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.
This is an extract from an old submission I sent in for a writing course. It’s part of the opening chapter for a middle grade (eight to twelve year olds) novel called “Crinkly Wood”. I’m not convinced it’s suited to middle grade, and it’s seriously first draft, unedited material but I enjoy re-reading past work I’ve not picked up for a while. Sometimes it’s like reading something you’ve never read before and you wonder if it was you that even wrote it!
Everyone assumed I’d move out of our Wood Drive house, but Mrs Townsend and I had lived at number four for over forty years, leaving would be to remove the final traces or her and our life. So I stayed put and my dearest is never far from sight as I go about my daily routines. (more…)