Kaitlyn is in Y5 and goes to the Remarkables School in Queenstown. She said she sometimes needs ideas for writing and gets stuck sometime.
Jenny Powell is a poet, performance poet and creative-writing tutor. She takes part in the ‘Writers in Schools’ programme with the New Zealand Book Council. She has written a number of poetry collections and has poems for children in The School Journals. She lives in Dunedin.
* Why did you want to start being an author?
I didn’t really make a decision to be an author. I started seriously writing poems when I was 12. This was when I began to have things I wanted to say, and the only way I could think of to do it was through poetry. Many years later my first book was published. I couldn’t stop writing by then.
* How do you get some more leads for writing?
I get them from things that happen to me or I think of a topic and pull ideas out of my imagination. Sometimes I give myself a technique to use and work that way. I’m always writing things down in my notebook that I see or hear or think.
* How many books or poems did you publish?
I’ve published five collections of poems and my sixth is due out in a few weeks. I’ve also worked with other poets on two more experimental collections of poems.
* What made you want to be a writer?
I didn’t think of myself as a writer for a long time. I do now. I have all of these ideas in my head to put into poems or kinds of plays. I couldn’t not write them. It’s what I do.
* Did you go in competitions?
I have entered competitions. The first one was when I was 9 or 10. I wrote a story for the Sunday newspaper and won a watch. In the last few years I’ve entered poetry competitions in the UK and have been short listed or a finalist. Maybe I was proving myself.
* Do you go to any schools and share your work?
I do go to schools. I enjoy it. I am a teacher so I think that helps.
Thanks for a great interview Kaitlyn and Jenny. Jenny has two poems in A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children. One has a beautiful image and one has a drop of blood or two!