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VU teacher wins prestigious children's writing award

Victoria University (VU) professional writing teacher Sherryl Clark has won an Honour Prize for her book, 'Sixth Grade Style Queen (Not!)' in the 2008 Australian Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards.

Written in verse, it tells the story of a Grade 6 girl who feels alienated by the "style queens" at school, while coping with family break-down and upheaval.

Sherryl admits the themes are a little confronting, but the book is told with sensitivity and humour. It conveys a message for "any kid who doesn't know who to talk to when things get tough", she said.

The Altona North resident is a prolific writer, with 32 books commercially published, mainly aimed at children and young adults, as well as poetry collections. Her first verse novel, 'Farm Kid', won a New South Wales Premier's Award in 2005.

Sherryl has taught in VU's TAFE Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing, based at the St Albans Campus, since 1996. She teaches fiction writing, poetry, writing for children and young adults, myths and symbols, and small press publishing.

She is also helping to develop on-line units for VU's professional writing course, which have already been used by students from Hong Kong, outback Queensland, and country Victoria.

Sherryl first began writing some 25 years ago after attending a creative writing course.  She was an active member of the Victorian Community Writers for many years, and the writing and publishing officer at Footscray Community Arts Centre for six years.

Sherryl has just returned from a trip to France, where she was researching her next novel.

Sherryl Clark is available for interview. Ph: (03) 9314 1082

A photo of Sherryl is available on request

Media Contact: Ann Marie Angebrandt,
Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919 5487

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