was most upset. First that she had passed, and second that we didn’t know.



She was a wonderful person, a very talented artist and a generous contributor to the writing, editing and compilation of Fan-tas-tic-al Tales. She painted the cover and was very fussy about the colour in the final publication. We will be dedicating our next book to her. The Ten Penners miss our dear friend Lorraine.

The Ten Penners exciting news…


fantastical-tales-amazon-proof-sept16Exciting news! Kate has worked her magic and we have a proof of Fan-tas-tic-al Tales to be approved ready for release in the Amazon universe.


Kate Russell – Writer 

Look what came today! The proof for the new version of ‘Fan-tas-tic-al Tales’ to be released on Amazon and as a Kindle e-book (once the other members of The Ten Penners have approved it!)

Here is Marion reading ‘The Tree of Trolls’ by Lorraine Blomberg to the students who attended at Broadbeach State School on the 22nd August.

And here I am doing my little talk at Broadbeach State School. It was a great day!

The Ten Penners Colouring Comp Finalists…

Fan-tas-tic-al Tales coverThe Ten Penners Colouring competition finalists…

At Broadbeach State School, on the 22nd August. We had a huge response to the PETAL colouring competition! These are the finalists. Go into this PDF: petal-comp-finalists-bb-state-school

The winners announced. Their copies of Fan-Tas-tic-al Tales awarded at the school assembly on the 15th September.

Wonderful entries and well deserving winners!The Ten Penners Aug16

This is Kate Russell on the 22nd August. Her little talk to the children on the day.

Go to the YouTube link –

The Ten Penners School visit…

The Ten Penners had a wonderful time at marion BB primary school visit 22Aug16Broadbeach State School on Monday 22nd August. We had a room beside the library where even my small voice could be heard.

The children were from Grades 4, 5 and 6 and we had our biggest audience in the last session. So over 250 students enjoyed hearing about Fan-tas-tic-al Tales!marion BB primary school visit 22Aug16 pic

We’ve have had lots of entries in the Petal colouring competition. Results will be announced shortly. Stay tuned!