Just wait till they see their stories published in a real book!


Creative Writing Program


Kalika Magic Talks

Karen Hughes takes kids on an amazing adventure in her new six week creative writing program. During Karen’s action-packed weekly workshops, the class will learn all about the writing process, developing the skills and confidence to write their own stories. Kids will imagine and create unique characters, build magical settings, and map the perfect plot. By the end of the program, every child will be a published author, taking home a copy of the class anthology.

Highlights

  • Fun and dynamic writing workshops
  • Emphasis on character development, setting and plot structure
  • Every child becomes a published author!
  • Fun and dynamic writing workshops
  • Emphasis on character development, setting and plot structure
  • Every child becomes a published author!
‘The class has absolutely LOVED having you here. I’ve had so much great feedback from parents about how inspired their children have been. A thousand thank yous.’ —Jane, Year 4 teacher

Stage Talks


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45 minute to one hour presentations on the magic of writing and the power of creativity. 

Karen shares her love of writing and her journey to becoming an author, from her country childhood to her time as a lawyer in the big city to her travels in magical lands.

Kids will be captivated by Karen’s stories about riding a mountain pony across the Himalaya, meeting a real shaman, climbing an ancient glacier with hobnail boots and an icepick, exploring secret caves … They’ll learn that if you look at the world in a different way, every day can be an adventure.

‘Karen is an intelligent and inspiring speaker. Her sessions are always fun, informative, and from the heart.’ —Simone Goldrick, Teacher

Full Day Visit


Kalika Magic School Visits

Karen would love to spend the day at your school. She’ll deliver a talk in the morning on the magic of writing and then two creative writing workshops on a topic of your choice. Suggestions include narrative structure, character development, imagery and other language techniques, believable settings, accessing your creativity, and more.

Suggested Workshops:

  • Creating Crazy Characters
  • Building Magical Worlds
  • A Map for the Journey – Plotting Your Adventure
Kalika Magic Talks
‘The class has absolutely LOVED having you here. I’ve had so much great feedback from parents about how inspired their children have been. A thousand thank yous.’ — Jane, Year 4 teacher


Creative Writing Program


Karen Hughes takes kids on an amazing adventure in her new six week creative writing program. During Karen’s action-packed weekly workshops, the class will learn all about the writing process, developing the skills and confidence to write their own stories. Kids will imagine and create unique characters, build magical settings, and map the perfect plot. By the end of the program, every child will be a published author, taking home a copy of the class anthology.

Highlights

  • Fun and dynamic writing workshops
  • Emphasis on character development, setting and plot structure
  • Every child becomes a published author!

Stage Talks

45 minute to one hour presentations on the magic of writing and the power of creativity. 

Karen shares her love of writing and her journey to becoming an author, from her country childhood to her time as a lawyer in the big city to her travels in magical lands.

Kids will be captivated by Karen’s stories about riding a mountain pony across the Himalaya, meeting a real shaman, climbing an ancient glacier with hobnail boots and an icepick, exploring secret caves … They’ll learn that if you look at the world in a different way, every day can be an adventure.

‘Karen is an intelligent and inspiring speaker. Her sessions are always fun, informative, and from the heart.’ – Simone Goldrick, Teacher

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Kalika Magic School Visits

Full Day Visit

Karen would love to spend the day at your school. She’ll deliver a talk in the morning on the magic of writing and then two creative writing workshops on a topic of your choice. Suggestions include narrative structure, character development, imagery and other language techniques, believable settings, accessing your creativity, and more.

Suggested Workshops:

  • Creating Crazy Characters
  • Building Magical Worlds
  • A Map for the Journey – Plotting Your Adventure
A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe. —Madeleine L’Engle

Creative Writing Program


Week 1: Creating Crazy Characters

Everyone thinks and acts differently, and a good writer uses these differences to drive the story. Today we’ll brainstorm new characters, thinking about appearance, distinguishing features, favourite foods, favourite things to do, family background, etc. Then we’ll role play our characters for a fun news interview. Is your character a feisty redhead with a cannibal king father? Is she a clever spider who can write, with a best friend called Wilbur? How did she feel when she met Mr Tumnus under the lamp post?

Week 2: Building Magical Worlds

Another session of wonder and surprises, where anything is possible. First we’ll look at magical places like Narnia, Hogwarts and the 78-Story Treehouse, discussing what makes these places special. Then we’ll take our characters to a desert island, using our five senses to explore the island and finding much more than we expected.

Week 3: A Map for the Journey 

Stories have an outline – a beginning, a middle and an end. Today we’ll talk about how to start a story with a bang and hook the reader from the very first sentence. We’ll think about the complication and how it propels the character into the action, getting the story rolling. And we’ll discuss what our main character wants, what might stop him getting it, and how this will drive the story.

Week 4: Time to Write!

Sharpen your pencils, it’s time to put it all together. Today we begin the first draft, using the characters, setting and outline we’ve developed over the first three weeks. First drafts are wild and crazy, and often make no sense at all. Punctuation doesn’t matter. Spelling doesn’t matter. We’ll worry about that later. Today we write and write and write!

Week 5: The Second Draft

This is the easy part. We’ve written the story – now we have to knock it into shape. Does it make sense? Does it need anything else? Are the commas in the right place? Would it be better with a new paragraph here or another sentence there? Time to get out our red pencils and scribble.

Week 6: Polishing your Masterpiece

How do you get a story published? What does an editor do? We’ll put the final touches on our stories and hand them over to Karen for a professional edit, and then we’ll talk about the practical process of publishing a book.

We’ll wrap it all up with a big celebration. It’s been hard work and lots of fun, and in a few weeks our stories will be published in a real book!

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To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark. —Victor Hugo

Kindy and Preschool Visits

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While the Kalika Magic series is most appropriate for 8-12 year olds, Karen loves reading to younger children and sharing fun craft activities.

Author Talks

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Combine a school visit with an evening author talk at your local library or community centre.

I don’t write for children. I write. And somebody says, ‘that’s for children’. —Maurice Sendak

Indie-Kalika Magic

Kai - Kalika Magic

Make a Booking


Karen visits schools all over Australia exploring the major themes in her books – connection, courage, possibility, and wonder. She is passionate about inspiring children to live a creative life. Having four children of her own, she understands that each child brings different gifts to the world and she believes every child should have the opportunity to shine. 

Karen is available for school visits at ASA rates. The cost of  the Creative Writing Program will vary, based on the size of the group and location of the school. Karen can deliver the program in one intensive week or in six weekly sessions over the term.


'Karen was wonderful, the students found her engaging and informative. Her talk about the inspiration behind becoming an author was insightful and the students found it extremely interesting. The students then attended workshops on character and setting development. Karen shared her experience openly with the students and then I found they were motivated and inspired to create their own characters. The workshops were fun and the students really enjoyed their time with Karen. It really inspired the students to think about their own creative writing and how they could improve their character development.'

– Jeanette Dumbrell, McAuley Catholic College

Send us an email

Creative Writing Program


Every child becomes a published author in this exciting workshop program. Includes six workshops, story editing, book design, layout and printing.

Please contact us for more information.


Talks and Workshops


45 minute to one hour presentations and workshops, tailored to the age and size of the group.

$200 per session

$450 per half day (9am-12pm)


Full Day Visit


One hour talk followed by two creative writing workshops tailored to the age and size of the group.

$650.00 per day (9am-3pm)

All prices are ex.GST.