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School Magazine of Australia

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Does anyone know anything about The School Magazine of Australia? They were listed in the July 2008 Children's Writer in the article, "No Wasted Words. Memorable Magazine Fiction".

Here is the website

http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/services/schoolmagazine/index.htm
#1 - June 22, 2008, 02:58 PM
Stained Glass Summer, Musa Publishing
Weaving Magic, YA Romance
Finders Keepers--MeeGenius Publishing
www.mindyhardwick.com

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I sold a non fiction piece to them this year. I subbed back in the fall and it took several months to hear back, but they liked it and have already paid. Don't know when it is scheduled and haven't gotten my contributor copies yet though.
#2 - June 23, 2008, 10:05 AM
Samson's Tale (Story Pie Press)
Amazing Africa (Nomad Press)
Owen and the Dragon (Soto Publishing - 2010)
www.carlamooney.com

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What would you like to know? Although I haven't subbed to them yet, I know many people who've been published there. Lots of well-known Australian writers got a start and continue to publish pieces there. I subscribed last year so I could get a feel for the magazine and have a pile of them sitting on my desk. If you have specific queries about the content etc, fire away (it would give me a chance to crack the plastic on some of my copies - my plan in subscribing was to start submitting, but at this stage, I haven't even had time to read the magazines!).
#3 - June 23, 2008, 06:05 PM

Wow! Thanks Meg! I'm interested in subbing a fiction story to them.  What can you tell about the fiction stories? Type? Story angles? Voice? Anything would be great!    :thanks2
#4 - June 24, 2008, 08:29 AM
Stained Glass Summer, Musa Publishing
Weaving Magic, YA Romance
Finders Keepers--MeeGenius Publishing
www.mindyhardwick.com

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No problem. Let me take a look tonight (good to have a reason to actually do what I've been meaning to do for several months!) and I'll post more later.
#5 - June 24, 2008, 06:10 PM

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Okay, so it's taken me a while to go through my pile (and our internet was down for a while while we switched providers and sorted out the attendant mess - can anyone explain to me why they disconnect you, then send setup and account access information via email? The logic of this escapes me, somehow!). Anyway, here are the notes I made, including those for poetry, in case others are interested. Sorry if they're a bit scattered; feel free to ask for more specifics if there are particular aspects you need more info on. I've divided the info up by magazine (as you would know from the website, there are four different mags, each aimed at different age-groups). As well as original material, they also reprint classic poems from time to time - Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, TS Eliot etc.

Countdown (8-9 years old)

Fiction is often of the heartwarming type, often gently lesson-driven. More realist storylines than fantasy; whimsy is sometimes a feature. Often focusing on exploring the world, first experiences. Generally feature third-person omniscient narrators.
Examples of recent stories: seeing snow for the first time, losing a tooth, special needs kids, relationships with grandparents, multicultural elements, a fruit&veg store owner who plays the violin to his produce, moving house, re-tellings of folk tales, learning to ride a bike, the drought. There are some stories which feature animal protags - dogs, frogs etc.

Poetry
Poetry includes both rhyme and free verse, although more of the former. Lots of slice of life stuff, animals, humour, aspects of nature.

Blast Off (9-10)

Fiction
Again, they seem to favour third-person omniscient; mix of fantastical and realist. Lots of generational stories - relationships with grandparents etc. Seems to be more nonfiction here and a trend towards n-f disguised as fiction - stories which introduce a topic or theme and educate the reader about that, sometimes followed by related sidebars, activities etc.
Recent stories include getting a dog, recycling junk from the council cleanup, the school play etc.

Poetry includes more free verse at this level - whimsy is a feature, and there is a focus on nature as a broad theme.


Orbit (10-11)

Fiction
School/neighbourhood-focused stories, folk-tale re-tellings, lots of ‘boy-appeal’ stories – sport etc; themes such as friendship, overcoming adversity, individual strengths and weaknesses, caring for the environment. First-person narrative starts to become a feature here, although there’s still plenty of third-person.

Poetry features more free verse and greater use of more advanced techniques -- figurative language, allegory; still lots of nature/animal-focused work, some rollicking rhyme/slapstick-type humour.

Touchdown (advanced primary)
Fiction: Ranges from lighthearted/humorous slice-of-life to more serious/social justice/environmental-type themes. Recent short story topics include: children saving whales, a girl who makes a wish to lose weight and ends up on the ceiling, re-tellings of traditional stories, a fortune-teller’s prediction comes true in an unexpected way, time travel

Poetry: quite a lot of re-prints from poets such as W Carlos Williams, Dickinson, Robert Frost etc; original stuff is fairly diverse - lots of free verse, image-focused poetry, still some focus on nature/animals, also humour, whimsy – statues that talk, a land where humans have tails etc. Where poems rhyme at this level, they tend not to have the tight rhyming schemes seen at the earlier levels; there’s also more play with half-rhymes and techniques such as enjambment etc.

***

That's it for now, but as I said, I'm happy to look stuff up if you have more specific questions. I hope that helps.
#6 - July 21, 2008, 05:57 AM

Wow, Meg! Thanks so much for the excellent information. You've really done a nice job describing the content.

I noticed they buy one-time serial rights only--cool.
#7 - July 21, 2008, 08:56 AM

They mention they occasionally print longer, serialized stories--How many did you notice (was there at least one per issue?) Thanks! Also, how much HF did you see at the Orbit and Touchdown levels?
#8 - July 21, 2008, 08:57 AM
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 09:04 AM by Lenzi »

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Christy, there weren't many serialised stories at all. I had a year's worth of magazines (eleven issues of each) and there was only one serial out of all those, which ran across two issues of Touchdown. There is a recurring character who appears in many stories by one particular writer, but the stories themselves stand alone.

By HF, do you mean high fantasy? I don't think I saw any, actually. From memory, there were no parallel worlds of any kind and no fantastical creatures or anything like that. What fantasy there was tended to be based on extensions of the real world - eg plants coming to life in the garden, wishes coming true, that sort of thing.

I agree that the one-time serial rights are a bonus. I know of some people who've had work printed there which has been noticed and reprinted by other magazines, or for use in teaching materials. In a few cases, work has gone on to be reprinted/serialised many times and has ended up earning quite a lot for the writer. Now I just have to find the time to put together some submissions for them myself!
#9 - July 23, 2008, 03:48 AM

Thanks! Too bad about the low number of serialized stories (I like writing those), but maybe I'll give it a shot. It's good to know that the one you saw was only two issues long. By HF, I meant historical fiction (sorry). I took a look at their story notes for teachers on their website and that gave me some more insight into what kinds of things they are accepting as well. Thanks for your help.
#10 - July 23, 2008, 09:10 AM

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