Writing For Kids: The 10 Keys To A Great Story

Writing For Kids: The 10 Keys To A Great Story

WRITING FOR KIDS: The 10 keys to a great storyI’m over visiting Scarlet Paolicchi at Family Focus blog this week, talking about writing for kids, and the 10 keys to writing a great story.

This post is based on a new workshop I’ve created for school visits called ‘Unlocking The Story Code’, based on, you guessed it, The Book Of Secrets, and so far it’s proved very popular, with great teacher feedback.

I love developing new workshops for classroom visits. My ‘Mapping Your Story’ workshop, themed around The Mapmaker Chronicles, takes in images of beautiful old maps, while the ‘Find Your Writing Superpower’ workshop is full of bright colours and superheroes.

Huge thanks to the fabulous Maxabella Loves who takes all of my ideas and turns them into cracking visual presentations.

If you’d like to find out more about my workshops and author talks for schools (and for adults for that matter), you’ll find some details and contact information here.

And you’ll find the full post of Storywriting For Kids: How to write a great story here.

News, reviews and giveaways

News, reviews and giveaways

News, Reviews and Book Giveaways at allisontait.comNews

I spent the day yesterday with 200 young readers from across the Illawarra region, as a guest author at the CBCA NSW (Illawarra) Literary Luncheon. It was my third literary luncheon with the wonderful Illawarra team and the event just gets bigger and better each year. It’s always such a pleasure to sit down and talk books and writing with keen young readers and writers.

Of course, I cleverly got no photos of the day…

My next author event is on Saturday 19 August, when I’ll be teaching a one-hour workshop at the Writers’ Unleashed Festival, which is put on by the Fellowship of Australian Writers, Sutherland Shire. It’s a terrific program and ticket sales close on 12 August, so get in quick!

In other news, Val and I were tickled pink to see the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast on this list of 20 Podcasts That Will Have You Penning A Bestselling Novel In No Time. We’ve created a brand-new Facebook group for our thriving podcast community and we’d love it if you’d join us!


With the launch of The Book Of Secrets getting closer and closer (cue: much gnashing of teeth before 12 September), my focus is very much, at present, looking forward. Which is why this new review of The Mapmaker Chronicles series gave me such surprise and pleasure.

I was also thrilled to see that The Book Of Secrets has its first Goodreads review – and it’s five stars! Why not add it to your Goodreads ‘want to read’ list, or pre-order here.


The Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook group now has 2000+ members and, to celebrate, Megan and I have four terrific book packs to give away. You’ll find all the details and terms and conditions here. Entries close 15 August, 2017, at 11.59pm (AEST).

The #writeabookwithAl August 2017 version is about to kick off!

The #writeabookwithAl August 2017 version is about to kick off!

#writeabookwithal august 2017 writing challenge beginsAre you writing a novel, for children or for adults? Or would you like to be writing one? Why not do it with me?

Despite the fact that I thought I wasn’t going to be undertaking any #writeabookwithAl writing challenges until NaNoWriMo on 1 November, it seems that fate has other ideas.

Actually, my dear friend Anna Spargo-Ryan has other ideas.

Anna is working on a new manuscript, which will no doubt be as brilliant as her latest release The Gulf, but is struggling with accountability. So we had a chat, and, somehow, here we are again, beginning on 1 August 2017.

The way #writeabookwithAl works is simple: I write a book (which I really need to do anyway) and you write along with me. I post my word counts each day – and, trust me, they range from zero to thousands (and yours will, too), and you let me know how you’re getting on.

There’s no deadline for this one, simply because I know what my next month or two looks like, but I’ll be aiming for six weeks or so for 50,000 words (and I will not beat myself up if it takes longer – and neither will you).

We have a hashtag (because if there’s no hashtag did it really happen?) and the absolute best place for you to get involved is here on my Facebook page, because that’s where I tend to be, late at night, with my word counts.

In the past, #writeabookwithal has been a terrific community event, with a large group of writers supporting each other, and I hope this time around will be no different. Keep an eye out for #500in30 prompts on Twitter (I’m here and Anna is here) and other challenges to keep your manuscript growing.

If you’ve done my Creative Writing 30-Day Bootcamp, you’ll know the power of accountability (and if you haven’t done it, feel free to do it alongside #writebookwithal to supercharge the 10,000-word goal!).

If you’re wondering how you can possibly make time to take part, check out my Make Time To Write online course here.

So, sharpen your pencils, fire up  your computers and do whatever you need to do between now and 1 August to join in.

I’ll be working on a brand new A.L. Tait manuscript. With four books now published in The Mapmaker Chronicles series, and with The Book Of Secrets, the first book in my new Ateban Cipher series coming on 12 September (book #2 in March 2018), it’s time for me to think about what A.L. Tait does next.

I’ve done the research and written the first few thousand words. I’m excited!

Will you join me? What will you be writing?

You can now buy The Mapmaker Chronicles (1-3) in the US and Canada!

You can now buy The Mapmaker Chronicles (1-3) in the US and Canada!

The Mapmaker Chronicles series is now available in the USA and Canada through Kane Miller. For kids 9-13 years. Read more and buy here.Well, it’s happening. The first three books in The Mapmaker Chronicles series are on sale in the USA and Canada, through publisher Kane Miller.

You can buy the books via the links below:

Race To The End Of The World (The Mapmaker Chronicles #1)

Prisoner Of The Black Hawk (The Mapmaker Chronicles #2)

Breath Of The Dragon (The Mapmaker Chronicles #3)

The company works a little differently to most publishers and does not sell through Amazon. You can read more about why, and how they do make their books available, here.

If you’re new to my site and would like to find out more about The Mapmaker Chronicles, visit the series website here to read about each book,  and for extracts, resources, reviews, FAQs, teachers’ notes and more.

And that’s about all I can write now because I’m TOO EXCITED TO TYPE.

Oh wait, please tell your friends! Share the news far and wide. Shout it from the rooftops. Or just whisper it to the person next to you. I would very much appreciate your help to spread the word.

Today’s the day! The Mapmaker Chronicles now in the UK!

Today’s the day! The Mapmaker Chronicles now in the UK!

The Mapmaker Chronicles, out now in the UK!Another exciting day in a month that has already left me fairly breathless!

The first three books in The Mapmaker Chronicles series are now available for UK readers, through Little, Brown Books.

You can get your copies

Here at Amazon

Here at Waterstones

Here, direct from the publisher (once they’re back in stock!)

Or check in with your local bookseller

You’ll find more information about the entire series, plus teachers’ notes, reviews, map activities, author FAQs and other resources here at the official website. If you’d like to read a review that encompasses the entire series, you’ll find one here.

And please let me know if you spot one in the wild!

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