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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.

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?

Have you been writing?

Have you been writing in 2014? What were your writing goals on January 1 and have you achieved them (as the end of the year rushes towards us)? Wouldn’t it be nice to finish the year with a completed manuscript in one hand and a chocolate thickshake in the other?

Creative Dragons principal Cherie Curtis has had a busy year in 2014, since the successful launch of her debut novel The Blood She Betrayed (under the pen-name of Cheryse Durrant) in late 2013. This book was shortlisted in the national ARRA (spec fic/fantasy category) awards and has since seen a second print run. As well as working on the next two books in the Heart Hunter series, and being contracted to write a children’s picture book for Creative Regions by November 2014, Mrs Curtis has been sharing her love of writing with others and conducting workshops for both children and adults, at various locations across Queensland including Roma, Toowoomba and Bundaberg.

Cherie’s top tips for getting that all-important story or novel written in 2014:

Be Schedule Smart: Allocate a set amount of time to your WIP (work-in-progress) every day or every week (or even once a month, if that’s the only time you can afford) – and then stick to that schedule (Yucky yuk!)

Reward yourself: Once you’ve done your hour of writing for the day (or the week), reward yourself (that could be reading a book, eating a chocolate bar or hanging with friends).

Find a writing buddy: Share your goals with a writing friend. Keep them on track and they’ll keep you on track. Make sure you check in with your writing buddy at least once a week, to find out how you’re going – and to brainstorm ideas to get that page written if things haven’t been going the way you planned.

Above all, stay excited!  Writing is part of who you are. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to run the marathon. The important thing is that you make it to that finish line – eventually. Have fun writing and write what’s inside your heart and mind.

What’s your writing goal for 2014? How are you going? Share with us on this page – and maybe you even have some tips to share with your fellow writers.


Free children’s classes during Crush Festival

Cherie Curtis (aka Cheryse Durrant) will present five free writing workshops at the Carinbundi Children’s Crush Day at the Central Qld University from 9am until 3pm on Sat, Oct 19.
Children can choose from one or all of the below workshops
Bookings can be made by visiting this website.

Free Children’s Workshops: Carinbundi Children’s Crush Day
1. Brainstorming and the Story Box – recommended age group Years 4-7

Story ideas jump up and down inside our head like popcorn in a hot saucepan, but how do we choose which ones to use for our story and how do we gather them together before we start to write. Workshop includes Clear away the Cobwebs brainstorming and utilising the story box.

2. The Tasty Story Recipe – recommended age group Years 5-7
Stories must have a beginning, middle and an end but what are the secrets to creating structure to a story so people want to start reading at the start, stay interested and are satisfied with the ending.

3. Discovering Our Senses – recommended age group Years 4-7
See, hear, feel, touch and taste. All these ingredients are important in creating a believable story world. Tutor Cherie Curtis takes children on a journey to rediscover their senses – and how to include them in their stories.

4. Creating Story Magic – recommended age group Years 5-7
Tutor Cherie Curtis provides you with a bag of plot tricks that can help you write your story from beginning to end. This hands-on workshop will focus on writing the first scene of a short story.

5. Cast Me Under Your Spell – recommended age group Years 6-7
Your choice of words help bring your storyworld to life. This advanced class reveals vital storywriting tips including how to show not tell, and how to choose active words and sentences.

Dragons fly again after broken bone heals

Creative Dragons writing classes will resume at the end of July, after the school’s Term 2 classes had to be cancelled when tutor Cherie Curtis broke her kneecap.

“Malador the Dragon is laughing at me because I broke one leg last year and came back this year and broke the knee on the other leg,” Mrs Curtis said. “I don’t mind people saying Break a Leg when they’re wishing me luck, but from now on, I’m hoping it to remain metaphorical!”

Children of all ages are looking forward to the resumption of Creative Dragon classes from July 24 and Malador even has some exciting news for students. “In Term 3, we are offering classes on both Wednesday and Thursday, since some students have extra-curricular clashes on the Thursday,” Mrs Curtis said. Parents and students can now choose from Wednesday or Thursday afternoon lessons at the Bundaberg Regional Library.

The dates for Term 3 and Term 4 are:

Term 3 Wednesday Classes:
Wednesday July 24 and 31, followed by a one-week break.
Wednesday, August 14, 21 and 28.

Term 3 Thursday Classes:
Thursday, July 25. Thursday, August 1, followed by a one-week break
Thursday, August 15, 22 and 29.

Term 4 Wednesday Classes:
Wed, October 23 and 30. Wednesday, November 6, followed by a one-week break
Wednesday, Nov 20 and 27

Term 4 Thursday Classes:
Thursday, October 24 and 31 (Halloween – Epic!)
Thursday, November 7, followed by a one-week break
Thursday, November 21 and 28.

To book your preferred day, email Mrs Curtis on cherie (at) creativedragons (dot) com (dot) au as soon as possible. New students will need to gain their parent’s permission and complete a student registration form. Please email Mrs Curtis for any further information.

Playing Snakes and Ladders at Mundubbera

Cherie chats to Mr Snake BlueMOST people run if they see a snake slithering their way but Cherie Curtis stopped for a chat when she was greeted by two bright serpents at Mundubbera today.

The snakes, Mr Yellow and Mr Blue, are part of a huge Snake and Ladder mural painted on the cement at Mundubbera, 372 kilometres north-west of Brisbane.

“Mr Blue said lots of children play games with them, especially on sunny days when it isn’t raining,” Mrs Curtis said.

The ladders in the mural, however, refused to comment. “It appears they help writers climb to the top of their game, but they’re not always as straight with children as they should be,” Mr Yellow said.

   “…I wrote about a dingo pup stealing my chocolate…”

While at Mundubbera, Mrs Curtis also visited the town’s lovely Library and Art Gallery. “I loved the Island exhibition – Rachel Koster is brilliant,” Mrs Curtis said. “There was an interactive display where visitors could write about their own island experiences so I wrote about a dingo pup stealing my chocolate bar when I visited Fraser Island – that’s a true story.”

Mr Blue and Mr Yellow shared their favourite riddles:

Q: How do snake families say good-night?
A: With hugs and hisses.

Q: Why did Cinderella Ladder dislike her mother?
A: Because her mother was a step-ladder!

Q: Why did the dragon take a ladder to the bar?
A: Because he heard that drinks were on the house!

Q: Why did the thief bring back a stolen ladder?
A: Because police had threatened him that further steps would be taken if he didn’t.

Q: What do you get if you cross a snake with building blocks?
A: A boa constructor!


Writing Classes launched in Bundaberg


Children and teens across Bundaberg will soon be able to sharpen their writing skills and push their imaginations to the limit with the arrival of Creative Writing Classes at the Bundaberg Regional Library from August.

A love of dragonsCreative Dragons workshop presenter Cherie Curtis taught creative writing classes to local children in 2007 and 2008 and said she was pleased to bring these lessons back to Bundaberg.

“Creative Dragons helps children and teenagers take their writing to the next level, whether it’s improving their wordsmithing, enhancing story structure or just thinking outside the square,” Mrs Curtis said.

“When I was employed by the Queensland Writers Centre to teach writing to children, we had a lot of fun and learnt a lot of interesting and important lessons. I’m looking forward to all that fun and creativity again.

   “…Some of my students are working on their own novels…”

“Some of my past students are now working on their own novels – and the rest are better skilled at English and writing, which comes in handy for all those assignments at high school and university.”

Creative Dragons will host creative writing classes for kids (Grades 5 to 7) and teenagers (Grades 8 to 10) at the Bundaberg Regional Library, starting in August. Children’s classes will run from 3.45pm until 4.40pm, while teen classes will run from 4.45pm until 5.40pm.

Places are limited so please book as soon as possible by emailing Mrs Curtis on cherie (at) quietdawn (dot) org.

Private classes are also available.

Draconian Gazette hits Cyber Skies

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