My morning at Olympia started at 9:45 at Authors HQ, listening to Rebecca Swift from the Literary Consultancy, chairing a discussion with agents, Juliet Mushens, The Agency Group, and Iain Millar, co-found of Canelo Digital Publishing, on how they find new talent. Some of their advice I have heard before but it’s never a bad… Read More Is the London Book Fair a worthwhile visit for budding authors?
I first heard Eric Huang speak at the SCBWI Winchester conference last October. I was inspired by the creativity of the apps, characters and stories Made in Me were developing for Me Books – but what particularly struck a chord, was Eric’s suggestion that authors and illustrators should start thinking about themselves as creators. In… Read More Notes from a SCBWI Masterclass with Eric Huang – Picture books for the digital age
A picture book writer’s tool kit is awesome, it’s why I write picture books. Playing with these techniques is great fun. Remember, picture books are meant to be read out loud. So go to town – bold and wacky is good. But remember the audience. Keep the concept and structure simple. And short! Rhyme There is… Read More Being creative with words. The picture book writers tool kit.
Part 1 – Structure and Layout Before we get creative let’s talk about structure and layout. Picture books are fairly formulaic. Most picture books have 32 pages of which around 24 pages make up the story. In theory up to 30 of the pages could be used for the story. There are also 24 page… Read More How to develop a picture book idea – structure and layout
As you can see from previous posts I have been stalking picture book authors and publishers trying to find out how to break into this tricky market. The most important thing I have learned is: the idea is king. So what makes a good idea? Hmm. There is no simple answer to this. A combination… Read More How to evaluate a picture book idea.
Last week I went to a Children’s Picture Book talk arranged by SCBWI. Bloomsbury’s picture book commissioning editor and designer were the professionals who gamely answered all our questions. I won’t summarise all that was said because it’s well worth joining SCBWI and going along to their various talks and workshops. (Actually you don’t have… Read More Children’s Picture Book Market Segmentation
Okay it’s January. New Year. New writing resolutions. The weather is so bad you might as well be sat behind your desk trying to hit that work count. But after only a few days of diligence, your mind wanders, your enthusiasm wanes and your stomach wants sweet comforting. You are not alone. Eight out of ten… Read More Beat the winter writing blues
How familiar is the action hero who fights to the end without showing a glimpse of doubt, shock or fear? Or the antagonist who sets in motion horrifying events but never shows a flicker of pain, guilt or remorse? We’ve all read those books and seen those films, and it’s understandable why it’s tempting to… Read More How to handle contradiction in fiction