Thursday 27 September 2012

The Curtis Brown Discovery Day at Foyles - Writers and Industry coming together

Update! A detailed report of British SCBWI's yearly Agent's Party appears on Jeannette Towey's blog. Oh, and here's our report on last year's Agent's Party New - So you've got an agent, now what? A checklist

by Sally Poyton

On Saturday, I, along with 270 other budding writers, convened at Foyles for the much-anticipated Curtis Brown Discovery Day. The day was billed as giving ‘aspiring novelists the chance to pitch their book ideas directly to award-winning literary agents, Curtis Brown.’ Those lucky enough to bag a free ticket recieved a seven minute one-two-one session with an agent - 30 seconds to deliver your pitch and then six and a half minutes to brace yourself for some feedback!

Monday 24 September 2012

Jonathan Stroud: The F Word is Fantasy

By Candy Gourlay

My trophy photo with Jonathan when we met at last year's
Hay Festival
A year ago, I attended a brilliant Patrick Hardy Lecture* on The F Word: Writing Fantasy for Children by Jonathan Stroud (of Bartimaeus Trilogy fame).

Friday 21 September 2012

Go for gold! Why we must all be more like Andy Murray

This is actually a heads up that something absolutely brilliant has just been posted on the Demention Blog by Julie Bertagna (author of the extraordinary Exodus trilogy).

The demon of self-doubt lives inside every artist and athlete, in anyone who has ever pushed beyond their comfort zone. So many actors, writers, musicians and comedians

Wednesday 19 September 2012

If everyone's now got a platform how are you going to stand out?

By Candy Gourlay

It was only oh five years ago that I was giving talks advising authors and illustrators to get themselves a platform.

Monday 17 September 2012

On Will Power, Self Discipline and Cake

Photo by oatsy40
By Candy Gourlay

Everyday you spend hours resisting the siren song of Facebook, resisting the impulse to check your inbox, resisting the text messages vibrating on your mobile phone, resisting the call of the laundry, resisting the sunshine outside, resisting the urge to turn the word processor off before you've hit your word count target.

After all that self control you are confronted with the last hurdle. There it is. Cake.

Can you resist it?

The answer is no.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Decide to Write

From Zazzle
By Candy Gourlay

So I was having a moan at a publisher the other day.

Sort of along the following lines:

There's no time to write.

Life keeps getting in the way.

The children feel neglected.

The husband makes me feel guilty.

It takes too long to write novel.

How does one make money.

And so on and so forth.

He had no sympathy.

'Writing is a decision,' he said, citing all the stories ad nauseam of authors who wrote while holding down several jobs, cooking with one hand, bringing up ten children, etc etc.

He's right, I guess. It's a decision. And for as long as we haven't made up our minds, we won't be writing.

Go on. Decide to write.

Monday 3 September 2012

Concept, concept, concept – A publisher’s dream, a writer’s minefield

by Jo Wyton 

Over the weekend, I wrote and posted a piece on my own blog about High Concept books from a reader’s perspective.

But I’m not just a reader, I’m also a writer, so of course I spent the rest of the weekend tormented, sleepless and getting through an enormous amount of cake as a result. 

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