Fremantle Press authors share their top tips and tricks for storytelling: share our free poster with the young writers in your class

This term we asked some of our favourite writers to send us their top storytelling tips and tricks with a couple of writing exercises to boot. Take a look below and don’t forget to download your free poster for the classroom or order it from

Shirley Marr, author of Little Jiang, says, ‘Write about your experiences and the things you have been through. Even if you make some bits of it up. Even if you think your own stories do not matter. They really do and the world needs a whole lot more genuine and real voices.’

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Deb Fitzpatrick, author of The Spectacular Spencer Gray and The Amazing Spencer Gray, says, ‘Write about things you love. Play the drums? Write about how that feels. Love the night sky? Capture it in words. Netball legend? Include a game in your next story.’

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Dianne Wolfer, author of In the Lamplight, Lighthouse Girl and Light Horse Boy, says, ‘Believe in yourself. It’s your story, you’re the only one who can write it. Complete a first draft and then go back and edit. And edit. And edit …’

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Julia Lawrinson, author of Maddie the Middle, recommends this writing exercise: ‘Describe the room you’re in using all your senses.’


HM Waugh, author of The Lost Stone of SkyCity, says her favourite writing exercise is: ‘Brainstorm ideas for a story. Fill the page. Have fun. Give yourself permission to write down everything, even ideas you think might be silly. Maybe those “silly” ideas will lead to the brilliant ones your story needs …’


Norman Jorgensen, author of The Wreckers’ Revenge and The Smuggler’s Curse, says, ‘Start right in the action. Grab your reader’s attention in the first few lines, and then hang on tight until the very end.’

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