Writer & Poet


Events: February 2024


I'll be presenting at the Perth Festival Writers Weekend this month at the State Library of WA. You can catch me at two sessions on Saturday 24 February 2024 (one session is for adults and one for kids). I'll be the one waving around a shiny copy of Right Way Down and Other Poems!

TELLING TALES Sat 24th February 2024, 10am Panel for adult audience (45 mins)
Rebecca M. Newman will be o...

…Read More

Out this month: Right Way Down and Other Poems


Since March last year it has been all systems go for the creation of a shiny new poetry anthology for children called Right Way Down and Other Poems. This excellent collection includes poems by Australian writers for Australian kids. It's co-edited by me (Rebecca M Newman) and Sally Murphy and every single poem is illustrated by the fabulous Briony Stewart. We can't wait for you to read it.

Here's the blurb from Fremantle Press:

Stand on your head with Sally Murphy, explode some dynamite with...

…Read More

Poetry & me in 2023


2023 is shaping up to be all about poetry for me.

In February I received the most excellent news with an offer of funding from the Western Australian Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries to publish an anthology of poetry for children, showcasing WA voices. The anthology will be published by Alphabet Soup Books, and co-edited by Dr Sally Murphy OAM and me!  (If you're a grown-up interested in submitting poetry for this anthology, guidelines are availabl...

…Read More

Prize winning poems, a short story dispenser & 2022 events


2022 is rushing by and I have a few exciting things in store over the next few months!

Firstly, this month you can read one of my blackout poems in issue two of a new magazine for kids aged 10-14. Flight is a quarterly illustration and story magazine, featuring artists and writers from all over the world. You can check out the magazine here

17 & 18 September 2022 in Perth: I'll be teaming up with fabulous illustrator Cindy Lane to run a poem-and-ar...

…Read More

2021 A Progressive Poem


This year I’m taking part in a Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, which is running during April for National Poetry Month in the USA. (Thank you to fellow Australian poet Kathryn Apel for the invitation!) The Progressive Poem was the brainchild of Irene Latham back in 2012 and since 2020 Margaret Simon has taken the baton as poem coordinator.

During April the poem has been passing from bl...

…Read More

A magical poem anthology and a Christmas carol


In October I was thrilled to open a parcel and find a beautiful Bloomsbury anthology with one of my poems in it. The anthology is Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble: magical poems chosen by Paul Cookson. My poem is on page 97 and is called ‘Potion problems’. All the poems have a magical theme so it’s positiv...

…Read More

Pandemics, poetry, and publication


Isn’t 2020 a WEIRD year? I’ve been extremely lucky — in between all the weird stuff I’ve had some wonderful happenings, too. After my Paper Bird Fellowship event back in January, I had a poem published in the March 2020 issue of The School Magazine. This one’s called ‘The Button Jar’ and has a fabulous illustration by Cheryl Orsini to go with it.

Also in March: I was interviewed by author Nadia L King about poetry and poetry writing. You can read that interview here...

…Read More

Let’s Talk Children’s Poetry! (a Paper Bird Fellowship Evening)


If you follow me on social media, you might already know that I finished 2019 on a high note with a second place in Jackie Hosking’s rhyming poetry competition. The end of 2019 also heralded the end of my Paper Bird Fellowship. I was a Poet-in-Residence at Paper Bird for Term 4, and during my residency I was working on my children’s poetry collection, Rules for Sneezing.

Which leads me to this exciting news:

A Paper Bir...

…Read More

In which I become a poet-in-residence


The past few months have been busy! Here’s a quick recap:

This term I’m the recipient of a Paper Bird Fellowship. This means I have the use of a writing studio at Paper Bird during Term 4 while I work on my children’s poetry collection. The collection is tentatively called Rules for Sneezing. I’ve been writing some brand new poems and polishing up some old ones, an...

…Read More

Poetry magic


So, 2019 is off to a fabulous start! I sold a poem to Bloomsbury Education in the UK for their 2019 children’s poetry anthology Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble: Magical Poems Chosen by Paul Cookson. This is extra exciting news for me – I’ve had quite a few poems published by The School Magazine, but this will be my first poem in an anthology. I’m looking forward to holding a book in my hands later this year. (My poem is called ‘Potion problems’.)

Here’s a picture of me posting...

…Read More

End-of-2018 book tag: children’s books


Back in July I tagged myself to share a post about my favourite books from the first half of 2018. So it seems like a good idea to tie off 2018 with my favourites from the second half.

If you’re new here: I focus on books for under 12s. (I just don’t get through many books for grown-ups — or young adults — in 6 months.)

* = I borrowed the book from the library

**= I receive...

…Read More

Mid-year book tag: children’s books


I’ve seen a few mid-year book tag posts on book blogs recently. (No-one has tagged me, but that won’t stop me joining in.) Because no-one has officially tagged me, I’ve changed up the questions a bit to suit myself. That’s the upside of tagging yourself.

I’m all about children’s books for under 12s. (I just don’t get through many books for grown-ups — or young adults — in 6 months.)

If there’s an asterisk it means I borrowed it from a library. I do love a library.


…Read More

A new studio and other exciting happenings


Lots of excellent happenings have been … happening … around here. A few months back  I said yes to a shared studio space at Paper Bird Books and Arts in Fremantle. There are three of us being creative in the studio space. It’s light and bright, and since I started writing here (about twice a week) I’ve finished three picture books and I’ve written a good number of poems, too.

Don’t you love this mat?

Speaking of poems (and not so much about mats), The School Magazine has bought two more of my poems this year. And I’ve posted new poems to the Poetry Tag site. Here they are, and if you haven’t already, you should definitely zip straight over and see them in all their glory:...

…Read More

Thrives on neglect


New Years’ Resolutions — I have some.

Submit manuscripts to publishers.

I need to send more of my work out on submission. Shortly after coming to this conclusion: I submitted a short story to an anthology on 5th January. Pat on the back for me.

Turn my garden into a low-maintenance garden that has actual living plants in it.

Ready to plant …

I bought pots of succulents. Lots of them. I don’t love succulents — I prefer leafier sorts of plants that rustle when the wind blows (the same sorts of plants, it turns out,  that can be burnt to death by summer sun and desiccated by scorching salty winds). But, emboldened by my new resolve to stock my...

…Read More

Happy World Poetry Day!


Some of you more savvy readers will already know that this year The School Magazine is celebrating 100 years in print. To add to the excitement, today is World Poetry Day, and Jackie Hosking has talked a bunch(?)* of poets who’ve been published in The School Magazine into a poetry blog tour to mark the day. (Yay!)

My very first poem in The School Magazine was called ‘Odd Socks’, published in June 2014 — and that was the first time I’d been paid for a poem, too. The opening line of the poem came to me while I was at work one morning but I can’t remember if I had odd socks on that day. I do have a history of wearing non-matching socks. You would think that people wouldn’t notice socks … especially since I mostly get around in jeans. In fact, it’s surprising the number of Helpful Souls who will point out to you when your socks don’t match. Those same peopl...

…Read More

Autumn and baking and more poems


Since we returned from the summer holidays, I have taught myself how to make fromage blanc (with the help of the internet, and a kit), and one of my lovely sisters-in-law taught me how to make sourdough bread.

Here’s my first attempt at fromage blanc:

Fromage blanc. Weird, huh?

And here’s my latest batch of sourdough:

As you can see, my sister-in-law is a very good teacher.

I’ve also been busy poem-making, and you can see two of my recent poems over at Poetry Tag:

  1. Beneath the Backyard Lemon Tree...

…Read More

A monkey skipping rhyme


Over the school holidays we visited friends in Europe. The landscape was so different, and I took lots and lots of photos (it turns out I have a thing for bare tree branches arching over streetlights in the gloom. Especially if it also involves water nearby and/or cobblestones).

More on that later.

Today I have a skipping rhyme for you in celebration of Year of the Monkey. (Happy Chinese New Year!)

You can share it with anyone and print it off — as long as you leave my name attached to it … and do find a rope and skip to it. Well, OK — maybe not today because it’s eleventy-hundred degrees in Perth and we are all wilting...

…Read More

Spring fever


Happy spring! You can tell it’s spring because this is flowering in my garden.

Term 3 is always the busiest term of the year at our house. The calendar pages stuck to our fridge (actually just A4 sheets I’ve printed out) get so full of writing that they can’t take the weight of all that activity and they drop onto the floor … and slide underneath the fridge. Calendar pages that hide underneath the fridge really don’t help much with the Term 3 Busy-ness.

(Also, on a side note: our fridge door is silver-coloured but is not magnetic. Who makes non-magnetic fridge doors, I ask you? Where am I supposed to stick up my magnetic words for fridge-door poetry-writing? And artwork by our artists-in-residence? What am I supposed to do with all the fridge magnets that inevitably accumulate in...

…Read More

Poems in Print


The year is skipping along nicely. Here it is April and I still haven’t posted up a photo of my poem from the March issue of The School Magazine (specifically ‘Countdown’). You can see me, very excited, on the day my copy arrived in the mail:

The illustrations are by the wonderful Kimberly Andrews.

What else has been happening?

…Read More

Research for poetry writers


Lorraine reading from one of her poetry collections, Guinea Pig Town.

Today I welcome Lorraine Marwood as a guest-poster. Lorraine is the author of novels, verse novels and poetry collections. She’s here today as part of a blog tour to celebrate the launch of the latest poetry collection — Celebrating Australia: A year in poetry, and while she’s here she agreed to share some wisdom about research and poetry writers. Over to you, Lorraine!

Research for poetry writers

I’m wondering if it is universally known that poets research to gather words, concepts, ideas, and information all for the reader’s gratification? (As well as the researcher gaining much knowledge!)...

…Read More

More writing, more drawing, and a lullaby for a rat


A scene from The Juniper Tree. Collage. By me!

It’s hot, hot, hot in Perth this week. That means more tomatoes picked from my garden (yay!) and more washing flapping on the line (also yay! because it dries super fast in this hot weather, and if there’s no washing flapping on the line then that means it’s still in the laundry and that can’t be good).

Other than picking tomatoes and pegging out washing, I’ve also been writing heaps of new poems (here’s one o...

…Read More

A poem about a bullock


You can read my newest poem at the Poetry Tag site — the poem is called ‘Bullock’.

Sally gave me the following words:





What a combo!

…Read More

Writing a picture book – Tania McCartney


Today Tania McCartney is celebrating the launch of her newest picture book — Tottie and Dot — with a Blog Blast. She’s visiting a whole truckload of blogs all day today. Heaps of them. (A special welcome if you’ve blog-hopped from somewhere else to read this post!) 

Firstly, a bit about the book. Here’s what the publisher says:

Tottie and Dot live side by side. They drink marshmallow tea in the morning. Side-by-side. They water blooms in the afternoon garden. Side...

…Read More

In my garden – September 2014


I love pottering around in our (rather small) kitchen garden and I like to plant seeds rather than seedlings. I’ve got some seed packets of vegetables — heirloom varieties — but last year lots of the seeds I planted directly in the soil didn’t germinate. So this year (three weeks ago, in fact) I decided to try planting them in seed-raising trays and then planting them out. Here are some before shots:

In this tray I sowed seeds of lettuce, sunflowers, beetroot, tomatoes, tansy, and capsicum. (There were actually two trays like this, but they loo...

…Read More

Writing in Winter


The winter months have been busy ones. The most exciting Busy Thing was that I set off to the east coast of Australia for the SCBWI* conference in Sydney. I caught up with so many authors and illustrators I don’t get to see very often (because they live on the east coast of Australia). Mostly I forgot to take photos because I was too busy conferencing, oops. But here I am catching up with the lovely Katrina Germein when I did manage to organise a photo:

With Katrina Germein (I’m the shiny one. Hmm.)...

…Read More

My latest poem


I’m just stopping in quickly to say you can now read my latest poem on the Poetry Tag site. Sally Murphy’s words for me this time were:





At a first glance they feel like they belong in a loud-ish sort of poem, don’t you think?

Oh, and Happy Start of Winter, too!

~ Rebecca

…Read More

Odd Socks


On Friday I found a yellow envelope in my post office box with two copies of The School Magazine. This was because I have a poem published in the June issue of their ‘Blast Off’ magazine. (If you get it at your school, my poem is on page 7, it’s called ‘Odd Socks’.). I was especially thrilled to see Kerry Millard‘s gorgeous illustrations to go with it. Lucky me!

Then on Saturday my Poetry Tag pal Sally Murphy (who was in Sydney for the CBCA conference over the weekend)...

…Read More

The Writing Process Blog Hop


I’ve been tagged by Lorraine Marwood to answer four questions in the Writing Process Blog Hop. (Thanks, Lorraine!) You’ll find my answers further down this post  — but first, a bit about Lorraine …


Lorraine is an award-winning writer. She has several poetry collections out (Guinea Pig Town is her most recent) and another poetry collection will be out in 2015. Lorraine also writes stories, novels, and verse novels.

Check out her website...

…Read More

Playing tag … with poetry


I love reading poetry (especially out loud) and I’ve been scribbling poems in a notebook for quite a few years now.

2013 was a big year for me poetry-wise. Around the middle of the year The School Magazine sent me an email to say they wanted to publish two of my poems. If you’re in NSW and/or you are a regular reader of The School Magazine, you can read the firs...

…Read More