Helping Writers Tell Stories

Author Spotlight

Author and Illustrator

Kay Morrison and Elizabeth Kent

Kay Morrison has teamed up with Elizabeth Kent to publish their first picture book – The Prickly Princess and the Pixies. The inspiration came from Liz’s beautiful garden with its native flora and fauna. The Giant Prickly Stick Insect is the main character of the book and was spotted by Liz in her garden. Amazed at this insect, Kay said ‘We thought it would be a good idea to share the factual information on this insect using fantasy.’

Kay wrote the story, and Liz added to the story with her illustrations. They found the collaborate which consistent of back and forth emails and phone conversations, was a natural extension of their friendship.

Kay has been writing since she was a child. ‘I have written many short stories, poems, and both adult and children’s play scripts. I have had some of these published in anthologies and have directed many of the plays that I have written,’ said Kay.

This has been Liz’s first illustrated book. However, she has had considerable experience in all sorts of arts and crafts. As a child, Liz was keen to do a Commercial Artists course but being one of eight children, Liz’s Mum could not justify the expense. Liz especially likes working with watercolours as they are very transportable, and you can take them with you when you are travelling.

I asked Kay – What Next? ‘The next book will be a continuation of the Prickly Princess and her new life in the beautiful garden. In the next adventure, she meets the three Forest Fairy Princesses who invite her to attend the Fireflies Festival.’

The Prickly Princess and the Pixies

Book Review by Wendy Haynes

The Prickly Princess and the Pixies by Kay Morrison, Illustrator Elizabeth Kent RRP $12 ISBN 978-0-646-80454-5 Available [email protected]

This story is about the Giant Prickly Stick Insect and how one day she gets lost in a garden far away. The author delves into the feeling of acceptance and belonging; and without it, how lonely it can feel.  The story has a lightness to it with the illustrator Elizabeth Kent bringing hues of earthy colour to the story. The reader and listener alike can have fun trying to find the sometimes-camouflaged Giant Prickly Stick Insect.

 The Giant Prickly Stick Insect explores the garden where she meets a Willie Wagtail, and a Toc Frog who don’t want to know her at all. Her sadness grows until she meets the Pixies, where she is eventually welcomed.

‘Using nature – and what lives within it is a wonderful way to educate children along with the magic of Pixies.’

Writing Community

A Writing Community

Port Writers Gathering


There is a reason the Port Writers community group is growing and flourishing. When I spoke to Allan Pogonowski the President, he said, “From my first visit to the monthly gathering I felt the inclusiveness.”

Fourth Year Celebration

This is key to why, on the fourth Saturday of each month, members show up to help and encourage each other in their writing journey. The membership consists of an array of writers young and old, who write across a wide selection of genres, all at different skill levels.

The important thing here is that no matter whether you are a beginner writer or have written many books, the group’s love of writing draws them together.

The monthly gathering offers participants the opportunity to share their knowledge with each other, join in writing exercises, collaborate, build friendships, attend workshops, open mic, and more.

The group also run a Coffee and Chat session on the second Wednesday of each month from 10 am at the Rain Forest Café at Sea Acres. This is an excellent way for visitors to introduce themselves to the group.

Port Writers hold in-house and open competitions each year and would encourage local writers to submit their entries. They have recently put together a critiquing-buddy system when members can call upon each other to give feedback on their writing.

It must be said, that a group is successful with not just members, but with the committee working behind the scenes to bring to the membership the type of gathering they wish to attend.

They meet on the 4th Saturday of the month from 1 – 4 pm at The Rotary Community Centre, Hastings River Drive Port Macquarie. Entry is $5 which includes afternoon tea. For more information contact Allan Pogonowski on 0487101050 or

Author Interviews

Author Profile

 Meet the Author

Hans von Chrismar


Hans von ChrismarHans von Chrismar was born in the Netherlands during WW2 in 1942.  Being exposed to different cultures and nationalities through his work abroad made him realise the importance of communication. While in Papua New Guinea he met Judy. They settled in Sydney in 1973 and are now retired in Port Macquarie.

‘For many years I struggled with our family history. My parents divorced three months after I was born. Later in life, I realised how much I missed having a male role model when I was younger. Over the next fifty years thoughts, memories and remembered anecdotes bubbled away in my sub-conscious, until one day I decided enough was enough. I needed to find out what had happened and how it had happened.’


The result is ‘The Dutch Konnektion’. It is indeed a family biography with unexpected twists and turns. At the same time, it gives a view of WWI and WWII events from a German perspective that is unique.

The Dutch Konnektion is a moving story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, with survival key for many tough decisions made.

Hans has woven this family story with threads from his journey as he searches for answers, building a strong story narrative, all pulled together with historical findings and the help of relatives.

An old established noble German family steeped in military tradition finds itself caught up with the changing times after WWI.

The one and only heir must find an alternative career path. He falls in love with their beautiful border and the Dutch ‘konnektion’ is made.

This book masterfully describes the highs and lows of the family merger in the light of the growing Nazi influence and the occupation of the Netherlands during WWII.

Hans’ book is available at [email protected] for A$20. You can find Hans at Hans von Chrismar