Tag: featured

Authors on submission – how to survive the waiting game

Authors on submission – how to survive the waiting game

[ 7 ] October 10, 2014 |

Earlier this year I participated in the marvelous BookBound UK retreat, a tutoring scheme for promising, unpublished children’s writers. Many of us from BookBound, and many more of my SCBWI friends who attended the popular Agents Party, are currently on submission with our manuscripts, so I thought it might be time for a sensible blog about being sensible.

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How to get the best from a critique

How to get the best from a critique

[ 6 ] October 1, 2014 |

Critiquing is never comfortable for a writer. Your ego and your dreams for the manuscript are on the line when you pass your work-in-progress to another person and ask for constructive feedback. But it’s a necessary evil – and, if you think about it, it’s not evil at all. Critiques are the route to making your story as clear and compelling as it can be. And that’s what you want, right?

‘Getting the best from critiques’” was the topic of our teach-in here at SCBWI Southeast Scotland on 27 September in Edinburgh. Click here to read the tips we swapped.

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Can 36 primary school children write a story together?

Can 36 primary school children write a story together?

[ 0 ] March 26, 2014 |

Our local primary school asked me to come in on World Book Day and work with nine classes, from ages 4 through 12, writing a whole-school story. Here’s what happened.

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Barry Cunningham’s tips on strong beginnings in children’s books

Barry Cunningham’s tips on strong beginnings in children’s books

[ 0 ] March 19, 2014 |

Here’s a summary of an exclusive Twitter chat hosted by SCBWI British Isles with Barry Cunningham of Chicken House, answering writers’ questions on what makes a strong chapter 1 in a children’s book.

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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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