Category Archives: Dragon News

WingBeat with Creative Dragon Siane Lea

 Siane Lea threads her love of suspense into every story she creates, whether it’s dangerous dinosaurs, secret fairy worlds or kids on a quest.

The Toowoomba East State School student’s greatest dream (apart from owning a pony) is to have a collection of her short stories published as a book.

“I like coming to Creative Dragons, I want to learn more about my stories and the craft of writing,” Siane said.

Quick Q&A: Siane Elizabeth Lea

Age: 11

Favourite genre: “Mystery. I like to try to solve the mystery.”

Favourite colour: Aqua

Favourite breakfast: Croissants

What are you writing? “Short stories. I want to create a book of 10 short stories.”

Cat or dog lover: Neither. Horse lover.

Three storybook characters you’d love to have lunch with: Estrella, Tijo and Hold On (and so many more!)

Three things you’d need to pack if you were being kidnapped by dragons: The ability to make friends with dragons, and food and water that the dragons can’t take away from you.

Favourite possession: Family.

Favourite book: The Horses of the Dawn series.

What gift do you never-ever wish to be given?  The ‘gift’ of a curse.

Creative Dragons will run after-school creative writing classes at Toowoomba East State School on Tuesday afternoons during Term 2. For more information, visit registrations or email

Art is… a piece of cake (Feats of Fantasy with special guest Tiffany Flanagan)

Tiffany Flanagan’s sumptuous groom cake—a spellbinding dragon guarding his precious treasure of an ancient grimoire—deserves space in an art gallery, not the bellies of wedding guests. But this original creation is totally edible. The amber fire-breather is even fashioned from Rice Krispies® Treats.

Work in progress video for the grooms cake. The dragon is made from rice Krispy treats and the book is cake.

Posted by Tiffany Flanagan Art on Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Thankfully, I was able to feast my eyes on it before it was gobbled up and gulped, stirring my creative passions and my desire to seek out MORE Tiffany Flanagan artwork, and maybe the story behind her art.

To my joy, I discovered a treasure trove of fantastical art and antiquities, curated by the inimitable Dr VonDrachen (more on her later), and Tiffany has been gracious enough to share with us today. After all, art inspires art, and artists inspire others.

I hope Tiffany’s story (and her breath-taking artwork) inspires you as much as she inspired me.

Create Bold. Write Bold. Live and Be Bold. Cherie


Cherie: Welcome, Tiffany. Your work is amazing! How long have you been an artist?

Tiffany: First, thank you so much for your kind words I am so happy you enjoy my work. Next, I have always been artistic, from a very young age. I always had a love for creating. I only really started applying what I loved when I opened up my own cake company about 8-10 years ago.

Cherie: What do you think about when you create?

T: This will sound crazy but I think of nothing. I allow thoughts to come and go and I don’t hold onto any of them. It’s being in the flow, allowing the soul to take over and not think. Thinking just creates doubt.

C: What advice do you have for young people?

T: Never give up…with practice you can be good at anything! Even it is just a little bit at a time, over time you will just get better and better.

C: Tell me about your early years.

T: I grew up in Rhode Island. I enjoyed living in my beachfront cottage with my mom, dad and little sister. Every day, I would enjoy exploring the rocky coastline for treasures. In my late teens, I spent time with my highschool sweetheart Mike (who was also an artist) and my best girlfriend (who is still to this day my bestie). My boyfriend and I used to take classes on how to swing dance and we would be the crowd favourite at dances.

C: What inspired you as a child? Do you have a favourite novel from your childhood?

T: I think what inspired me was my Father…he used to do these really cool doodles on scrap paper! As for a favourite novel, well, I loved the RL Stine collection and when I was older I picked up historical romance novels. Ha!!

My magic- from start to finish.

Posted by Tiffany Flanagan on Wednesday, 24 February 2016

C: Did the art inspire the cake making, or the cake making inspire the art?

T: Cake making came first. I had my own company for years then decided it would be better on my family to work for someone, so I did. I worked for a well-known company for years then got into a major car crash going in to work one day. I broke my back in many places and while recovering I discovered I loved working in polymer clay.

C: That would have been incredibly painful. Did art play a role in helping with your recovery?

T: Yes, art was one of my saving graces because when I created I would enter into the “flow”. This allowed my mind to focus on something besides the pain. I would also do a lot of meditation, this would help, too. When I talk to people going through back surgery I tell them: Be patient, the pain will be there and then it will slowly get better and better. To this day I still suffer from pain but I do small amounts of yoga to help from stiffing up. Exercise helps a lot, too!

C: Do you feel sad when you design an amazing cake that you know will be eaten?

T: Yes, it’s an awful feeling to know your work is only here for a short period of time. To be honest, that is why I work in clay these days. I know that it will last and last.

C: You sell your amazing art on the fabulous Dr VonDrachen’s Cabinet of Curiosities website and Etsy. Where did the idea of Dr VonDrachen come from?

T: The good doctor is just an outlet to allow me to create anything in any medium, including writing.

C: What is the significance of her skull face?

T: It’s a mystery as to what she might look like. This allows the reader’s imagination to have her look or be anyone they want.

C: You have a fabulous Dr VonDrachen voice. Have you written any books yourself?

T: Haha, no. I really don’t think I am strong at writing but maybe it’s something I should exercise.

C: Yes, absolutely! Are you a horror or curiosity fan, or do you lean towards other spec fic sub-genres?

T: That’s hard because I love them all, but I guess these days I love more of the curiosity, fantasy side. I really don’t like lots of blood and guts or slasher films. They don’t inspire me.

C: Ditto. What is your favourite art ever created?

T: Sculpting. I love looking at marble statues. To this day, it boggles my mind as to how it was accomplished!!! ((Aliens))

C: What projects are you working on right now and what’s your inspiration?

T: My latest project is doll making. They are commissions and are fairy tale inspired. Also, talking of inspiration, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without my two favourite cheerleaders: my amazing supportive husband of 15 years, Jeffrey, and my awesome son, Nolan. They bring out the best in me.

C: Does that mean your studio is neat or messy?

T: Messy.

C: What star sign are you? Are you a planner or a spur-of-the-moment girl?

T: I’m a Virgo. I kinda do both. It makes me feel good when I am organized but half the time my ADD kicks in and there is no stopping me from creating something.

C: If you could spend a day with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be?

T: Jim Henson, Tim Burton and George Harrison.

C: If you could have dinner with any three storybook or film characters (any galaxy, Wookies included), who would they be?

T: Hmmm, this is a good one. I would say Vanessa Ives (Penny Dreadful), Jareth (Labyrinth) and Mary Poppins.

C: Finally, a few quick questions: Cat or dog lover?  T: Cat.

C: What do you eat for breakfast?  T: Egg and Spinach.

C: Favourite shade of nail polish or gel?  T: Pink.

C: Favourite novel or TV series?  T: Ancient Aliens.

C: Name three special things you keep on your desk or in your studio?  T: Stickers from friends, artwork from my son and pictures.

C: What possession will you never-ever give up?  T: Art.

Cherie: What gift do you never-ever want to be given?

Tiffany: Hmmm… the gift of seeing dead people.

Tiffany, thank you so much for sharing your inspiring thoughts and awesome art with my students and readers. Discovering your work at the start of this year has personally inspired me and I’m looking forward to seeing what new creations you have in store for us all in the future. Happy Rhode Island-ing and I hope the weather gets warmer soon! Cher

Postscript: Tiffany sourced the groom cake text from an ancient spell book found beneath the floorboards in a villa once belonging to Abbé Bérenger Saunière, whose conspiracy theories surrounding the Rennes-le-Chateâu were later the inspiration behind Dan Brown’s bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. You can view copies of the original pages here.

Art and fantasy lovers (and everyone else!) can view Tiffany’s art at her Dr VonDrachen website, her Facebook page or Etsy.


WingBeat with Creative Dragon Celina Mouzouris

Celina Mouzouris is so enthralled by the world of dragons that it’s hard to believe she hasn’t yet sprouted scales and wings.

“I’ve been drawing mythical creatures since I was five but then—out of nowhere—a few months ago, five dragons jumped into my head and I started writing. That was the first day of Term 4, last year,” the ten-year-old said.

Celina’s multiple-book fantasy series centres around five guardian dragons who come together to save their world from evil dragons.

“Normally, I like the baddies better than the goodies, but my heroes—Midiran, Drainbow, Winstance, Portia and Viggo—are very interesting. Midiran is the hero and his best friend is Portia, who is very smart. Drainbow is the strong and stupid one,” she said.

Creative Dragons is looking forward to seeing Celina complete her dragon series, which is filled with entertaining characters and action.

Quick Q&A: Celina M

Age: 10

Favourite genre: Fantasy fiction. “I love reading and writing about mythical creatures like dragons and leviathans.”

Favourite colour: Aqua.


Favourite food: Homemade chicken nuggets.

Favourite breakfast: Hash browns.

What are you writing? Midiran’s Fleet.

Cat or dog lover: “No. It’s all dragons.”

Three storybook characters you’d love to have lunch with:  Direclaw, Skelatonar and Darkdestiny (PS: These are all dragons).

Three things you’d need to pack if you were kidnapped by dragons:  “Who cares? Just let them take me…”

Favourite possession:  My drawing skills.

Favourite book: Talons of Power (Book 9 of the Wings of Fire series by Tui T Sutherland)

What gift do you never-ever wish to be given?  To control dust mites.

2017 Registrations now open


Registrations for our 2017 creative writing programs are now open.

Creative Dragons conducts weekly, after-school creative writing classes at various schools and libraries around the district, including Toowoomba, Highfields and Oakey.

Classes are tailored to two age groups:

  • Apprentice Dragons (Years 5-6) – $160/term
  • Master Dragons (Years 7-12) – $180/term

To register your child for the after school classes, please download and complete the After School Classes registration form and email to bookings (at) creativedragons (dot) com (dot) au

Creative Dragons also is developing an on-line program for students who wish to participate in regular creative writing classes but cannot access face-to-face classes in regional centres. Fees are $330 per semester. To register, please complete this Online Classes registration form and email to bookings (at) creativedragons (dot) com (dot) au

Here’s to a fabulous 2016!

2016 was a historic year for Creative Dragons as founder Cherie Curtis (that’s me) moved cities.
The year was filled with lots of travel and workshops but, more importantly, fabulously talented children. Today, I’m sharing a few memories of the year before we launch our 2017 program:



Here’s me performing at QWC’s Bundaberg Whispers event (Alowischus), alongside fellow writers Dianne Wills & Sue-Ellen Pashley.







My picture book was showcased at an international conference in Prague. Publisher Shelley Pisani then took the book to various other locations in Europe, including St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.







I met the Easter Bunny (aka Melanie Saward) at the National Speculative Fiction Convention in Brisbane at Easter.




Leaving behind a cloud of dust, I arrived at Injune, south-western Queensland, to present writing workshops in conjunction with a series of farm safety events across the Maranoa.





Guest speaker at the farm safety events was ex-footy legend Shane Webcke, who spoke with passion about his family and career. Here we are promoting the legendary Dads Read program – Be their reading legend.






Injune resident Haylie brainstorms story ideas on the whiteboard. Wallumbilla was our next stop.









I caught up with two of my fave fans (and old friends), Alaynah and Karyssa Rofe, at one of my “Worlds of Fantasy” workshops at the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery.








Shared chapters with the Qld Writers Centre’s gorgeous CEO Katie Woods at Bundaberg WriteFest.







The youngest attendee at this year’s WriteFest was Alex, sharing info with picture book author and aunty Kris Sheather.






Said hello to emerging author Susannah Birch and Child Writes’ Emma MacTaggart at the USQ Bookcase cocktail party, which included the announcement of the Bruce Dawe National Poetry and Get Writing award winners.







Shared centre stage with internationally bestselling fantasy author Kylie Chan at the USQ Bookcase event.







Taught some highly imaginative children “How to Train Your Sea Dragons” at this year’s Kids Crush Event, part of the annual Crush festival.







Met fledgling writer Rory at Kylie Chan’s Creating Characters workshops.



I hope 2016 lived up to your expectations. What are your dreams and goals for 2017? Have you written them down and started working towards them? A goal may seem almost impossible when you start out but if you break it into smaller, manageable chunks, you’ll soon find you’ve made inroads and that final stretch is only a hop, step and a jump away.

Don’t miss out on this Misadventure in Bundy

cher-di-sandy-500x328A new exciting creative writing program for teenagers is coming to the Wide Bay in 2017.

Dr Sasha Mackay and the flamboyant Di Wills (pictured with Sandy and I at left) are part of the genius team launching the fabulous MisAdventurers explorations in writing program at the Creative Regions headquarters, North Bundaberg, in January.

Designed for high school students, aged 12 to 17, the workshops aim to inspire and teach young writers to be confident storytellers across multiple genres and platforms.

I’m delighted to see Creative Regions launch this program in Bundaberg and am looking forward to seeing the fruits of their efforts.

For further information, check out The MisAdventurers.

Scholarships extended by another week

Term 3 Creative Dragons scholarship applications have been extended until Monday, June 27.

Application for after schools scholarship 2016 Rory & CheryseAfter yesterday’s article in The Chronicle, Cherie Curtis was contacted by parents and asked if the scholarship application deadline (which was tomorrow) could be extended – many parents hadn’t known about the scholarship and were asking for more time to apply.

For those who wish to apply, simply download this form and email to, along with a one-page essay by the prospective student, explaining why they feel they should be chosen, as well as 1-3 sample pages of their creative writing.

Scholarship recipients will be announced on Wednesday, July 6, via this website.

Writing grants take young scribes to greater heights

The Toowoomba Chronicle today featured Creative Dragons’ move to Toowoomba and the writing scholarships on offer to children and teenagers in the Toowoomba region for Term 3.

What captured my attention the most was the news article reference to me as a “Toowoomba author”. I haven’t lived in Toowoomba for many years. For the past few years, I’ve been a Bundaberg or Bargara author, or Queensland or Australian. The “Toowoomba author” signified that I am embarking on a journey to new horizons where I’ll be embracing new personalities and new challenges. What will my new writing students be like? And what talents are hiding inside them, waiting to be unleashed?

The countdown is on. Five weeks until I arrive. How many wonderful discoveries will I find. I cannot wait.

If you haven’t read about Creative Dragons’ move to Toowoomba, and the writing classes I’ll be teaching there, check out The Chronicle article here or read here.





Snail Mail adds magic to my day



Do you like writing? Do you also like receiving letters via the old-fashioned letterbox at the front of your yard? Delivered by a real, live postman on a noisy motorbike?

One of my greatest joys is receiving snail mail from close family and friends. I never know who might write to me – or what their latest news might be. It takes time to write snail mail, but that also makes the treasure all the more prized.

This week, I had double the trAunt & Niece letters SMALL croppedeasure in one day. These two snail mail letters (left) arrived in my letterbox. They were cause for a special celebration because my nine-year-old niece, Katie, wrote to me for the first time. The other letter was from my 90-year-old aunt, Miriam. This is probably the 900th time she’s written to me, but no matter how many times I receive a letter from her, it still feels wonderful, like she’s actually visiting me in person.

I’m so happy that my niece and nephew have discovered the same joy of letter writing and receiving that my aunt shared with mlonge from a very young age.

Have you ever written to a relative or a friend? Writing snail mail helps clarify your thoughts, discover your writing voice and enables you to share with friends. Will you accept the Snail Mail challenge? Who can you write a snail mail to today?