About Belinda Lyons-Lee
About Belinda Lyons-Lee
I write short stories and fiction for children and young adults, usually based in the 19th century and sometimes with magic, sometimes without. I have most recently been working on a time travel adventure book for middle age readers set between 1870 in the Rocks, Sydney and now. To quote Lola (of the Charlie and Lola series), ‘It’s my favourite and my best.’
I won first place in the DeeScribe Adult Summer Writing Competition in Summer 2013 for my short story, The Find. You can read it and other examples of my writing by clicking through the relevant tabs. In Summer of 2014, I also won first place in a competition run by the fabulous freelance editor (who previously worked at Penguin) Katie Evans, for my manuscript, ‘Tom Blackfield’s Travelling Chest’. And my most recent short story about a haunting has just been recognised with a Highly Commended Award and published in the Ghostly Stringybark Short Story Anthology 2015.
And while I agree with Charlotte Bronte who said, ‘I’m just going to write because I cannot help it,’ I also emphatically believe in hard work, determination and commitment to your craft.
I love books. Stories. Tales. Adventures. Those that are true, those that aren’t. I like them with magic and a bit of a dark and gloomy twist, but then I also like them sunny, in beautiful lands with interesting creatures. I like them with fancy dresses, castles and palaces and I like them with run down houses in stinking cobbled lanes. I like them set now, I like them set back then and I like them set somewhere else altogether. Defining the essence of a really, really good story is just a bit tricky. But you know it when you’ve read it.
Teaching English at secondary schools has been my full time job for close on 15 years. I love matching children with that one so very perfect book that makes them go, ‘Oh! I had no idea reading could be this good!’ But I don’t like all the testing, testing, testing that seems to be the preoccupation of education recently.
I have a Masters in Writing and Literature, majoring in Children’s Literature. It was academic study but it didn’t feel like it sometimes as I was already head and shoulders deep in the subject matter.
I like to read Phillipa Pearce, Ruth Park and Joan Aiken. Throw in Dickens, Wilkie Collins and the Brontes. Combine with Catherine Jinks, Jonathan Stroud and Benedict Jacka. Sprinkle with Leon Garfield, C.S Lewis and the inevitable Tolkien. And finally top off with Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. That’s just the beginning…
I have travelled extensively in the UK and the landscape, history, architecture and atmosphere always inspire me. It’s a country steeped in stories; old and new ones tangled together. Australia has its own history which I’m equally fascinated with. I’m intrigued by the similarities, differences and connection between the two countries.
I’m a member of Writers Victoria and the Children’s and Young Adult Writing Group in my area.
Feel free to have a read through some of my writing and get in touch via the details listed.