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How To Find New Ideas

August 16th, 2019

First, thanks to Peter for last week’s post. I hope he is enjoying his Art Of Writing Poetry Course and finding it inspirational.

Many people struggle finding new ideas to write about. Well, first and foremost, it’s good to realise that nothing is really new. No matter what idea you come up with, someone else will have already thought of it, or something very much like it. That’s just life. So, it’s not always about finding new ideas, it’s about making an old idea fresh – finding a new angle. Read the rest of this entry »




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Poetic Payoff

August 9th, 2019

Trying to write poetry can be satisfying even for a beginner. Unlike many sports and other hobbies, the exercise costs not a bean, and – whilst the pen may be mightier than the sword – it poses no threat to life or limb.

Poetry is easier to describe than to define, but it tends to be more expressive than the language we use every day, often following patterns of rhyme and metre, adding musicality and even sometimes a dimension beyond the ordinary.

I personally like poems that make a pertinent or amusing observation or tell a story or that somehow seem to strike a chord. I also like them to have sounds that appeal to the ear, perhaps with some kind of pattern or rhythm as well as rhymes or half rhymes. These preferences may be somewhat reactionary, since much modern poetry does not rhyme or seem to have any clear rhythm. Read the rest of this entry »




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Getting To Know You…

August 2nd, 2019

First, thanks to Marisa for last week’s thoughtful post. We all know that when we’re writing for children we need to be particularly sensitive to their needs – and (let’s be honest) sensitive to the perceptions of the adults and teachers who are often the ones who buy the books for them!

On the other hand we can be dismissive of teenagers – they often come across as inscrutable, worldly wise beyond their years and Teflon coated. But, their attitude is often just that – a thin veneer. And you’ve got to take that into account if you want to write for them successfully.

So, if you do decide that this is the market for you, how should you approach it? Read the rest of this entry »




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Mental Health in YA books

July 26th, 2019

As authors, we owe it to our readers to present a realistic, inclusive world. Whether we have an own voices story to tell, or our experience comes from research, it is important that readers can see themselves in a book. Recently, this has meant ensuring diversity is included as well as LGBTQ+, disability, chronic illness and mental health, to name a few.

The diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions is still in its infancy and we have a long way to go before the stigma is erased. One of the key changes should be, in my opinion, the very title “mental health,” which can promote negative responses. In turn, people hide away their concerns and doubts and don’t get the help they need.

Our teenage years can be some of the most emotional and impressionable, as not only our bodies go through significant changes, but so does the development of our brains. Therefore, it is especially important that we shine a light on the problems teenagers face and show them how to fight their way through. Read the rest of this entry »




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Top Tips To Help You Enjoy Your Writing More

July 19th, 2019

This week I thought I’d give you my favourite (and, in my opinion, most useful) writing tips. These have been acquired over the years from personal experience, but also from listening to other writers. Some of them apply to fiction, some to non-fiction, but many apply to both. I hope you find them helpful! Read the rest of this entry »




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