Author and Blogger, Susan Stephenson

Schoolyard Stories is delighted to feature the passionate, book loving, teacher, author and The Book Chook blogger, Susan Stephenson. Susan writes stories for children and published her first picture storybook Monster Maddie in 2010. She offers resources for teachers and parents on her website and also blogs for Scholastic Parents. She was a featured columnist in the wonderful Australian print magazine, Alphabet Soup where she offered tips on writing to children.

Her passion for helping kids read and write drives Susan to research and develop brilliant new ideas and resources that she graciously shares with parents, teachers and librarians. Here are just few fine examples. For more of Susan’s wonderful work go to

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How to encourage kids to write

How can we encourage our kids to write? Writing is one way to communicate with others. So is speaking. While speaking is a natural part of family life, how many of us write with our kids, and in front of our kids? Making sure that writing is a natural and regular part of family life truly helps our kids’ attitudes to writing. Keep reading>>

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Top tips for young writers

I have met so many kids who LOVE to write, who rejoice in the written word and getting an idea across to readers. I want to share with you some top tips your young writers can use to make their writing stronger>>

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Create six word memoirs with kids

What I love about creating six word memoirs with kids is how versatile yet creative the project is. The idea of summing themselves up in six words doesn’t daunt kids, yet they can learn a lot about writing tightly and packing punch into their work in the process. They’ll develop visual literacy skills while presenting their work too; thinking about font choice, image choice and testing different ways to make images to communicate with an audience. Learn more>>

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Helpful resources for young writers

One of the most powerful things we can do for all kids is to treat them as fellow readers and writers. As writers, we all need help or advice at some time. Here are some websites and articles that might prove useful to your children/students and may help inspire creativity>>

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Tips and prompts for young writers

All writers have days when they need something to kickstart their writing. You can find some prompts and tips for when that happens to you here>>

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Poetry with kids - creating Haiga

Susan has written a comprehensive series about poetry for kids. Her information and advice is straight forward, practical and will guide you on how to bring out the inner poet in your students/children. Discover more>>

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Children’s writing - more tips for young writers

Writers need to be story detectives, always on the alert for story ideas. People often ask adult writers how they get started, and many explain that their ideas come from all over. The important thing is to listen and observe, staying on the lookout for snippets of conversation or events to use in your own stories>>