Something special happened this week, a dream of mine came true. My friend, fellow critique grouper and hugely talented author illustrator James Hutchons, surprised me with an illustrated spread inspired by the first picture book text I ever shared with him. I was, and still am, very excited about it. This is the first time I’ve seen one of my stories illustrated.
- Janey Robinson
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Last month I attended the Emerald Street Literary Festival on a damp Saturday at the Royal Geographic Society in London. I’d pre-booked three sessions and brought my notebook for any writing opportunities. Here is what I have mulled over and taken away from the day.
There are always rules with writing.
It can be overwhelming, you write because you have to write. Then you seek to learn how to write better and each time come away with a new set of commandments until every notebook you own has “must do’s” from all sides of the publishing industry. The Faber Academy’s Richard Skinner shared his 5 tips for writers (see below) during his The Bare Bones of Stories workshop. They are a little elusive in that you have to think about each one to really decipher them. My new approach is to listen to any new rules, decide if they make sense and are of use to me, then move on, keep writing and stay focused. (more…)
I’ve not written any children’s non-fiction before so I’m excited to learn something completely new as I arrive for today’s SCBWI Author Masterclass in a room above a pub, five minutes walk from Trafalgar Square. There’s a full house of writers as we’re welcomed and introduced to our guru for the afternoon, Judith Heneghan , by SCBWI masterclass series organisers Alison Smith and Cath Jones. It’s clear from Judith’s credentials that we’re in good hands: former commissioning editor, published author of over 50 non-fiction titles, award winner, senior lecturer and director of the annual Winchester Writers’ Festival – definitely guru material.