Hosting lesson plans & teaching materials for the Worlds Next Door anthology from FableCroft

Archive for the ‘Worlds Next Door’ Category

Goodreads Giveaway – Worlds Next Door

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Worlds Next Door by Tehani Wessely

Worlds Next Door

by Tehani Wessely

Giveaway ends August 21, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Class set special price for Worlds Next Door

FableCroft Publishing is pleased to offer a huge discount to schools wishing to purchase class sets of Worlds Next Door, a collection of speculative short fiction stories for 9-13 year olds. Released in 2010, Worlds Next Door features stories from 25 of Australia’s best authors for children, including Jen Banyard, Sue Bursztynski, Paul Collins, Pamela Freeman and Michael Pryor.

Stories from Worlds Next Door have been shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards and the Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award, and the book has received consistently excellent reviews across Australia. With teaching materials, free story downloads and audio versions available, Worlds Next Door is a valuable addition to any school resources.

If you would like to take the opportunity to purchase a class set of Worlds Next Door, simply email with purchase order details (orders received this way will be invoiced, 30 day terms), or, if you have access to Paypal, there’s a button here!

“The Best Dog in the World”, Dirk Flinthart
“A Wizard in Trouble”, Paul Collins
“Graffiti”, Joanne Anderton
“Enid and the Prince”, RJ Astruc
“Disobedience”, Dave Luckett
“The Guardians”, Geoffrey Hugh Miller
“Horror Movie”, Michael Pryor
“The House on Juniper Road”, Felicity Dowker
“Rocket and Sparky”, Edwina Harvey
“Inksucker”, Aidan Doyle
“Mega Wombats and Demon Ducks”, Sue Bursztynski
“Philomena Plaitbinder”, Angela Rega
“Moonchild”, Bren MacDibble
“The New Rat in Town”, Kaaron Warren
“Through the Break”, Jen Banyard
“Nine Times”, Kaia Landelius and Tansy Rayner Roberts
“Sir Pesky Poos-a-lot and the Pony” Thoraiya Dyer
“Old Saint Nick”, Leith Daniel
“Slugs and Snails”, Jenny Blackford
“The Trouble with Fifi”, Launz Burch
“Tabitha”, Rowena Cory Daniells
“Genevieve and the Dragon”, Angela Slatter
“The Nullarbor Wave”, Matthew Chrulew
“Ghost Town”, Pamela Freeman
“Little Arkham”, Martin Livings

Fablecroft’s Massive Moving Sale!

FableCroft is moving interstate and would really rather avoid packing all the books up to take, so we’re having a MASSIVE MOVING SALE! Prices are slashed on all FableCroft books, including Worlds Next Door which is at the bargain price of just $13.00 including postage (within Australia). See all the specials over at FableCroft.

I’m also offering for a limited time an exclusive offer to schools – get a class set of 30 copies of Worlds Next Door for just $300 (plus $20 postage), invoiced for payment in January 2012. You’ll never get a better class set of great short stories at such a great price! 🙂 If you are interested in this great deal (expires December 14, 2011), simply email fablecroft (@) gmail (.) com to order. Don’t miss out!

Enid and the Prince & the WSFA Small Press Award

Congratulations to Carrie Vaughn, whose wonderful story “Amaryllis” took out the tough competition at the 2011 WSFA Small Press Awards in Washington overnight. Although RJ Astruc’s story “Enid and the Prince”, from Worlds Next Door, did not get the gong, it was fantastic to see it shortlisted beside such amazing works. Well done RJ!

WSFA Small Press Awards

I was blown away to wake up to the news this morning that RJ Astruc’s story in Worlds Next Door has been shortlisted for the WSFA Small Press Award. This is an INTERNATIONAL award for stories published by small presses, showcasing the sterling quality these small presses do. I also love the way these awards work, because the stories are read blind (no names attached) by a team of readers, who then create a shortlist. The shortlist is then voted on (again, blind) by the members of the Washington Science Fiction Association to decide the winner. So very delighted to have a story on this list!

The complete list of finalists:

  • “After the Dragon”, by Sarah Monette, published in the January 2010 issue of Fantasy Magazine, edited by Cat Rambo & Sean Wallace
  • “Amaryllis”, by Carrie Vaughn, published in the June 2010 issue of Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams
  • “The Cassandra Project”, by Jack McDevitt, published in the June 2010 issue of Lightspeed Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams
  • “The Days of Flaming Motorcycles”, by Catherynne M. Valente, published in Dark Faith anthology, edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon, Apex Book Co. (May 2010)
  • “Enid and the Prince”, by RJ Astruc, published in Worlds Next Door, edited by Tehani Wessely, FableCroft Publishing (June 2010)
  • “Lord Bai’s Discovery” by Jean Marie Ward, published in Dragon’s Lure, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jennifer Ross, and Jeffrey Lyman, Dark Quest Books (June 2010)

The competition “Enid and the Prince” is up against is top notch and I’m so proud to have published a story strong enough to compete at this level! Well done RJ!

Win a class set of Worlds Next Door

Looking for a brand new resource to teach Narrative, Short Stories and Science Fiction and Fantasy in YOUR school?

Entries are now open to win a class set (30 copies) of Worlds Next Door! Ideal for classrooms from Years 6 to 9 (depending on ability), this collection of short stories offers something for everyone. The Worlds Next Door website provides Creative Commons licensed teaching materials for stories, including lesson plans, free story downloads, audio and more. The book and its stories have been shortlisted for the Aurealis, Ditmar and Tin Duck Awards, and have received positive reviews from all over the country, including in Magpies, Fiction Focus and Reading Time. A fantastic resource for any classroom!

So how can you win? Part of the impetus behind the Worlds Next Door project was the hope that any person who used the book as a classroom resource might like to share their unit of work/lesson plans with others. To enter this competition to win 30 copies of the book for use in YOUR school or library, we’re asking you to do just that – create lesson plan (or unit of work) for one of the short stories available on the website (either the print downloads or one of the audio downloads) for sharing under the Creative Commons license on the website.

It can be as simple as a single lesson based on a story, or a complete unit on Narrative, or Short Story, or one that uses content from a story (see examples of work already available elsewhere on this website!). The competition is open to all primary and secondary schools in Australia. Be creative, use technology if you can, think big! What would you LOVE to teach, given no restrictions!

To enter, send your lesson plan/unit of work to by June 30, 2011.

Please include your name, school/library name, school/library address, telephone number and email address with your entry.

Main prize is one class set (30 copies) of Worlds Next Door. The publisher reserves the right not to award a prize if insufficient entries of quality are received. Single copies of the book may be awarded for honorable mentions.

Competition only open to staff of schools/libraries in Australia. By entering the competition you give permission for the lesson plan/unit you submit to be shared under Creative Commons licensing on the Worlds Next Door website (all contributions will be acknowledged to the contributor). 

Aurealis Awards shortlistings!

Congratulations to Tansy Rayner Roberts/Kaia Landelius (“Nine Times”)and Aidan Doyle (“Inksucker”), whose Worlds Next Door stories have been shortlisted for the Young Adult category of the Aurealis Awards! There are many other wonderful books and stories on the shortlists, but I’m particularly chuffed about these ones 🙂

The full list is here, and well done to everyone on it!

Honourably mentioned!

Ellen Datlow, an internationally acclaimed editor from the US, has given “New Rat in Town” by Kaaron Warren an Honourable Mention in her yearly round up of horror stories. Very exciting!

Ellen is Guest of Honour at Swancon in Perth over Easter this year, and produces some very fine anthologies – especially relevant here are her anthologies that compile fairy tale retellings. Troll’s Eye View was a recent one (with Terri Windling) that I loved – retelling fairytales from the villain’s perspective!

Win a copy of Worlds Next Door from Boomerang Books

Kid’s Book Capers Boomerang Books blogger Dee White has a copy of Worlds Next Door up for grabs! Just pop over to her blog and follow the competition instructions!

The Guardians Audio

Audio recording of “The Guardians” by Geoffrey Hugh Miller, read by the Daniel Simpson.

We welcome listeners of all ages. This recording may be freely used for educational purposes with fair attribution to the author and the book, Worlds Next Door, in which the story is published. If you like this story, please consider purchasing a copy of the anthology!

To download the MP3 recording, please click the following link: The Guardians


The trouble with Fifi Audio

Audio recording of “The trouble with Fifi” by Launz Burch, read by the author.

We welcome listeners of all ages. This recording may be freely used for educational purposes with fair attribution to the author and the book, Worlds Next Door, in which the story is published. If you like this story, please consider purchasing a copy of the anthology!

To download the MP3 recording, please click the following link: The Trouble With Fifi


Slugs and Snails Audio

Audio recording of “Slugs and Snails” by Jenny Blackford, read by the author.

We welcome listeners of all ages. This recording may be freely used for educational purposes with fair attribution to the author and the book, Worlds Next Door, in which the story is published. If you like this story, please consider purchasing a copy of the anthology!

To download the MP3 recording, please click the following link: Slugs and Snails by Jenny Blackford

Free story downloads

These stories are provided freely for educational purposes only. They are intended for use in conjunction with the book they were published in, Worlds Next Door (FableCroft Publishing). Please respect the rights and livelihoods of the author, artist and publisher in your use of work from this website, and please consider purchasing a copy of the book (available in print, epub and pdf – electronic versions not quite in the shop yet, so please email fablecroft at gmail dot com if you are interested – site licensing for schools is also negotiable).

A Wizard in Trouble by Paul Collins

Enid and the Prince by RJ Astruc

Genevieve and the Dragon by Angela Slatter

Ghost Town by Pamela Freeman

Slugs and Snails by Jenny Blackford

Tabitha by Rowena Cory Daniells

The Best Dog in the World by Dirk Flinthart

The Trouble with Fifi by Launz Burch

Through the Break by Jen Banyard

Activities for Through the Break

Shai is surfing in a new stretch of ocean. It seems the ocean holds more than he could have imagined…

Through the Break Activities (Word)

Through the Break Activities (PDF)

Activities for Old Saint Nick

Stewart is a very smart boy, who likes to get what he wants. And what he wants, is Santa. But has he bitten off more than he can chew?

Old Saint Nick Activities (Word)

Old Saint Nick Activities (PDF)

Worlds Next Door Book Launch


Date: Thursday, 19 August 2010
Time: 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Location: Rockingham Community Library, Dixon Road, Rockingham

Worlds Next Door is an Australian anthology of speculative fiction stories for 9-13 year olds. Published by FableCroft Publishing and edited by Tehani Wessely, Worlds Next Door contains stories by 25 Australian authors, each illustrated by Australian artists. Many of the authors in the pages are award-winning and well-known writers of children’s fiction, and the anthology is compiled to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, with an accompanying website containing free teaching materials, story downloads, podcasts, guest blogs and more.

Teachers, librarians, children, families, friends and interested persons are invited to celebrate the launch of Worlds Next Door, the flagship book from Rockingham publishing house FableCroft. Drinks and nibblies for all ages will be provided, and there will be lots of prizes to win!

Hosted by Perth author Simon Haynes (of Hal Spacejock fame) with participation by the editor/publisher and local authors. Come along and join the fun!

Worlds Next Door book launch

All are welcome at the Worlds Next Door book launch! Come along, and bring your friends!

When: Thursday August 19, 2010 at 5.30pm

Where: Rockingham Community Library, Dixon Road, Rockingham, WA

RSVP at the Facebook Event page if you like, or drop a comment here.

Drinks and nibblies for all ages are provided, and there are great prizes to win! Hosted by Perth author Simon Haynes (of Hal Spacejock fame) with contributions from the editor/publisher and local contributors.

Activities for The Guardians

Tom has been sent to his uncle while his life falls apart. When he finds a strange temple in the bush, he stumbles into something more unusual than he could have imagined…

The Guardians Activities (Word)

The Guardians Activities PDF

Activities for Enid and the Prince

Enid had a wish once and she chose the handsome prince. But wishes are fickle and things didn’t quite go to plan, so Enid and her prince have to make their own happily ever after, in most unexpected ways…

Enid and the Prince (Word)

Enid and the Prince PDF

Guest Blog: Paul Collins

To Places Far, Far Away

We welcome author (and publisher himself) Paul Collins to talk about the journey of his story in Worlds Next Door, “A Wizard in Trouble”.

The Wizard’s Torment holds a special place in memory, for it was my first children’s book. Written in 1981, I sold it and another novel, The Earthborn, to a publisher called Parteach. It wasn’t till I received contracts that I fully believed I’d actually sold two novels. (Astounding for me, because I’d only ever written for adults – the children’s books were a slight aberration for me.)

Alas, I’ve since learnt that contracts are basically just pieces of paper with signatures. The publisher disappeared without so much as a by-your-leave, and I was left holding several pieces of paper. Luckily, I had photocopies (rare in those days because photocopies were on shiny paper that faded with sunlight and age!). I retyped my MSS thinking if one publisher wanted them, others would, too. More erroneous thinking, unfortunately. It took till 1995 for Cathie Tasker, then publisher at HarperCollins, to accept The Wizard’s Torment. She would have taken The Earthborn, too, but she left HarperCollins shortly after The Wizard’s Torment saw print. It wasn’t until every publisher in Australia had rejected The Earthborn that I sent it to a US agent, Cherry Weiner, who then it sold to Tor. The Skyborn and The Hiveborn have since been published in the US.

I’d have liked to have published The Wizard’s Torment as a trilogy, but one of the “rules” in publishing seems to be that if a major publisher publishes the first book in a trilogy, no other publisher wants to take on the series. (The perception might be that if a publisher doesn’t wish to continue with the series then it’s either a poor performer or something equally dire is afoot. Michael Pryor and I saw the writing on the wall when Hachette took over Lothian, but despite The Quentaris Chronicles being a successful series, no one wanted to take it on. Ford Street Publishing is now publishing the new series, Quentaris – Quest of the Lost City.)

I wrote a shortened version of book #2 and had it published in Fantastic Worlds, an anthology I edited for HarperCollins. Instalment three was left unwritten until recently.

So here I have the three books in one, completely revised along with the third part. When Tehani asked me if I had anything for her new anthology, I figured what better place to showcase some of the book.

I hope you enjoy “A Wizard in Trouble”, an except from the (as yet) unpublished This Spells Trouble.

Paul Collins

Melbourne June 2010

Paul Collins has written many books for younger readers. He is best known for his fantasy and science fiction titles: The Jelindel Chronicles (Dragonlinks, Dragonfang, Dragonsight and Wardragon), and The Quentaris Chronicles – co-edited with Michael Pryor – (Swords of Quentaris, Slaves of Quentaris, Dragonlords of Quentaris, Princess of Shadows, The Forgotten Prince, Vampires of Quentaris and The Spell of Undoing). He has also written The World of Grrym trilogy with Danny Willis. His trilogy The Earthborn Wars was published in the US by Tor.

Paul has been short-listed for many awards and has won the Inaugural Peter McNamara, Aurealis and William Atheling awards. Paul is also the publisher at Ford Street Publishing, a children’s specialist publishing everything from picture books to young adult literature.

Paul’s websites are: and

Activities for Moonchild

Sammy lives on the moon and there are lots of things you just can’t do – like go outside. So when it looks like he’s going to miss his monthly moon walk, he starts to get creative!

Moonchild Activities (Word)

Moonchild Activities PDF

Activities for Tabitha

Josh thinks the new girl, Tabitha, is pretty great, and when he finds out her father is a famous cartoonist, that’s even cooler! But Tabitha is hiding something big and nothing is as it seems…

Two suggestions by the author for teaching opportunities:

1. The animation aspect

2. The ezine aspect

Why not collaborate between the English and ICT and/or Visual Arts departments to design an integrated unit working on narrative and animation, or non-fiction writing and ‘zine creation?


Ask the kids to brainstorm a list of their favourite movies, then find out which ones used CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) and find out which company did these graphics. eg. WETA in New Zealand.

(A lot of studios show up on a Google search. Students could look up where they might study 3D animation.)

Lastpixel (Western Australia):

AArons CGI:


Teaching materials online:

Webquest: Stop-Motion Animation… Taking It One Frame at a Time!!!

Animation Lesson plan –

Tutorials on 3D animation –

Simple animation lesson:



Investigate the purpose and design of ezines before students (individually or in teams) create their own. (This task could be integrated further with Science or Society & Environment or HPE learning areas, with the content being related to work in other subject areas – particularly applicable for Year 6 or 7 classes or schools utilising curriculum mapping or integrated units).

Some possible lessons/units you might consider adapting for your class.

Upper Primary/Early Secondary

Advanced students:

Activities for Inksucker

Zoe’s family owns a most unusual bookstore. When her father disappears into the depths of the shop, it is up to Zoe to find him, and save him – can she succeed?

Inksucker Activities (Word)

Inksucker Activities PDF

Activities provided by Aidan Doyle

Activities for Philomena Plaitbinder

Philomena Plaitbinder has a big problem – she hates her hair, but she’s not just having a bad hair day, it’s much bigger than that…

Philomena Acrostic (Word)

Philomena Acrostic PDF

Philomena Word Search (Word)

Philomena Word Search PDF

Philomena Narrative Structure (Word)

Philomena Narrative Structure PDF

Philomena Writing Activity (Word)

Philomena Writing Activity PDF

All activities supplied by Angela Rega.