SCBWI Event: From Tots to Teens Why Children’s Literature Is So Important.

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Yesterday I attended a wonderful event at Cambridge Central Library in conjunction with The Society of Childrens’ Writers and Book Illustrators: SCBWI.

I had the opportunity to hear from not one, not two, but three authors: Rosemary Hayes, Gillian McClure, and Pippa Goodhart who are all based in East Anglia and published by http://www.troikabooks.com/

Rosemary Hayes happens to be the same age as my mum and writes for young adults (11+) my preferred writing age range!

Who says we are ever too old to read, or to write YA! Never…

All of these age groups offer differing opportunities and challenges, from picture books to teens,  authors have the power to capture and keep a reader’s attention.

How inspiring is that?

Gillian McClure

Gillian McClure kicked off the panel discussion by talking about her journey into writing and illustrating picture books. Her advice for picture book writers is simple: focus on seeing the world from the 2 – 6-year-old child’s point of view. Imagine what it is like to be a small person in a big world. Be aware of the things in their immediate vantage point, such as a dog on a pavement.

Begin by using a blank dummy with post-it-notes so that during the creative process you can move the words around and find their best placement.

Pay attention to pace and tone, e.g. starting and stopping to create a sense of flow.  Or using two characters, one to speed up the pace and the other to slow it down. Or perhaps introduce one character to pose a question and the other to deliver an answer.

Think visually if you can and make sure that the words flow well on the page so when adults read aloud to children the experience is delightfully seamless.

For a shorter story format use minimal text and the present tense. Sometimes it is useful to use the past tense for scary scenes to bring the young reader out of the sense of immediate danger.

The ending should suggest that any underlying fears are resolved and there should be a sense of hope conveyed.

https://gillianmcclure.com/

Pippa Goodhardt

Pippa Goodhardt joined the discussion next, with her experiences of writing for MG – (7 to 9-year-olds.)

Her introduction focused on the importance of encouraging a reading habit in young children, validated by her own experience as a poor reader and writer as a child. Opportunities and the right environment can change a poor reader into an enthusiastic one, or may even encourage a poor reader to become an author as it did in Pippa’s experience.

This age group has huge potential, this is when readers are made and begin to choose their own books. There is a growing sense of independence characterised by sleepovers and the like. Characters aren’t expected to be saintly, and should be given the opportunity to explore, and have independent adventures. More serious topics can be explored, (in an imaginative and perhaps fantastical way,) but with an awareness of what is appropriate to the age of the child.

http://www.pippagoodhart.co.uk/

Rosemary Hayes 

Rosemary Hayes continued the discussion with her thoughts on encouraging empathy in children and fostering reading in the teenage age group.

Twelve to fourteen-year-olds question the world around them and are sensitive and impressionable. Consider various aspects when writing for this age group e.g. Do they interact well with their peers?

Authors should be encouraged to explore more challenging, edgy content as long as this is thoughtfully done. Focus on what you care about. Be passionate, grab the readers’ attention fast or they will lose interest. Be careful about the use of language – slang and the like can become out-dated very quickly..

Don’t write down to your readers, treat them with respect, write about what inspires and intrigues you and this should in turn intrigue and inspire them.

http://rosemaryhayes.co.uk/

This event was organised by SCBWI – The Society of Children Writers and Book Illustrators: https://www.scbwi.org/

To find out more please follow the link, or leave a comment below.

I would be happy to answer any questions you have about this wonderfully supportive group.

 

Bye for now,

A magical blog of books, writing and inspiration

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Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’

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Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
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The Bloggers Bash 2018 #winning #blogs #shortstory #news #photographs #bloggersbash #humour #funny #confession #blogging

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I’m absolutely thrilled to say that I won first prize in The Bloggers Bash Blog Post writing competition 2018 with my winning short story – The Queen’s Dress Down Day! https://mjmallon.com/2018/03/21/the-bloggers-bash-blog-post-competition-2018-the-queens-dress-down-day/

Yeah!!!

It was such an unexpected but lovely surprise. To say I was gobsmacked is an understatement! I’m sure I blubbered a whole lot of nonsense when I went up on stage to accept my award… talk about unprepared! OOPS!

The bash is such a fun and informative event. I have been lucky to be able to attend every single bash (all four in total.) It’s a way to connect beyond the virtual world with like-minded authors and book bloggers.

If you haven’t been to one before, I urge you to do so – you won’t regret it.

This year I noticed a new trend. Many book bloggers won awards. Book bloggers work so hard to promote a love of reading and to promote authors who might otherwise not be so successful. So keep up the hard work.

Here’s  a link to the list of all the winners for this year’s bash: http://sachablack.co.uk/2018/05/19/the-winners-of-the-2018-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-are-bloggersbash/

I took a few photos… Here are three lovely lasses – EstherRitu and Willow. Ritu did an awesome job with her speech. I truly believe she is wonder woman! Her energy and enthusiasm for blogging needs to be patented.

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A special treat went to Little Miss Bad – Sacha Black – Organiser of the Bloggers Bash…

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It was lovely sharing a chuckle with Barb Taub and Sherri Matthews.

But, I’m a bit alarmed by an odd sprinkle of fairy dust floating into Sherri’s specs…

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Then came the panellist questions, one came from Lucy At Blonde Write More’s readership who asked a very dodgy question – Do you write your blog posts in the nude? Graeme Cumming’s expression, and the laughter from the panellists says it all. But, Geoff is looking very thoughtful… His body language and that blue beard Smurf look speak volumes…

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After teasing his beard again and again Geoff Le Pard admitted that he’d indulged in writing blog posts in the bath! In the nude, (well you can’t have a bath fully clothed can you?) Of course you can’t.

I wonder whether there were bubbles? Blue ones perhaps, to cover up the necessary!!!

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Moving on from Geoff’s confession Suzie Speaks strange expression below suggests an ability to see Sacha’s weird martial art movement behind her…

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What a day to remember! In typical Marje fashion I had a bit of an accident when I got home. I fell on the stairs. Total Miss Clumsy! Pleased to report that no harm done just a touch of bruising…

Getting back to Geoff’s confession about his habit of blog posting in the bath. Do you think this could be a new blogging trend? Or, is this a unique characteristic that only a blue-bearded Geoff could master?

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Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Social Media:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com

Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Tumblr: http://mjmallonauthor.tumblr.com/

 

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Nominations for Bloggers Bash Awards Are Now OPEN!

We are finally on the count down to the bash, peeps. I am so excited I really ought to be wearing a sports bra what with all the bouncing up and down. So far we have announced the totally-off-the-c…

Source: Nominations for Bloggers Bash Awards Are Now OPEN!

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Bloggers Bash 2016: Behind the Scenes Part 1

Sometimes it is good to reblog especially if you get a chance to go behind the scenes of a Bloggers Bash. Follow the antics of Ali, Geoff, Sacha and Hugh, otherwise known in Geoff’s words as the gang of Four – Ali ‘bog diver’ Isaac, Hugh ‘The Welsh’ Roberts, The Geoffle and their Supreme Commander de Blog, Sacha ‘Eyebrows’ Black, at the dastardly bash. You won’t regret it…..

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World Naked Bike Ride Cambridge !!!!

Found this on Facebook.  My first reaction – it kind of amused me so thought I’d share!!! Apparently this has been happening every June since 2006! Really, I’ve never ever seen it.

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The last time we had a bike event in Cambridge it was the Tour de France, which was chock-a-block with lycra. This is a bit different!

 

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Anyway, if you want to support this event for environmental reasons, and of course your love of biking,  give it a go,  just be aware that the expression saddle sore is going to take on a whole new dimension! Still, there’s always the option to go partially clothed, I know which half, I’d opt for.

Thank goodness they’re holding this event in June, a naked bike ride sure isn’t an activity for the winter! Ugh, that just sends shivers down my spine.

http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org/

 

 

 

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