March 7, 2014
Lots of writers ask me about writing workshops they can take to improve their writing. I’ve taken, and taught, heaps of workshops over the last ten years and I’ve found that some I’ve attended have been incredible. I’ve learnt huge amounts from writers such as Steve Galloway, and through websites such as mediabistro.com and Gotham Writers Workshop. One magazine I subscribe to, both as a teacher, and as writer who wants to learn is Writers Digest. They have a great faculty and loads of terrific tips. One of my favourite books is by agent Mary Kole (find her here). Her book is called: WRITING IRRESISTIBLE KIDLIT: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers and it’s outstanding.
I discovered today that Writers Digest teach online too – I knew they had webinars, but I didn’t realize they also did online courses. Now, I’ve never taken one, but I was certainly interested in what they offer. Like this course for aspiring Middle Grade writers.
The reason I take, and teach classes is that I enjoy thinking about writing almost as much as I like writing. It helps me to figure out the best way to say the things that fill my head and the words that I long to get onto the page. I wonder if any of you have tried courses and which you recommend to your fellow writers. Leave me a comment if you have suggestions using the link at the top right corner of the page!
March 4, 2014
I love, love, love this website. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I’m going to say it again because it’s so fun for kids, and teachers, and, um, ME!!!! Beautiful illustrations. Poems waiting to be put together. BOOKS asking to be written, inspired by the gorgeous illustrations on offer. You can publish what you write immediately on the site, and share it with friends or family. If you have ten minutes today, head over to Storybird and create something beautiful…
February 28, 2014
Editing is crucial. Probably, for me, it’s the biggest and most important part of writing a book. But sometimes I have to step out of the editorial phase and remind myself just how much I love writing for my eyes only. It’s okay to make mistakes, to write badly, to mess up, to put in characters who won’t stay in the final draft. This is the phase of writing when I remind myself that the first draft is not the last draft. I feel like I’m arriving in a new country when I start writing like this, but I’ve forgotten my travel guidebook. I have only the days before me and all those new foods, places and people to encounter and explore, all in a language I don’t know. I love that feeling. And I know I’ll come back to visit this same new country better prepared next time – perhaps with a full first draft, perhaps only with a few thousand words under my belt. For now, it’s all about exploring and having fun.
What are you working on and what part of the process are you at? Leave me a note (see the top right of the home page) and let me know!