Category: Blog

How to write strong dialogue in children’s books

How to write strong dialogue in children’s books

[ 6 ] February 17, 2014 |

Thanks again everybody for coming along to our SCBWI British Isles teach-in on 1 February at Edinburgh’s Central Library, looking at how to write strong dialogue in children’s books. Below are the collected tips shared by the group, and notice of Strong Beginnings: our first writer’s craft intensive on 29 March, hosted by Keith Gray. Read on!

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20 tips on writing vivid characters from SCBWI SE Scotland teach-in

20 tips on writing vivid characters from SCBWI SE Scotland teach-in

[ 1 ] December 15, 2013 |

SCBWI Southeast Scotland had our second successful teach-in at the Edinburgh Central Library this weekend, and we were delighted to welcome 17 attendees in total. If you’re writing a children’s book or you’re an illustrator wanting to get into picture books, you’re welcome to come along and find out what we’re all about.

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How-to videos helping authors with social media

How-to videos helping authors with social media

[ 0 ] November 20, 2013 |

I am a huge fan of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and this year I’ve been contributing social media how-to videos demonstrating Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social tools of relevance to authors and illustrators.

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Moving to Mars: it’s life, but not as we know it

Moving to Mars: it’s life, but not as we know it

May 21, 2013 |

Earlier this year I was lucky to meet Bas Lansdorp, Dutch entrepreneur behind the MarsOne project to establish a permanent colony of human settlers on Mars. He was delighted that, in a lecture theatre full of Edinburgh Science Festival-goers, dozens of volunteer settlers kept their hands raised, even after he clarified that it was a […]

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Psst, are you writing a children’s book? Meet SCBWI

Psst, are you writing a children’s book? Meet SCBWI

[ 4 ] March 26, 2013 |

Eight years ago, I wrote a children’s book, but I didn’t get my happy ending. I shopped it around to a few literary agents, had my confidence punctured by two rejections in quick succession, and put away my dreams (and the unfinished sequel) while I got on with family life. Eight months ago, I jump-started […]

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How NASA sent my question about kids’ books to space

How NASA sent my question about kids’ books to space

[ 0 ] February 24, 2013 |

When not writing kids’ sci-fi, my day job is to help organisations use social media more effectively. I have to say, the way NASA and its international space agency partners use social media is teeth-chattering impressive – and I’m not just saying that because I got to participate in their most recent social media outreach […]

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Do writers need to plan their route?

Do writers need to plan their route?

[ 0 ] February 16, 2013 |

I am reading the ever-fascinating “Write to be Published” by Nicola Morgan, which argues – rather cleverly in light of the title – that no writer actually has the “right” to be published. Rather, we as aspiring writers must be realistic about the market who would buy our book, the ability of the bookseller to […]

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Review: Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce 2008

Review: Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce 2008

[ 0 ] February 11, 2013 |

I’m doing a grand tour of all the best writing in my own novel’s age range, and Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Walden Pond Press/Harper Collins Children’s) is my favourite so far. The story opens with 12-year-old Liam trapped in a rocket that’s spun out-of-control beyond earth orbit. It uses the well-established diary device to […]

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Remember the space age?

Remember the space age?

[ 0 ] January 31, 2013 |

Yes, I have a soft spot for all things retro NASA. This startling vintage footage, the Apollo 16 lunar rover “Grand Prix,” is another reason I write science fiction for 9 to 11’s.

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Waiting to get published

Waiting to get published

[ 0 ] January 30, 2013 |

If you haven’t seen this remarkable article by Jane Friedman, and you are an aspiring writer still trying to get published, please go read it now.

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