Our June meeting at Broadbeach library was fun as always. We had a visitor, Vincent, who is quite a talented wordsmith. We had a fun ten minute creative exercise on this little cottage…

little cottage

It always amazes me, how many variations of prose we get from everyone. I think this is one of the reasons we have so much fun in our group, as we are entertained by our different stories.

Why not give yourself a challenge and see what you can make up within the ten minutes? We would love to hear your creations 🙂

Also, I want to do a quick recap from our Burleigh Heads State School visit that Jill and I did on the 2nd May. We read some of our stories from Mystery, Mayhem and Magic, which you can buy through our link here or from Big B Books at Burleigh Heads or Bookface at Pacific Fair (we are in the local author section).

Here are some more photo’s from my collection.

Special Thanks to Janina for organising our visit. And thanks to the children who came to see us and made our day special. – Have a great weekend, Marion.

Burleigh Heads SS MarionBurleigh Heads SS JillBurleigh Heads SS Janina Marion & Jill


A fun market

The Ten Penners at The Lanes Halloween Market 002Today was a perfect day for the Halloween market .The sun was shining all day until the clouds started rolling in late in the afternoon but it didn’t rain and the movie of the night played for all the excited children who had already bounced, learnt how to juggle or hula hoop, had their faces painted and no doubt had a full belly from all the wondThe Ten Penners at The Lanes Halloween Market 003erful street food sold from quirky vans! The range of interesting food was great. And there among the plethora of market stalls was the Gold Coast Writers’ Association (GCWA) showcasing lots of local authors and answering questions for curious writers. I was there representing The Ten Penners, which is a sub group of the GCWA, along with Julie Baythorpe, Kate Russell and Jill Smith. We all had fun chatting and reading from our new anthology Mystery, Mayhem & Magic. We handed out lots of colouring-in competition forms too! Our winner will receive a fully signed copy of our new book and will be announced at our book launch next Saturday morning 10.15am at Broadbeach library. Hope to see you there! – Marion 🙂

Meet our mascot – Plinko!

Plinko photo!Say hello to Plinko. He is our, soon to be famous, character for our colouring in competitions. We are expecting Plinko to be adorned in lots of wonderful colours, and maybe even something sparkly? But which ever way the kids create, the lucky and talented winner shall receive a completely signed (by all 8 authors) copy of our latest book Mystery, Mayhem & Magic.

Download the official competition form which can be found on our Media Kit page.

So get colouring! Winners will be announced at our Book Launch at Broadbeach library on Saturday morning 4th November, 2017.       – Marion


Terms and Conditions:

Entries are for Australian residents only.

There are three age group categories for children under 12 years of age.

Entries may be sent by email to thetenpenners@gmail.com

Be sure to have your entry received by us no later than midnight on the 31st October, 2017.

Winners will be announced at our Book Launch – Broadbeach library on Saturday morning  10.15am, 4th November, 2017. And posted on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Thinking book launches…

julie at her book launch Sept17An avid reader of good Australian authors, I’m pleased to add my friend and fellow Ten Penner Julie Baythorpe to my must read list.

Last Sunday, I was delighted to be able to attend the book launch of ‘Under the Fig Tree’ another in her Reid Devron murder mystery series.

The first was ‘The Lavender Principal’, which I’ve read and reviewed already but am now reposting as I’ve now purchased the second in this series called ‘Silo Deadfall’, which I am also looking forward to reading and reviewing.

Julie is now a valued member of The Ten Penners and has written some great stories for our new anthology. Watch out for ‘Plinko’ as Julie’s little alien is our colouring competition emblem.

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

Here is the review of her first book, as you will see, she is a very talented author.

The Lavender Principal BookReview by Jill Smith ©April 2011

The-Lavender-Principal-A-Reid-Devron-Mystery-by-Julie-BaythorpeTitle: The Lavender Principal…an outback murder mystery

I found this book wonderfully written, highlighting the uniqueness of Australia. The rugged outback and its equally stoic communities and people spread out in a vast landscape make this murder mystery all the more tantalizing. With the school activities the social focus of the community, the school principal is an important, if transient, community member. The relationships between families and the local school Principal are unbalanced, when Reid Devron, starts asking questions. The dialogue in the local vernacular really draws the reader into the drama. Who did murder Neil Addison, and why?

At Somerset Literary Festival this year, I was disappointed to hear one prominent international author say she despaired for those who wrote from an Australian view point. I disagree with this and say that Australia is a setting, a character in itself, so why should we not write about this country and its people, as they are what we know?


I loved this unique Australian story and feel that it has a place on any bookshelf. Like Lillian Beckwith, her stories are based in small communities in the isolated New Hebrides, people around the world may not live in the climate or community described, but, they can read and enjoy the human experience there.

Julie Baythorpe was born in Sydney and grew up in Brisbane, she moved to the Gold Coast in 1985. She has been writing all her life. She has taught creative writing both as a teacher and a principal in classrooms across Queensland. Clearly, she draws from her experience in outlining the daily running of a small rural school.

– Jill

Google The Ten Penners…yay!

Reading is what inspires writers…

While Mystery, Mayhem & Magic is in its edit and polishing stage we are continuing to learn and grow our writing craft.

After our whirlwind trip overseas I returned to catch up on my reading.

when the lyrebird calls coverWithin four days I’d read two books, the first ‘When the Lyrebird Calls’ by Kim Kane.

I’d put this book on Goodreads before going on holiday kim kane bio picand read it in two days on our return. That means it grabbed me from the start and was a real page turner.

After seeing Kim Kane at Somerset Literature Festival earlier this year, I was intrigued to see how her detailed research would help the book evolve. I was delighted to see how the history of pre-Federation Australia wound its way into this time slip story.

carole wilkinson bio picTwo days later I’d read ‘Dragonkeeper’ by Carole Dragonkeeper coverWilkinson.

This is an amazing book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

A slave girl without a name learns how to look after a dragon and discovers her own inner strength and abilities. Ancient China, Han Dynasty comes alive within these pages.

This is a series I will need to complete, and soon.

Mystery, Mayhem & Magic underway…

Covers The Ten PennersSerious editing and finishing is at hand this weekend by the whole team.

I’m loving our communication and can’t wait to see the group next weekend to see and feel how we are progressing. Lots of positive vibes happening!

Our adventure book Mystery Mayhem & Magic is going to be awesome! I can’t wait to see what the cover may be!

Marion 🙂



Saturday 25th March

the fix it man book launch

On Saturday 25th March after another inspirational meeting with my writing buddies in The Ten Penners, I went to see Dimity Powell launch her truly heartfelt book The FIX IT Man. To say it was a beautiful presentation is an understatement.

The time and effort Dimity and her supporters put into launching this book, matched by Nicky Johnstone’s superb illustrations. I did have a tear in my eye when I heard the story for the first time The Fix it Man book launch DPon the day. Who knew that facing grief and moving forward with life could so be put so succinctly in a children’s picture book? I love it. The FIX IT Man cover

The fact as Dimity explained briefly, that she and Nicky took eighteen months to complete this work only goes to show that beautiful books can be masterpieces in their own right. Well done ladies! You are a true inspiration to aspiring picture book authors and illustrators. And of course to groups like The Ten Penners who are striving to create entertaining and thought-provoking topical stories for children aged eight to twelve-year-olds.

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 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

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. https://www.amazon.com.au/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=fan-tas-tic-al+tales

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.

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!

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