Welcome to my writers blog.

Writing to entertain and encourage other writers. To keep you informed of events, workshops, retreats and conferences available for writers.

The Love of Dance

Monday, 26 November 2007

SCBWI Writers' Day

A brilliant day. Lots to do. Lots to learn and time to enjoy the day. This was my first visit to a SCBWI event and I will go again. In fact they are holding a conference in May, I believe, which is for a weekend - Friday through Sunday. It will include accommodation and food along with various events. They are currently putting this schedule in place and will soon let us know when and how much it will be. I'm eager to book my place already.
I attended the talk by Dianna Kimpton (The Princess Pony author) on how to write for a series and the pitfalls. I came away armed with so much information. I now feel confident that should that elusive series book deal be offered, I'll be in a position to pull it off.
Award winning David Almond got things rolling with his opening address. How wonderful it was. He spoke about how he became a children's writer and this inspired most of us. It took him seventeen years to get his first children's book deal. THERE IS HOPE!! Not only that he was an entertaining speaker and dare I say it - a thoroughly nice man.
Milling around in the crowd were many published authors and novices. Some on the brink of their first deal, others working on second books or complete novices here to pick up tips. During lunch I managed to get to chat with a couple of publishers and from this have been invited to submit samples of my work. This is a wonderful opportunity and one I'm going to grab with both hands. In fact I've already sent one manuscript pack off.
I must add here that I also bumped into Elizabeth Arnold (The Parsley Parcel & The Freya Trilogy). Elizabeth was one of the first people to say that I could write. For this I will be forever thankful.
The overall day was one of inspiration and encouragement. I can't wait for the conference.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Writers Day at Winchester

I've just found out about this, and have managed to get to go. I think there are a few places left - but they are going fast.
It is a day for Children's writers. It is once again being held in King Alfred's Winchester and has a great line up.
The event starts a 10:00 with the welcome by Natascha Biebow, the regional Advisor SCBWI-BI.
Delegates arrive between 9:00 - 10:00 for registration (tea & coffee). The keynote speech will be delivered by David Almond on: Doggedness, Thick Skin, Talent etc. A great start to the day.

The first seminar session starts at 11:45.
Choices are:
A. Researching your market & approaching publishers: Practical Tips for new writers with Dr Andrew Melrose.
B. The joy of picture books: how to write words that work with pictures and have both kid and adult appeal with Pippa Goodhart.
C. Plotting for established series characters: crating stories that resonate with young readers with Diana Kimpton.
D. The role of the literary consultant: self editing and getting your Ms ship-shape to attract agents and editors: with Helen Corner & Kathryn Robinson - Cornerstones.
After this there is a break for lunch. Things get going again at 1:45 - 2:45 with Candy Gourlay talking about: Who's afraid of the world wide web? Websites, blogs and social networking- promote your work and engage with your readers on the Internet.
The second seminar session starts at 2:45.
Choices are:
A. How do you turn all the mess in your head into straight lines on the page? From first ideas to a finished novel: with David Almond.
B. Word games in Picture Books - looking at the cinematic world of picture books with Pippa Goodhart.
C. The good and bad sides of writing a series - how to avoid the pitfalls when setting it all up with Diana Kimpton.
D. the role of the literary consultant: self editing and getting your Ms ship -shape to attract agents and editors with Helen Corner & Kathryn Robinson - Cornerstones.
3:45 - 4:15 Break and book sales.
4:15 - 5:15 Editors' Panel: Dream Books - Why I publish what I publish with Stephanie Stansbie (Little Tiger Press), Emma Lidbury (Walker Books), Imogen Cooper (Chicken House) and Lara Hancock (Egmont)
5:15 - 5:30 Closing remarks.
It looks like a great line up. Networking is very important if you want to get on and become a published author. If you get the chance look them up and come along. If you want to know more go to: http://www.britishscbwi.org

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Moving on...

My manuscript has now been sent. I can but hope that it will inspire and amuse the judges. It will be a chance in hundreds may be thousands of being placed. Like hundred's of writers like myself, competitions are one way of getting our work seen.

I have been fortunate in having my work seen, more requested, but that elusive deal is still just out of reach. When I look back at my writing seven years ago, I'm proud to say that my skills have much improved. I'm sure I still have lots to learn. I love moments when things fall into place. As a dyslexic writer, punctuation is not just a problem - it is scary. I still make mistakes here, but not as many as I used to. It helps having friends who are willing to give their time freely to help. They won't know how much that means to me. Or how scared I was in asking them for the help in the first place. Thankfully my friend loved the book and has asked for a copy to read to her class. Now that is scary, as I work in the same school.

Now with the competition out of the way - apart from the results, of course! I've finished with that manuscript. So I'm not returning to Wybird and Symidan. Both these books are well under way with editing and rewriting. I'm looking forward to sitting back and relaxing whilst I write. Not having the time pressure on me. At least not for a while. Only the pressure I put on myself!
I'm off now to get some chores done before I sit with the laptop and give my son's machine back to him.