Friday, September 29, 2006

Tips on finding an agent

There are two very useful posts (that are more or less in discussion with each other) about finding an agent. Harold Underdown and Cynthia Leitich Smith offer their perspectives - excellent advice here for aspiring-to-be-published writers.

Writing an editorial letter

Alvina from Little Brown has written an excellent blog entry on how she writes an editorial letter. It shows aspiring authors how things can look from the other (publishing) side - which as you can see, it not the dark side it can sometimes seem to be. At least not when Alvina is your editor!

Jacketflap resource

Thanks to blogger posting at Kidslit, I found out about the Jacketflap website. There are lists of publishers, you can search topics of recent books published, there is a blogroll of children's lit-related blogs, and I'm sure much more. While my guess is that it is US-centric, I did a search on UK publishers like Tamarind and Frances Lincoln, and both came up with listings.

BBC article on aspiring writers and award

There's an interesting article about all the would-be writers out there blogging and tapping away into the night. It also mentions the New Writing Ventures Award and its first winner. Read it here:

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Chat room for children's writers

Courtesy of the wonderful Cynthia Leitich Smith, I just found out about the Insititute of Children's Literature chat room and forum. The downside for Brits is that the official chats take place during US times. But it's still worth taking a look. Chats and special events with authors take place on two Thursdays a month.

Publishing on the internet - examples and resources

There are few recent examples of authors who have turned to the web to publish their stories. This can be an effective way to get feedback and exposure - especially if you promote the site well.

L. Lee Lowe is publishing a fantasy novel called Mortal Ghost. She (I think she's a she, but I'm actually not quite sure) has done a great job at getting people to read and give feedback on her site. I haven't read it myself (haven't found a good chunk of time), but she wrote to me when I launched my other blog to invite me to have a read. Good marketing!

Another example, which I also haven't read is Three Cats Write. This is a blog from three authors writing as cats, creating a serial novel. I'm not big on animal stuff like this, so haven't given it a read. Again, they contacted me to invite me to read. Searching children's lit-related blogs can be a great way to find contacts, and invite people to read your work.

And while I'm here, I've also been invited to join a 'free creative writing magazine'. Here's the link to the site which sent the invite:' One can't be sure if this stuff is useful, but I thought I'd see what they provide. The topic for the first 'newsletter' (which is really a webpage you can go to direct), is 'Find a Market'. I can't vouch for the information, but take a look if you're interested...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Radio 4 on creativity

Another quick note. Last night when falling asleep, we had our radio on Radio 4, and heard a fascinating programme on creativity. This one used the poem Xanadu by Coleridge to explore using a dream state, or other ways to tap into creativity. You can listen again to this and other programmes on their website:

A new published author and handy interviews

There's a blog on the Guardian website from a newly-published first-time novelist, Lyn Gardner (who also happens to be the Guardian's theatre critic). She's going to write about having a new novel published, so perhaps some insight from the other side of publication...

Also, Cynthia Leitich-Smith has a generally fantastic resource website on all things children's literature (I've got a permanent link in the sidebar). Specifically, she points out in a recent blog entry that she has interviews with several agents, publicists, editors and publishers. You have to scroll down a bit, but then you'll find all sorts of good stuff.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blog raison d'etre

This blog will be actively used by anyone taking the creative writing for young people workshop series I will be running in Brighton, England in autumn 2006. When the course starts, those people will be added as those who can post. But I'm making it open and available to anyone who wants to read it.

This is a place where people can mention anything they've found that is useful for creative writing for young people. Have you read an article or review? A particularly useful book? Are there websites that have especially good advice, or blogs that you like?

I'll try to create organized links on the side as the information comes in. Anyone can feel free to suggest links/ideas in the comments section.