More Opportunities for Children’s Writers

write4bairns

It’s another quick roundup of openings for those of us who write for children. Without further ado, here they are:

  • The reliable clutch of Winchester Writing Festival comps offers three opportunities for children’s writers: There is apicture book competition, one forhumorous MGand the new Skylark-sponsoredSoaring Storiescategory, open to MG or YA-aimed submissions. Check it out at http://writersfestival.co.uk/competitions– the deadline is13th May. Good luck!

 

  • Unpublished authors resident in the US and identifying as ‘other than white’, should consider this initiative to find more diverse authors, open to MG and YA manuscripts:  Go to www.rollofthunderbook.com to enter. The Contest entries will be accepted beginning on April 26, 2016. The submission period ends on  June 21, 2016. In addition to a manuscript, all applicants must also include a 75-word biography describing themselves.

  • For those in Scotland, the deadline for…

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Why Are Book Titles Important?

Does your book / work in progress have a title that makes it stand out from the slushpile?..

Book Bound Retreat

By Jasmine

There are many factors that will influence whether or not you get a book deal [including a good bit of luck that your book will land on the right desk at the right time].

Without a doubt, the most important factor is telling a compelling story as well as you possibly can but there is also a need to think about whether you are giving your book its best chance to be noticed with the title you have chosen.

Your book title is your calling card.  In a sea of submissions on an editor’s or agent’s desk it can help you stand out.

sub pile

It is surprising then how often I see titles that perhaps seem a little flat or generic—or maybe haven’t had as much thought put into them as might be expected.

Sometimes, you might luck out and the title will come to you easily—a sweet gift…

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New Year -New Opportunities

Thanks to Barbara for some writing opportunities coming up in the New Year.

write4bairns

Paper,Write,Pen by aungkarnsNew Year – New opportunities!

Your up-to-date checklist to power up your writerly ambition!

We all know the feeling: Slowly emerging from our hibernation cave – to face whatever’s out there to get us (knockbacks and rejections) and to seek out sustenance to make us stronger as writers. Here are just a few nuggets that should sustain us all for a bit: the freshest crop of opportunities to make us all feel like we’re starting the New Year as writers.

  1. Pitch on Twitter. The 6th of January is your day. Make it count with this new initiative from Emergents! Open to residents of Scotland only.

http://www.emergents.co.uk/writing/deliver-on-your-new-years-resolutions-in-one-tweet-pitch-your-work-to-xpo/

  1. Short Stories about fear or anxiety? A tale of lost and found? These are the two themes in demand for the Flexible Persona deadline on 1st January. Maybe one one of the short stories in the deepest depths of your…

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Spotlight on Scotland: F.E. Clark

Happy to share an interview about all things writing/creative/painting and the inspirations and challenges this poses for someone based in North East Scotland. Frances is a friend I met on a Moniack Mohr writing course earlier this year.

Flash! Friday

Today we conclude our series of global #Spotlight interviews by spending a few moments with F.E. Clark, who writes and paints in Scotland. It’s been a pleasure getting to read F.E.’s work here and at other places on the flash circuit; I’m also gratefully thrilled (thrilledly grateful?) to share with you she is generously contributing a book to this week’s Flashversary prize pot. You’ll see that mentioned a bit later on in the interview.

Thank you so much, F.E., for putting up with all my questions (35, did you say??? surely not!!!), and answering them so honestly and graciously. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you here at FF, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for you! Welcome to #Spotlight — here’s the mic.:)

FE Clark

Tell us about your writerly journey.

One way or other I have always written; recently I have begun to share some…

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Tried These?

Thanks Barbara, some useful stuff in here!

write4bairns

Couple of things, children’s writers:

  • A very useful and interesting list at the link below –  publishers of children’s books who accept unsolicited submissions. It’s been updated very recently. I think I’ve only tried one of these before. Have a go?

http://jasoncarnrike.com/publishers/top-ten-childrens-book-publishers/

  • Also, the deadline approacheth…for the Times Chicken House Competition! You remember the one?

The one with the £10 000 advance and the Chicken House book deal? Ring a bell at all? 

It’s a bit of a faff to get your entry sorted, asking for stuff you might not have on file, like a chapter by chapter breakdown. Still, it might be worth the effort. Someone has to win it, right?http://www.chickenhousebooks.com/submissions

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Author Events: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Source: Author Events: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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hello again!

waving frog

Hi everyone, I hope all is well with you and that you have been very productive in your writing endeavours.  I realise it’s been a little while since I posted on here and apologies for the absence.  Sometimes I guess life just takes over and then, before you know it, the summer has gone and you’re sitting inside whilst it’s already pitch black outside and the rain has been falling all day!

I would love to catch up and hear any news from my fellow online writers.  For my part the summer has been a good one and I have been lucky enough to participate in a number of writing events, the highlight being a week’s Novel Writing course at Moniack Mohr near Inverness with Jess Richards and Rachel Seiffert as tutors.  What a luxury just to have the time and space to write, and what a fantastic venue and setting.  (I’m already planning a return visit next year!)

It’s here that I was able to spend more time on Sunk!, which is a YA novel that I started in the Spring, and which I am quite excited by.  It has taken me on a fantastic journey so far and, even though I think I know what’s coming next, I fully expect to hit a few surprises along the way.  I’m afraid that this has also been the main reason for my absence on the blog as, when I get a spare second to write, it seems to demand my attention.  I do plan to try and check in a little more often though and share/discuss all matters writing with people who I know similarly love the whole process.

I have now become a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and am looking forward to finding out more about the world of children’s books and meeting fellow children’s writers.  One such opportunity was a Book Bound Seminar run by Karen Ball, Sara Grant, Sara O’Connor and Jasmine Richards which a number of the SCBWIs attended and which was a really useful and fun day.

The next big push however is to write some entries for the Scottish Association of Writers annual conference in March, so I don’t see things slowing down any time soon.  But then, where would the fun be in that?😉

So that’s me.  Hello again and hopefully it won’t be so long till the next time!

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How To Be The Boss Of Your Creative Life

Carly Watters, Literary Agent

googleimages2Has everyone heard of impostor syndrome?

It’s that feeling we’ve all experienced where, despite our accomplishments, we’re unable to feel like we’ve earned our spot. Like we’re a creative imposter and someone is going to find out we don’t belong.

I don’t know any creative person who has never internalized this feeling.

But the truth is: we’ve all earned our spots, because the only opinion that matters is yours. So shake off those insecurities and learn to be the boss of your creative life.

Remember…

  • You are your harshest critic. Don’t beat yourself up. Treat yourself like you’d treat any other critique partner.
  • If you don’t respect your writing time, no one else will. Make those quiet moments count.
  • You decide what your idea of success is. Don’t let anyone tell you who you should be.
  • If you want to write for you, that’s okay. Getting published doesn’t define a writer. 
  • Give…

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Life’s a Pitch – Alexandra Sokoloff

Some useful observations for writers who want to stand out from the crowd, by somebody I have been lucky enough to hear speak in person.

Professional editorial and mentoring services

Sokoloff_midshot_1MB

I’m often asked to speak to groups and classes of aspiring writers, and recently I was speaking to a college writing class, and I realized something that I’ve known for a long time, but I’ve never actually put into words.

Life is a constant pitch meeting.

There were a few dozen kids in this advanced class. Okay, not all kids! I talked for about forty-five minutes, my whole story of breaking into the film business as a screenwriter and then moving on to write novels, all the usual, and for the rest of the two-hour class I was just taking questions.

Out of the whole class, only five of the students asked questions, although more did answer when I asked them questions to draw them out. And out of those, only two people voluntarily told me what they were working on, in detail. And those were two out of the…

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David Fickling Books submission window coming up!

Lou Treleaven

I was delighted to read in a Writing Magazine tweet this week that the publisher David Fickling Books – until recently featured on my list of publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts – is opening its doors to unagented writers for two weeks in May, and it looks like this could be a regular occurrence.

The submissions window is taking the form of a competition called ‘Master of the Inkpot’ (shades of Terry Pratchett or JK Rowling there). Every submission will be read and a shortlist drawn up. The top five will be featured on the website and the winner invited in with a view to publication.

Guidelines for entry are very exact so check and double check the requirements. Picture book submissions should, unusually, include illustrations. Any reading age is considered including adult. And luckily for me, they are happy to reconsider material previously sent if it has been reworked (I’m…

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