I’m looking forward to talking at the English Teachers’ Association Annual Conference ‘To unpathed waters and undreamed shores’ next month on the topic of ‘Inspiring Students to Tell Their Stories’ – which will involve looking at where to find ideas for stories, and also the ‘building blocks’ of story telling. And my challenge to you is: how many story ideas can you weave around the pumpkin picture? Scenes and photographs are just some of the items I’ll pull out of my ‘story box’ to initiate story ideas. My talk is sponsored by Reading Australia, a service that was created through the Cultural Fund under the aegis of the Copyright Agency. The aim of Reading Australia is to showcase the work of leading writers and illustrators, and provide in-depth teaching resources on Australian literature created by professionals in the field, which include classroom activities, discussion points and assessments, plus multimedia and online resources. Check out their site for more information: www.readingaustralia.com.au. Hopefully my talk will also inspire teachers to invite more authors into their schools to guide students through some hands-on creative writing experiences! And for my last word? I’ll be interested to hear your pumpkin ideas – I might even steal some for my talk! And I’ll share my own ideas with you in my next blog AFTER the conference!