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The School Magazine is a literary magazine for children which has been published continuously by the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities in its many incarnations since 1916. It was originally subtitled 'A Magazine of Literature for Our Boys and Girls'. Its editors include some of the best known names of Australian children’s literature: Noreen Shelley, Patricia Wrightson, Lilith Norman, Duncan Ball, Anna Fienberg, Jonathan Shaw and Tohby Riddle. The list of past and present editorial staff features many authors who have been recognised by awards or by popular acclaim: these include Joanne Horniman, Dianne Bates, Cassandra Golds, Margrete Lamond, Geoffrey McSkimming, Ursula Dubosarsky and Sue Murray. Some of the many illustrators are Kim Gamble, Tohby Riddle, Aaron Blabey, Stephen Axelsen, Noela Young, Craig Phillips, Sarah Davis and David Legge. The School Magazine publishes four literary magazines for children: Countdown, Blast Off, Orbit and Touchdown. Each 36-page full-colour magazine contains a mix of stories, plays, poetry, nonfiction articles, book reviews, puzzles, comic serials and other texts.
The magazine has thrived as a showpiece of original writing for children from authors in Australia, New Zealand, the US, India, the UK, and a number of Asian, Pacific and African nations.
The magazine has played and continues to play a role in fostering new talent in writing for children. In particular, it is the largest publisher of poetry for children in Australia. A number of children’s writers and illustrators who are now justly celebrated were first published by The School Magazine, which still accepts unsolicited manuscripts.
To foster literacy skills, the School Magazine also publishes Teaching Units, which offer lesson plans and worksheets to assist teachers in maximising the use of the literary material with their students.
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