Net News: 31st October 2011

1. The world of movies. With Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows (Part 2) DVD release date just around the corner (expect to see it gracing the stores November 16th), deleted scenes are already making the usual appearance all over youtube, facebook and twitter feeds. Expect the wands to be out and the children to be casting anti-homework spells. Whilst we’re on the Pottermania topic, perhaps check out the Quidditch World Cup? Play begins November 12th and (sadly) ends November 13th. It’s not geographically accessible to us, down here in Australia, but I have no doubt that it will live virtually for us. May I suggest starting up a class quidditch game? The kids will be riveted. Rules are free and downloadable: Quidditch Game Rules .HAVE FUN!

2. NaNoWriMo Starting tomorrow is the 12thannual National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Annual, online and free. Of particular interest will be the Young Writers Program. It is youth-orientated and classroom friendly.

‘The Young Writers Program believes that writing is an integral part of all children’s lives. Our fun, innovative approach increases students’ skills and confidence with the written word. The impact of this amazing noveling experience lasts throughout their academic years, and beyond.’

The how to is easy as pie, and the sense of community and achievement will be well worth the month-long effort. There are resources for teachers and students alike. Well-known authors will be dropping in throughout the month with helpful hints and encouragement, and donations are all about continued education.

3. The self-publishing world The self-publishing (indie) world has weathered many a condescending storm over the years, but has the tide finally turned? Amanda Hocking, a self-published phenomenon, has recently sold-out (or sold-in, as the case may be) and signed a lucrative deal with St. Martin’s Press in America (Pan Macmillan Australia). Starting with her The Trylle Trilogy books Pan Macmillan Australia will release a book a month start January 2012.   As you would expect with an online community, Amanda has made herself completely available to her audience. There are no barriers, no us and them. A great Cinderella story to keep all your budding novelist optimistic and hopeful.

4. Innovation in Children’s Illustrations There is a great article through the age online today (31st October) about the continued evolution of children’s illustrations. When considering your next art and crafts project with the kids maybe take a page out of Sarah Davis’ book and experiment with household objects (creating a ghost from hair her dog shed!).  The effect, I’ll hope you agree, is appropriate for today. Happy Halloween everyone!  sounds spooky

5. Awards for the kids. Last week saw the Inky’s done and dusted for another year, so what’s next to sink your teeth into? The Aurealis Awards are open until the end of December with announcements to be made May 2012. The COOL Awards will be announced during the month of November. The KOALA Awards (Kids Own Australian Literature Awards Inc) will be announcing 2011 winners during the month of November. The Children’s Peace Literature Award will be announcing the short list in the month of November. Young Australian’s Best Book Award (YABBA) to be announced on the 9th of November.

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