Monday 26 November 2007

Who's Afraid of the World Wide Web - Blog Panel

My talk Who's Afraid of the World Wide Web for Writer's Day went on for so long that we didn't have time to interview a panel of SCBWI bloggers who would have shed light on life in the blogosphere.

The panel was meant to include Sue Eves, Anita Loughrey, Sarah McIntyre and Addy Farmer. I was also going to talk to the author Diana Kimpton about her work with Contact an Author and Wordpool.

To make up for blabbing too long, I'm going to do the panel right here at Notes From the Slush Pile. A blog tour ... except it's a blog panel.

blog panel

First up is Sue Eves, an actor, puppeteer and author of the picture book Hic!, who can tell you a thing or two about how to achieve the networking in social networking!
I joined myspace a year ago and facebook in June. The main reason I joined myspace was to research the children's book market. By adding global contacts focusing on children's authors, book publishers and literary agents, I soon had a small network of 85 'friends' across the globe from San Francisco to Perth. Read more
And here's Anita Loughrey, who has authored many teacher's resources and written articles for publications online and in print:
The worst thing about blogging is feeling like I am wasting time when I should be getting on with other things. The best bit about blogging is when someone leaves me a comment. It makes me feel really good knowing somebody has actually read what I’ve written and taken the time to write back to me. Read more
Uber-illustrator Sarah McIntyre keeps a fully-illustrated, (highly addictive if you love illustration) blog and set up a community blog for members of SCBWI over at LiveJournal (their current wheeze is a describe/draw your own mermaid self-portrait). Here's Sarah on why she blogs:
It's a blessing for the networking, the encouragement people have given me on my work, and the constant motivation to be doing something fresh. I've had commissions from people looking at my blog. And I've learned a great deal about comics and comic artists, since so many comics are only visible online, not in printed form. I like how reading comics online subverts publishers' ideas about what they think we'll read. The curse is that I can spend way too much time on it when I should be doing my work. And I sometimes worry about people nicking my stuff, and I try to label it to make it slightly more difficult. But that concern also motivates me to keep making fresh work. Read More
Addy Farmer has been blogging in the guise of a Science-Museum-mad eight-year-old boy named Wilf for more than two years now. The Wilf blog has fulfilled every blogger's fairy tale aspiration to have their blog discovered and published as a book! Addy's picture books Grandad's Bench (Walker) and Siddharth and Rinki (Tamarind Press) are out in August 2008, and a poem is appearing in Look Out! the Teachers Are Coming: Poems Chosen by Tony Bradman — and here, Addy explains how Wilf the blog led to Wilf the book:
I heard about a publisher called, 'The Friday Project' who publish blogs as books. They are medium sized and independent (bit like me) and importantly, their sales, marketing and distribution is handled by Macmillan. I submitted my blog to the commercial director, Scott Pack. He liked it and made suggestions for how it could be formatted which I liked. Basically, there is a 15,000 word story seamlessly blended with facts and inventions. After a year of slog I signed the contract and 'Wilf and the Big Cat' comes out in August 2008! Read More
Any questions? Go ahead, make our day!


  1. Cool idea, Candy, will be interesting to see how interactive this gets - could be fun! So, given all the blabbing I take it your talk went well? :-)

  2. yes it did! i had a very warm reaction from the audience. my two main messages were 1) write the book - social networking is addictive and can get in the way of the creative process. 2) the web is an opportunity, not a threat. the www is an everyday reality for our target readers and we would be doing book culture a disservice if we were not engaged.

  3. Cool, I like my mermaid tail! :-D

  4. I was trying to give you a coca cola figure but it came out lumpy instead.

  5. So here's a question: did you guys find it hard to start up your blogs ... technically? It just looks soooo hard.

  6. Hi Lorena,
    No, it was not hard to set up my blog. I use and they have made it very easy to upload information.
    Once you start you will find it is quite simple really.
    Anita ♥

  7. It was an excellent talk and no less than inspirational, Candy. Great piccie, I recognise my stripy jumper!

    Lorena, blogging is EASY to set up but if you want to get beyond the basics (and there is quite a bit you can already do with a simple click with Google's blogger) you have to do a bit of work.

  8. starting out is never obvious or easy ... you have to clear the decks and be prepared not to get it the first time or the second time. if your expectations are not quite so high, it doesn't seem such a terrible task.

    when learning to do websites used to get me down, i reminded myself of my ambitions. if i thought i could write a novel, surely i could figure this out.

  9. Should I be creating a fiction blog in the hope of attracting a publisher? Or is this a long shot? Did Anita and Addy set off with the intention of getting their fiction blogs published?

  10. Forgot to say thanks. This is great.

  11. Thanks for this great panel. My question is: should one use their own name or an alias? Some of you use your real names. Why? There seems to be a lot of dangers out there re privacy and identity theft.


  12. Hi Tom Thumb
    I think you should be creating a fiction blog because you want to get creative and your character/story needs an outlet. Publication was my initial fantasy but the reality is otherwise. Publishers and readers do not come knocking at your blog door, you have to take it to them. So, it is quite useful to be able to say, 'I also have a wotsit blog running at so-and-so' it shows off your writing and commitment.
    Do it because you enjoy it, build it up and use it to show off. You never know - someone might bite.

  13. I use my own name, Anon because I am not unduly worried about identity theft or piracy.
    This does tangentially raise the issue of wether you should blog what might be published. Wilf's World is to be published with different stories to those on the blog, so it does not unduly concern me but I wonder what others think?

  14. The business of putting one's work on a blog - especially if one's hoping to see it published - comes up time and again. It's a question of first rights and there are publishers who will say if it's been on your blog, the first rights are gone, so thanks but no thanks. It does seem to be more of an issue, from what I can gather, in the States - less so in the UK. I suppose one really needs to be asking the question of publishers - as views do seem to vary.
    There are plenty of fictional bloggers out there who have their stories on the web - I think the critical thing with the web is to assert your copyright - because theft is so incredibly easy.
    So, there are a number of points to consider before publishing on the web and at the end of the day, research and your own instincts have to be your own best guide.
    Which doesn't really answer the question, does it! ;-)

  15. I never started my fictional blog, Moira Miller, with the intention of having it published or of attracting a publisher. It was just a bit of fun.

    I think blogging (whether fictional, or not) is a good way of showing your writing style. Although, writing showcases are unfortunately not frequented by publishers as much as illustrator showcases.

  16. I use my real name in my blog, MySpace and Facebook. This is because it is the name I want to write under. It is the name I want everybody to know. What would be the point of putting an alias?

    I believe, more than just a name is required for identity theft. I am careful about putting other details on the Internet. But, people can find information about you from other places too, not just the web - such as the inside sleeve of author's books. Identity theft is not just confined to the world wide web.

  17. Hi I have read all of your comments on blogging, and I wish I knew whether I was doing it right. The wretched page always seems worthless after I have put something on it. Am I supposed to use it to write a story, prose,songs, news, or just complain? Please can you tell me.
    Do people read these blogs? I always feel that I am talking into space. Do you?


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