I'm on a list!

May 12, 2018
One of the things I adore about being part of a fabulous writing community is sharing the successes of other writers.  I genuinely love spotting a friend's name on a long-list, or finding out someone I admire has won a competition.  One of my wonderful writing group friends was recently short listed for the Times Chicken House prize and when she told us all, our shrieks of delight made everyone else in the bar stop talking and look to see what the excitement was all about!
The other bonus of this supportive community is that when it's my turn I am overwhelmed with lovely comments and cheers for my little successes.
Yesterday I had a text from one of my crit group to tell me that I'd been shortlisted for the Winchester Writers' Festival funny book prize (in association with Stripes publishing.)  I was teaching all day so I couldn't check myself but just knowing I had made it onto a book list gave me a big smile and Year 5 were treated to a teacher in a very good Friday afternoon mood!  By the time I got home and could finally check my phone, Twitter was full of lovely comments, my Facebook critique group had all heard and sent kind messages and my fantastic local writing group, who regularly prop each other up and whom I am grateful for almost on a daily basis, were yelling from the rooftops! The best part is that Fiona, one of my writing partners, was also celebrating being shortlisted. (Luckily we are in different categories.)
Win or lose from here, it has already been a real boost in so many ways.
 

London Book Fair 2018

April 13, 2018
Yesterday I got up early, paid an extortionate amount of money for a peak rail ticket to London and headed up to Olympia.  From previous experience I put on my comfiest shoes and easy to remove layers, both of which I was very glad of by the end of the day.
Olympia is a pretty huge place and so the first thing I did was pick up a map and try to get my bearings.  I had a moment where I felt like I needed to put the map on the floor and stand on it to get a better idea of where everything was (m...
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Book Launches

March 27, 2018
The thing with book launches is that, before I go, I am always filled with utter joy and excitement at the birth of another children's book as well as being pleased as punch for a friend who has made it to the bookshelves.  Some of these books will go on to win prizes, huge critical acclaim and top best-sellers' lists everywhere whilst others bumble along well enough without making particular waves.  Whatever the end result, every book that makes it to the shelf has already jumped over so man...
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Book Buddy

March 13, 2018
A lovely fellow children's writer and booky friend of mine, the delectable Maz Evans, spotted a problem when she was visiting schools to give author talks.  Simply put she noticed that there is a huge hole in the budget for libraries, school librarians and books.  BOOKS!  Surely the building blocks that every school should be amply equipped with.  But no, Maz found teachers dipping into their own purses to buy books for their classes and libraries sourced mainly from charity shops and donatio...
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Still waiting

September 13, 2017
Who said the world of publishing is slow?? Was it the snail or the sloth?  Having spent the last 6 years living and breathing the world of books I thought I had a pretty realistic grasp on the length of time it takes to get anything done.  I know how pressured everyone's time is, I know the phenomenally huge piles of work every agent and editor have.  Yet there is still a little (ok medium....fairly large if I'm honest) part of me that still nurses the bubble of impatience.
Jo and I went out o...
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Final push on the edits

May 18, 2017
Since signing with the rather lovely Jo Moult I have been revisiting The Boy From The Cellar which has been lovely as it feels like seeing old friends again after a bit of a break.
Jo has made some suggestions which have all made the book a better beast.  We are now almost ready for it to be fledged and find it's way in the publishing world.  Then it will be fingers crossed all over again that one of the publishers who reads it thinks it is worth taking.
I am going to have to fill the next roun...
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Officially agented and officially OVER THE MOON!

March 1, 2017
The title of this post about says it all really!! Last week I became an agented writer and am so very very excited!
Getting an agent has been something I have been trying to do for such a long time and now I can hardly believe it has finally happened!!!
I am utterly delighted to announce that I am now represented by Joanna Moult of Skylark Literary Agency.
🎉🎉🎉🎉 (this calls for my first ever emoji blog post!) 
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A Little Bit of Success

December 7, 2016
A small foot note to the NaNoWriMo post.
I mentioned that I believe fate plays a hand in the things that happen in my life.  The chain of events that led me to completing MIMA MALONE AND THE MAD BAD INVENTOR were not planned by me.  I had expected to spend the whole of November writing my 1984 story but had to scoop up Mima when I realised the problem with re-imagining a story written less than 80 years ago.
I am so glad I did though as, not only did I have an absolute ball writing a story that...
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My NaNoWriMo experience

December 7, 2016
November started for me with the NaNoWriMo writing challenge.  I decided to go for a story that had been knocking around in my head for a while, a re-imagining of George Orwell's 1984 for a modern MG audience.  Great, I thought.  The over use of screens for the modern child is current and the possibility of them being used by an evil force to control the kids in an Orwellian way might be quite an interesting concept.
I got a few thousand words in, planned the entire thing in more detail than I...
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NaNoWriMo

October 18, 2016
What a title! To those of you who thought I had just sat on my keyboard, no..! NaNoWriMo is a real thing. It stands for National Novel Writing Month and it is a challenge that I have just signed up for!  It means that over the course of November I will come up with at least 50,000 words of a brilliant novel.  Only in first raw draft but complete and ready to edit and polish.
That is a lot of words!!
Just need to decide which story to write.  Wish me luck.
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