Writers Sought


Just lately I have been advertising for researchers and writers for the Australian Children’s Poetry blog site. As usual, I am keen to receive articles about anything related to children’s poetry (such as teaching poetry writing, compiling a collection, poetry book reviews and so on). But what I am particularly keen on are people who would like to research and write biographies about deceased Australian children’s poets to add to the A to Z of poets.

So, if you are interested, you might like to choose one (or more) of the following poets and get to work. The biographies would include the dates of birth and death and an overview of their life as poets as well as including three of their poems for children (citing publication details). If you can find any pictures (of the poet and/or their books), please send as jpgs.

Here is a list of the poets. Some of them, such as Michael Dugan, wrote exclusively for children; other poets, such as Kevin Gilbert, wrote mostly poems for adults but also wrote poems published in anthologies for children

Clive Sansom
Kath Walker
Ronald Strahan
Colin Thiele
DH Souter
Spike Milligan
Kevin Gilbert
Roland Robinson
Irene Gough
William Hart-Smith
Robert Gray
Mary Gilmore
Eric Rolls
Lilith Norman
Patricia Wrightson
Isobel Kendall Bowden
Ruth Sansom
Geoffrey Dutton
Elizabeth Riddell
Cathy Warry
CJ Dennis
Andrew ‘Banjo’ Patterson
Henry Kendall
Henry Lawson
Barbara Giles
Jenny Boult (also known as MM Bliss)
Daisy Utemorrah
Flexmore Hudson
Michael Dugan

Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!
Di Bates


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Today I have sent the following email to numerous children’s poets and poetry lovers:

‘Through the new blog site, Australian Children’s Poetry (which now has over 8,500 hits), I am trying to revitalise poetry in Australia, starting with poetry in schools. You might have read https://australianchildrenspoetry.com.au/articles/why-are-booksellers-afraid-of-childrens-poetry/ and the responses from poet Stephen Whiteside and myself, Di Bates.

Here’s a thought: if all of us with a love of and connection to Australian children’s poetry united, we might just put poetry and Australian children, teachers, publishers and booksellers on the same page. United, we can be a powerful force! We can bring poetry into schools and into bookshops. We can exert pressure on organisations such as the CBCA to fund prizes, competitions and/or otherwise promote poetry.

So, what I’m asking you today is for you to consider approaching school/s to offer to present a poetry reading. Have you done this before? Why not now? Then, send an article to me at dibates@outlook.com about your experience and the responses from children and teachers.

Your articles will be posted on the Australian Children’s Poetry blog site and then the CBCA and Australian children’s publishers will be notified that there is the beginning of a groundswell…

Am I being too optimistic? What do you think? Do you want to be part of the Poetry Revolution?’

Subsequent to sending this email, I’ve had an undertaking from our Children’s Laureate Jackie French that she would blog it on her website www.childrenslaureate.org.au and post it in her newsletter. (Thanks, wonderful Jackie!)

Poet and verse novelist Sherryl Clark wrote that she is undertaking a May Gibbs residency in Brisbane in May, part of which is presenting workshops in schools. Initially, when Sherryl suggested poetry workshops, the State Library thought that maybe there wouldn’t be enough interest and that she should offer story writing as well. Sherryl recently received a draft schedule and four of the five schools requested poetry!

You don’t have to be a poet to present a poetry reading! If you are keen to promote poetry in schools, find a half hours’ worth of poems (preferably Australian) that you think children would love to hear recited, and then contact your local school and offer to do a reading.

Become a part of the Australian children’s poetry revolution!

Friday updates

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Here are this week’s updates.



Why are booksellers afraid of children’s poetry?

Link herehttps://australianchildrenspoetry.com.au/articles/why-are-booksellers-afraid-of-childrens-poetry/



Don’t forget to check our  Competitions‘ page for end of April submission deadlines.



Dianne (Di) Bates interviews Bill Condon

Link here: https://australianchildrenspoetry.com.au/interviews/bill-condon/


That’s it for this week.




Competition result

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There was a healthy response to the 11th Kathleen Julia Bates Memorial Writing Competition for a poem suitable for a child up to 12 years. A good number of the 78 poems entered were thought to be suitable for publication; scoring on individual sheets reflects this. The average score (out of a possible 133) was 70.

Comments on each of the poems were made in good faith by the two judges, Dianne (Di) Bates and Bill Condon. www.enterprisingwords.com.au

The winners, after much deliberation, were as follows:


First prize ($150) Dianne Ellis of Wombarra NSW, with ‘The Family Cat’

Second prize ($100) Shey Marque of Two Rocks WA, with ‘Sometimes behind the Wallpaper’

Third prize ($50) Sophie Masson of Invergowrie NSW, with ‘Building Site Zoo’


Highly commended certificates were awarded to Pat Simmons, Sophie Masson, Michelle Lewry and Darrelle Spenceley.


This competition is run in the memory of my daughter, Kathleen Julia Bates (1971 – 1973).

All poets – and those interested in children’s poetry – are advised to read and follow the blog, Australian Children’s Poetry http://wwww.australianchildrenspoetry.com.au which lists competitions for children’s poetry and other valuable opportunities.

Di Bates