‘A celebration of words’

Author Maree Teychenne has co-won the Children’s Book Prize in the ACT Writing and Publishing Awards, which she received for her humorous book, My Aunt Ate a Plate at the Gorman House Arts Centre in Canberra.

Ms Teychenne, who lives in Vincentia and has been writing ever since she was 10 years old was delighted to win the award.

“It’s a really, really lovely feeling to be acknowledged for the things you put your heart and soul into,” Ms Teychenne said.

“Jackie French, one of the judges , said that the book was a ‘celebration of words’, which is exactly how I’ve always wanted these books to be seen,” she said.

Ms Teychenne has already published her second book, A Lion, a Whale and a Flea, which is part of her Tricky Words series and she is in the midst of writing the third book of a 10 part series which aims to tackle the age-old problem of how to make spelling interesting and alive to young readers.

Ms Teychenne has won many awards locally and internationally for her writing, which include short stories, poetry, stage plays, song lyrics and film scripts and has many works published or performed in Australia as well as the UK, Germany, US, New Zealand and Russia. 

Her poem, The Joy Makers, was one of the third prize winners at the recent international Dancing Poetry competition in San Francisco and her flash fiction, a style of writing which involves the writer delivering a story in only 100 words, Contemplation, was recently published in the anthology Sharp as Lemons in the UK.

“I didn’t realise how accepted my work was in the UK until I got the internet, I seem to do better overseas than locally,” she said.

Ms Teychenne joined forces for the third time with composer Dr Steven Capaldo to produce a music score for the music drama Reflections in a Sunday Mirror, which was performed in the Top 80, at the Short + Sweet festival in Sydney last month.

“Steven and I have been working together on music projects for nearly 23 years now,” Ms Teychenne said.

She is very proud of the work they did together.

“I can always rely on him to set my words into a very powerful musical context, no matter what the topic is,” she said.

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